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The Root today announced that “Extra” Correspondent A. J. Calloway and CNN Political Commentator and CEO of IMPACT Strategies Angela Rye, also a 2017 Root 100 honoree, will host the annual The Root 100 Gala on Thursday, November 9 to honor the most influential African Americans of the past year.

The 2017 list honors the innovators, the leaders, the public figures and game changers whose work from the past year is breaking down barriers and paving the way for the next generation. This year’s list of honorees serves as a reminder of the beauty and brilliance of blackness in America. For the first time, FUSION will air the event as a primetime special on November 19 at 9 PM. Find out where to watch FUSION here.

The Root 100 2017: Presented by 2018 Toyota Camry
Thursday, November 9
Guastavino’s in NYC (409 East 59th Street)
Red Carpet + Cocktails @ 6PM
Dinner Begins @ 7PM
Program Begins @ 8PM

For Red Carpet Credentials + Media Requests Email:

The gala’s guest speakers will include Henry Louis Gates Jr (co-founder, The Root), Yamiche Alcindor (journalist, The New York Times), S. Lee Merritt (attorney), Franchesca Ramsey (comedian and actress), Evita Robinson (pioneer of the urban travel movement), and other surprise guests. The evening will include a performance by Raheem Devaughn and music from DJ Olivia Dope.


Special guests expected to include: Don Lemon (CNN), Sunny Hostin (‘The View’), Vanessa De Luca (Editor-In-Chief, Essence), Bevy Smith (Host, ‘Page Six TV’ and SiriusXM), Harriette Cole (Author, Advice Columnist), Jamal Simmons (political analyst and commentator), Zerlina Maxwell (SiriusXM host and Director of Programming), and Demetria L. Lucas D’Oyley (blogger, author and TV personality).

Honorees in attendance: Tamika D. Mallory (Co-president, the Women’s March), Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson (activist), Luvvie Ajayi (author, blogger), Malkia Cyril (Founder, executive director of the Center for Media Justice), Zakiyyah Myers (Co-founder, Chief Operations Officer at Innclusive), Rohan Gilkes (Co-founder, CEO at Innclusive), Samantha Irby (author), Joi McMillon (film editor), Michael Tubbs (Mayor of Stockton, CA), Anthony Daniels (Alabama House Minority Leader), Danielle Lee (biologist), Eunique Jones Gibson (founder, Because of Them We Can), Vann R. Newkirk II (writer, The Atlantic), Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter (Hip Hop artist), Candice Morgan (Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Pinterest), Sarah Huny Young (creative director, artist, photographer), Vanessa Garrison (co-founder, GirlTrek), Kent Johnson (lawyer, co-founder Black & Abroad), Raquel Willis (activist), Charlene Carruthers (National Director, Black Youth Project 100), Eric Martin (entrepreneur, co-founder Black & Abroad), Chrissa McFarlane (founder, Patientory), Alencia Johnson (Director of Constituency Communications, Planned Parenthood), Alison Désir (activist), Ashlee Marie Preston (editor, Wear Your Voice), Yance Ford (director, producer), Damon Davis (artist and director), Amber Goodwin (activist), Nailah Ellis-Brown (CEO, Ellis Infinity Beverage Co.).

The Root 100 2017 is presented by the 2018 Toyota Camry. “Toyota is honored to have a continuous integrated partnership with The Root. The Root has been a pivotal platform and voice for African Americans and this year’s list provides a spotlight for the amazing and diverse accomplishments taking place,” the company said.


The Root’s Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton said the following about the 2017 list: “At a time when things may feel at their darkest, these are the individuals providing the light, illuminating our culture, bringing issues out of the shadows and forcing a society, often reticent to deal with racial issues, to fully face the realities of black life in America. Whether one wants to see them or not, their light shines upon all as a beacon commanding our attention and calling our eyes to black brilliance in the face of insurmountable odds. These 100 honorees–from entertainment, the arts, sports, media, politics, business, science and technology–not only represent the best of what America has to offer, they are America, in all its exceptionalism. They are what makes our country great and we should be so bold to listen to what they have to say about love, life, work and art in this country of ours.”

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