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Photo Credit: Michael Walker/UMEEK Images

Over this past weekend, The Gentlemen’s Foundation hosted their 6th Annual Gentlemen’s Ball (powered by UPS) at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel. The 2017 theme “We Are Royalty” celebrated all people of color identifying as LGBTQIA.

Additionally, the black-tie gala ball and awards ceremony celebrated individuals within the LGBTQ community who have been committed to social change and enhancement of the quality of life. Guests and honorees for this year’s ball included Tarell McCraney (“Moonlight”), Tracee McDaniel (founder of “Juxtaposed Center for Transformation”), Amiyah Scott (“STAR” on FOX), Charles Stephens (Writer/Creator of The Counter Narrative Project), Darlene Hudson (“State of Black Gay America Summit and Southern Unity Movement”), Julian Walker(“BLACKBIRD,” “Being Mary Jane” on BET), Jack MizrahiMelissa Scott (VH1 “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”), Chief Joel Baker (City of Atlanta Fire & Rescue Department), Sharon Lettman-Hicks (Executive Director/CEO National Black Justice Coalition), CoriologyTyra BDerek J (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”), Miss Lawrence (Bravo’s “Fashion Queens”), Jussie Smollett (“EMPIRE” on FOX), Kelly PriceBevy Smith (“Radio Andy” on Sirius XM) and more.

Under the theme, “We Are Royalty,” this year’s fundraising gala and celebration was the signature event of The Gentlemen’s Ball Weekend, September 29th through October 1st, 2017. The three days of programming were filled with activities for guests and allies to recharge and reimagine their lives. Empowering experiences included: a health & wellness fair, workshops on love, relationships and financial planning, along with parties, mixers and socials before and after the ball. On Friday, September 29, ball attendees were invited to two free panel discussions with tastemakers in the business and entertainment industry’s. Special panelists included Ryan Anderson (“SunTrust Bank”), Vaughn Alvarez (“CR8 Agency,” Publicist), Gocha Hawkins (WE tv, “LA HAIR”), Melissa Scott (“Traxx Girls”), Lisa Cunningham and more.

On Sunday, October 1, following the ball, The Gentlemen’s Foundation hosted a “Royal Brunch,” that featured a special Q&A with current select Atlanta Mayoral candidates. In attendance were Mayoral candidates: Cathy WoolardCeasar MitchellKeisha Lance BottomsLaban KingMichael SterlingPeter Aman and John Eaves. All candidates addressed important issues impacting the city of Atlanta and it’s LGBTQIA citizens.

The Gentlemen’s Foundation was founded by Juan and Gee Smalls, an African American Atlanta based same-gender loving couple who also serve as certified relationship counselors, philanthropists, and life coaches. The foundation is a non-profit organization committing to broader social change and encouraging individual and collective empowerment as well as public service, leadership, philanthropy, and networking. Check out more photos from the event below.

To learn more about The Gentlemen’s Foundation visit: www.TheGentlemensFoundation.org.

Social Life

[REVIEW/EVENT RECAP] OWN Gets It Right w/ New Series, “Ambitions,” Starring Robin Givens & Essence Atkins!

Just when we thought OWN had reached its pinnacle with dramatic series, Will Packer delivers a hot, new series in Ambitions!  The series centers on Stephanie Carlisle-Lancaster (Robin Givens), a brilliant attorney, and wife of Atlanta’s mayor, Evan Carlisle (Brian J. White). Stephanie is ambitious, and power hungry, determined to take over her father’s law firm, while being stuck in a loveless, troubled marriage for political clout. However, her world begins to shake with the return or her former lover, Titus Hughes (Kendrick Cross), who has just taken a case representing a large pharmaceutical company responsible for her sister’s death by overdosing. Titus’ wife, Amara (Essence Atkins), a U.S. Attorney, and Stephanie’s former best friend, is determined to save her marriage after an extramarital affair. Worlds collide, and love becomes toxic as The Carlisles, Hughes, and their respective friends and family go to war over power, property, and the very souls!

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Just when we thought OWN had reached its pinnacle with dramatic series, Will Packer delivers a hot, new series in Ambitions!  The series centers on Stephanie Carlisle-Lancaster (Robin Givens), a brilliant attorney, and wife of Atlanta’s mayor, Evan Carlisle (Brian J. White). Stephanie is ambitious, and power hungry, determined to take over her father’s law firm, while being stuck in a loveless, troubled marriage for political clout. However, her world begins to shake with the return or her former lover, Titus Hughes (Kendrick Cross), who has just taken a case representing a large pharmaceutical company responsible for her sister’s death by overdosing. Titus’ wife, Amara (Essence Atkins), a U.S. Attorney, and Stephanie’s former best friend, is determined to save her marriage after an extramarital affair. Worlds collide, and love becomes toxic as The Carlisles, Hughes, and their respective friends and family go to war over power, property, and the very souls!

