*Legendary gospel singer/actress Tamela Mann and Irene Gandy, a trailblazing Broadway publicist, are superwomen – the reason they’re among the women receiving the “Salute Her: Superwomen Making a Difference Award.”
The awards, organized by the women of color expo, Sister Friends, and WBLS 107.5’s Café Mocha Show, were held last Thursday, (T10-15-15), at Harlem’s legendary Alhambra Ballroom.
Now in its fourth year, the Salute Her awards is recognizing Mann, a Grammy nominee and Gandy, for their “commitment to making a positive contribution to strengthening their respective communities.”
Both women were very humble about the recognition when responding to getting the award.
“I think it’s a great honor,” Mann said. Starring with David Mann, her husband of 27 years, on the new original Bounce cable TV series, “Mann and Wife”, the “Take Me to the King” singer believes it’s important to give back considering her struggles as the youngest of 14 children growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, “I believe wholeheartedly to give back because of my upbringing. You know raised I ain’t gonna say in the ghetto – but very poor not to say that’s a horrible thing; but to be able to come from very less fortunate to be able to give to someone else is very important to me.”
Gandy, the first African-American publicist and theater press agent, pointed out that she “liked to promote but liked to educate as well” – referring to counseling actors and entertainers about “what they should ask for and what they should get.”
She’s still blazing hot on Broadway – winning a Tony for producing “Porgy and Bess” and Gandy is getting big buzz this season for her work on “Fiddler on the Roof.”
Other honorees are: TV talk show host Wendy Williams, actress Malinda Williams, CNN anchor Michaela Pereira, Comcast Foundation President Charisse Lillie and Odyssey Media Founder/CEO, Linda Spradley Dunn.
Proceeds from the event, presented by Hyundai, will support the New Jersey-based non-profit, Distributing Dignity to help raise funds to provide feminine supplies to homeless women in shelters across the Tri-State area.
By Tené Croom
Listen to Tené’s exclusive interview with Tamela Mann and Irene Gandy: