*Seattle — The National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association announced today that GRAMMY Award-winning R&B recording artist Anthony Hamilton will serve as a national spokesman for the organization.

Through the use of a :30 PSA, Hamilton will work diligently to recruit African American male volunteers for the national nonprofit organization.  He will also represent CASA at national child welfare conferences and events around the country to raise awareness of the growing number of African American children in the foster care system.

David Soukup, a Seattle Superior Court Judge, developed the CASA concept in 1977, after becoming concerned about making decisions on behalf of abused and neglected children without enough information.  He conceived the idea of appointing community volunteers to speak up for the best interests of these children in court.

Today, there are more than 70,000 CASA volunteers who advocate for more than 230,000 children in the foster care system.  These caring adults serve as fact-finders for judges by thoroughly researching the background of assigned cases and ensuring that they are brought to a swift and appropriate conclusion. In the United States, more than 152,000 African American children are in the child welfare system, with boys representing more than half of the children in foster care; yet there are only 8,400 African American CASA volunteers.

“We are honored and excited that Anthony Hamilton will serve as one of our national spokesmen,” stated Michael Piraino, chief executive officer of the National CASA Association.  “His passion and dedication for children will go a long way to help us recruit much needed African American male volunteers.”

Hamilton will work alongside Judge Glenda Hatchett, who has been a national spokeswoman for CASA for the past seven years, to raise awareness of the organization and to recruit volunteers.

“Our boys need positive role models,” noted Hamilton.  “Becoming a part of CASA will provide me with an opportunity to reach out to those men who can become everyday heroes to these children, and help change their life of hurt, into one of hope.”

A native of Charlotte, N.C., Hamilton first discovered his musical talents at the age of 10 while singing in his church choir. In 2002, Hamilton received his career-molding break when he collaborated with the Nappy Roots on “Po’ Folks.”  That performance earned the singer his first GRAMMY nomination for best rap/sung collaboration and a new label, legendary music producer Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def imprint.  A year later, Hamilton’s platinum debut “Coming From Where I’m From” was released, followed by the gold-certified “Ain’t Nobody Worryin'” (2005).

Hamilton’s most recent album, “The Point of It All,” was released in December 2008 on So So Def Recordings/Jive Records. The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Album Chart and at #11 on Billboard’s 200 Chart. “The Point of It All” sold 133,000 copies in its first week of release, the highest sales week of Hamilton’s career.  The critically acclaimed, gold-certified album also received three GRAMMY nominations, earning Hamilton a career total of 10 GRAMMY nominations.

Not just a fan favorite, Hamilton is also the go-to singer for other recording artists whether the medium is country, hip-hop, R&B/soul, pop or gospel. He has sung with a veritable list of who’s who in the music industry, including Al Green, Josh Turner, Keyshia Cole, John Rich (Big & Rich), Carlos Santana, and Mint Condition.

A multi-talented artist, Hamilton’s brand extends way beyond the music industry. In 2007, he made a cameo appearance in the blockbuster, Oscar-nominated film “American Gangster” starring Denzel Washington, where he performed the soundtrack’s lead song, the Diane Warren-penned “Do You Feel Me.” The film debuted at #1 and Hamilton’s emotion-packed lyrical performance served as a pinnacle point in the timeless film. That same year, Hamilton caught the attention of the Jordan brand and became the second non-athlete in history to be endorsed by the corporation and was enlisted as one of the all-star performers on “We Are The World: 25 Years for Haiti.”

Over the course of Hamilton’s illustrious career, he has been nominated and won numerous awards, including the 2004 Vibe Music Awards for best collaboration and the Vibe Next Award; the 2006 BET J Cool Like Dat Award; and the 2009 GRAMMY Award for best traditional R&B vocal performance for “You Got the Love I Need” with Al Green.

Hamilton resides in Charlotte with his wife, recording artist Tarsha McMillian, and their three sons. This summer, he will headline the 2010 Budweiser Superfest Tour with recording artists Jaheim, Raheem DeVaughn, Kem and Hal Linton. The much-anticipated national concert tour officially kicked off on Aug. 5.  The 2010 Budweiser Superfest Tour schedule includes the remaining dates:

Date    City    Venue
August 19    Miami    American Airlines Arena
August 20    Atlanta    Chastain Park Amphitheater
August 21    Greensboro    Greensboro Coliseum
August 22    Memphis    FedEx Forum
August 26    St. Louis    Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
August 27    Chicago    Charter One Pavilion
August 28    Detroit    Fox Theater
August 29    Philadelphia    Susquehanna Bank Amphitheater
September 1    Charlotte    Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
September 3    New Orleans    New Orleans Arena
September 4    Houston    Toyota Center
September 5    Dallas    Super Pages Amphitheater

For additional information about becoming a CASA volunteer, call toll free (800) 628-3233 or visit www.CASAforChildren.org.  CASA volunteers must be at least 21 years of age and successfully pass a background check; participate in an in-depth 30-hour volunteer training class; have good oral and written communication skills in order to provide objective recommendations to the court; and upon receipt of their first case, willingly commit to see the case closed, which typically takes a year and a half.

About the National CASA Association

David Doukup, a Seattle Superior Court Judge, developed the CASA concept in the late 1970s after becoming extremely concerned about the lack of information he had when making monumental decisions about the futures of abused and neglected children.  Since the first CASA volunteers began serving children in 1977, the program has grown to cover more than 1,000    communities, with nearly 70,000 volunteers serving over 230,000 children in 2009.

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source:
Lee Hayes
LaGrant Communications
[email protected]

Courtney Lowery
W&W Public Relations
[email protected]