Ambitions is so riveting and thrilling that we dared not blink an eye. Robin Givens is BACK in a starring role and the ageless beauty is as amazing as ever.! This cast is also chalked full of veteran Black actors and is even inclusive with a lesbian story line. We recently attended the premiere of the series hosted by OWN and it was equally amazing, as the cast, Will Power, and the YBFs (Young, Black, & Fabulous) of Atlanta came out in full force to show their support. Check out a few photos from the amazing event below:

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[EVENT] NBC’s Luncheon w/ “The Village” Star, Frankie Faison (@FrankieFaison)!

NBC’s newest series, The Village, is undoubtedly turning out to be one of its greatest. Set in an eclectic apartment building in Brooklyn, it centers on a group of close knit neighbors whose lives, love, problems, and social issues all intertwine in heartwarming and heartbreaking ways making them a family of sorts. Heading this family as a patriarch is none other than Frankie Faison as “Ron Davis!” Ron is wise, funny, and of course the backbone of his makeshift dishing out love and wisdom where needed. HeyMikeyATL and Kontrol Magazine recently attended an NBC Luncheon filled with the other “Who’s Who” of Atlanta’s media community and got the opportunity for a sit down interview with Frankie himself!

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frankie faison nbc the village

NBC’s newest series, The Village, is undoubtedly turning out to be one of its greatest. Set in an eclectic apartment building in Brooklyn, it centers on a group of close knit neighbors whose lives, love, problems, and social issues all intertwine in heartwarming and heartbreaking ways making them a family of sorts. Heading this family as a patriarch is none other than Frankie Faison as “Ron Davis!” Ron is wise, funny, and of course the backbone of his makeshift dishing out love and wisdom where needed. HeyMikeyATL and Kontrol Magazine recently attended an NBC Luncheon filled with the other “Who’s Who” of Atlanta’s media community and got the opportunity for a sit down interview with Frankie himself!

michael j. fanning mikey and frankie faison

Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning and Frankie Faison

Frankie has been in the in the entertainment industry for over forty years, with dozens of roles, and is known best for his roles on The Wire (2002) and the Hannibal Lecter franchise. At the luncheon Frankie discussed the secret to his career’s longevity and how his own village greatly impacted his life. “…I’ve had really thoughtful and impactful people in my life since elementary school–my whole community actually. I grew up in an all-black community and the people in my life saw I was a character, a real class clown [he laughs], but instead of punishing me or writing me off as a bad kid; they put me in the theater…there I was able to grow and cultivate and become the character I am today [he laughs]. 

The Village nbc

THE VILLAGE — “Pilot” Episode 101 — Pictured: (l-r) Frankie Faison as Ron Davis, Lorraine Toussaint as Patricia Davis — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

As “Ron Davis,” Frankie embodies so much strength and understanding on the show, and when combined with the talents of Lorraine Toussaint, portraying Ron’s wife, “Patricia Davis,” you have quite a powerful, earthy couple. Frankie went on to discuss why he chose to do The Village, what it is like working with Lorraine, and his similarities and dissimilarities to his character. “He [‘Ron’] is the head of this chosen family of people–that’s what friends are, the family you choose–and he is a wise, upstanding, strong guy and I can identify with that. He’s like the ‘mayor’ of the neighborhood…then he likes to give wisdom to others and I find myself dispensing wisdom to the youngins on the set [he laughs]…I loved the script for The Village, it was well-written and I loved the stories. I’m down for any project that I can connect to and grow from. He then went on to discuss Lorraine. “When I found out she was on board I was thrilled. We came up in the industry together and she’s a respected colleague. She was perfect for the role and I can see us being the parents and grandparents of this situation…”

nbc the village

Frankie Faison is nothing short of amazing, encouraging rising and aspiring actors and entertainers to “Never give up. If this is what you want to do stay at it, believe in it, grow with it, and just don’t stop!” You can catch Frankie every Tuesday night, 10 PM EST!

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[PHOTOS] #AboutLastNight! #USFirst (@UsMovie) Exclusive Screenings in ATL, LA & NYC!

Last night, African-American tastemakers in Atlanta (including our very own Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning), Los Angeles and New York were among the first to see Jordan Peele’s newest nightmare, US, as a part of the #USFirst screening program to give a first-look at the highly anticipated film. These screenings happened simultaneously, along with the SXSW premiere in Austin and ignited social media chatter throughout the night and was a trending topic on Twitter!

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Universal "US" First Screening - Atlanta

Last night, African-American tastemakers in Atlanta (including our very own Michael “Hey Mikey” Fanning), Los Angeles and New York were among the first to see Jordan Peele’s newest nightmare, US, as a part of the #USFirst screening program to give a first-look at the highly anticipated film. These screenings happened simultaneously, along with the SXSW premiere in Austin and ignited social media chatter throughout the night and was a trending topic on Twitter!

Universal "US" First Screening - Atlanta

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 08: (L-R) Riley Burruss, Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker attend Universal “US” First Screening – Atlanta at SCAD Show on March 08, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Universal)

Catch photos from the events below!

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