Award-Winning Actors Sterling K. Brown & Jean Smart to be Honored at Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Dinner

by Aryn Fields

With Special Guest Tariq Trotter, Co-Founder of The Roots, & First Lady Dr. Jill Biden previously announced as keynote speaker

Media interested in attending and covering the dinner can reach out to

LOS ANGELES The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, announced today that two of Hollywood’s most celebrated actors will be honored at its annual Los Angeles dinner, which will be held on Saturday, March 23 at the Fairmount Century Plaza. Jean Smart, known for iconic roles in HACKS, Mare of Easttown, and Designing Women, will be receiving the National Equality Award and Sterling K. Brown, star of American Fiction, This Is Us and Black Panther, will be receiving the Ally for Equality Award.

“It‘s such a joy to be recognizing some incredible advocates and allies who have provided so much support in the fight for equal rights. Sterling K. Brown has made diversity and inclusion pillars of his work. Jean Smart has championed LGBTQ+ rights and equal representation over a decades-long career in television and film,” said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. “Joined by keynote speaker and champion First Lady Jill Biden, this is a true powerhouse lineup and we are so excited to celebrate them for their work expanding LGBTQ+ equality and visibility around the world.”

Sterling K. Brown is an Academy-Award nominee and three-time Emmy Award winning actor and producer. For his starring role as Randall Pearson in NBC’s critically acclaimed series THIS IS US, Brown made history and became the first African American actor to win in his leading actor in a drama series category at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. In 2018, Brown was included in TIME magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world. He is the founder of Indian Meadows Productions, a production company whose mandate is to champion diversity through the development and production of entertaining, educational and inclusive projects across multiple forms of media. His notable film roles include Waves, Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul, Black Panther, Biosphere and Frozen 2.

“Injustice for one is injustice for all—the path towards freedom and equality for Black and Brown people is intertwined with the fight for LGBTQ+ justice, so we must stand together to create a more equitable world,” said Sterling K. Brown. “To be receiving the Ally for Equality Award and to be recognized for my LGBTQ+ allyship is truly an honor—I look forward to continuing this fight alongside my fellow advocates as we advance equal rights for everyone, everywhere.”

Jean Smart is a Tony, Grammy, and seven-time Emmy nominated actress. Smart made history with her 2021 Emmy award win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance in the HBO Max comedy series HACKS, joining Betty White as the only other actor to earn an Emmy in the comedy lead, supporting and guest categories. That win earned her admittance to an elite group of actors who have swept all five major TV awards in a single television season — Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Critics Choice Awards and Television Critics Association. The third season of HACKS will premiere on May 2, 2024 of MAX. Later this year, Smart is slated to film the May-December romantic comedy 42.6, starring opposite Andy Samberg for Amazon Studios. She will also star in and executive produce the independent feature Miss Macy.

“I’m unbelievably honored to be receiving the National Equality Award and I stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community,” said Jean Smart.

Earlier this week, HRC announced that First Lady Biden will give the evening's keynote address. As a lifelong educator, Dr. Biden has consistently championed making schools safer for students, including LGBTQ+ youth. She has spoken out vehemently against book bans, “the dangerous, cruel practice of conversion therapy,” and is committed to addressing youth homelessness, which disproportionately impacts LGBTQ+ young people. The Biden Administration has consistently fought to advance equality-focused legislation and LGBTQ+ rights. Since taking office, President Biden has lifted the blanket ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood, began enforcing non-discrimination laws to protect LGBTQ+ people, and signed the Respect for Marriage Act into law.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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