Human Rights Campaign to Honor Emmy Winner Sheryl Lee Ralph, Prime Video’s Hit Series “A League of Their Own” at First D.C. National Dinner Since 2019

by Elizabeth Bibi

“A League of Their Own” Stars Abbi Jacobson and Chanté Adams to Accept National Visibility Award on Behalf of Series Produced by Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television in Association with Field Trip Productions

Incoming Human Rights Campaign President, Kelley Robinson, to Deliver Remarks About the Future of HRC Under Her Leadership at First In-Person DC National Dinner Since the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Media interested in attending and covering the dinner, please RSVP here

WASHINGTON, DC — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization – today announced the preliminary lineup for its first National Dinner since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the first under the leadership of Incoming President Kelley Robinson. HRC will honor Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph with the National Ally for Equality Award, which recognizes the outstanding efforts of those who use their voice to publicly stand up for the LGBTQ+ community, and the Prime Video series “A League of Their Own” with the National Visibility award, which recognizes LGBTQ+ leaders and entities that represent living open and honest lives at home, at work, and in the greater community. Stars Abbi Jacobson and Chanté Adams will accept the award on behalf of the show.

The star-studded event will be held on October 29 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. With one week to go before the midterm elections, and as she prepares to take the reins of the organization in November, Robinson will also deliver remarks about her leadership mandate: to fight with the LGBTQ+ community for full equality and liberation for all, without exception and to deepen HRC’s commitment to trans justice, racial justice, and reproductive justice.

Press interested in attending and covering the event should RSVP here.

“It is an honor to join these groundbreaking performers on stage for my first HRC National Dinner as incoming president,” said Incoming Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. “The National Dinner is a time for the HRC community to come together in celebration of our queerness, and to honor those who are putting in the work advocating for our community on the ground and on our screens – particularly those, like our honorees, whose work celebrates those who live at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities. As we gear up for the midterm elections, happening just one week after this celebration, it is more important than ever that we demonstrate the power of the LGBTQ+ community – and the growing power of the LGBTQ+ vote.”

“I look forward to a night celebrating the strength, resilience, and dreams of the LGBTQ+ community alongside HRC and my fellow honorees,” said Emmy Winner Sheryl Lee Ralph. “It has been my life’s work to not only tell stories and lift up the voices of Black women, but also to break the silence, shame and stigma around the HIV/AIDS epidemic – which has not ended, even as other health crises continue to disproportionately hit LGBTQ+ people. I am grateful to HRC for sharing their stage with me and for honoring me with the Ally for Equality Award.”

“I am so proud that ‘A League of Their Own’ touched so many people in the LGBTQ+ community. It was incredibly important to me – as a queer woman – to represent the different types of queerness that have always existed on the show,” said Abbi Jacobson. “It is a universal story of resilience and hope – and it’s incredibly gay. I’m so grateful to HRC for honoring our whole team – cast and crew that made this together, and for the entire community’s support of our show.”

“Playing Max on ‘A League of Their Own,’ felt so important,” said Chanté Adams. “Portraying her journey as a Black, queer woman in the 1940s allowed me to showcase Black joy during an era not known to do so, explore the different forms of Black love, and show that Black, queer people have always been here. Thank you to HRC for celebrating our show.”

The 2022 National Dinner is an opportunity for the HRC community to come together before the midterm elections, honor the community’s successes and prepare for the fight ahead at the ballot box and in state legislatures across the country. The inspiring evening is a celebration of LGBTQ+ culture and LGBTQ+ leaders. Funds raised from the event will fund HRC’s work fighting for full equality for all LGBTQ+ people.

Sheryl Lee Ralph, an Emmy Winner, Tony Award nominee, NAACP Image Award nominee and Independent Spirit Award winner, is a staple in the entertainment industry, with an acclaimed career spanning over three decades. Sheryl can currently be seen starring on ABC’s smash hit comedy series “Abbott Elementary” for which she won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Sheryl starred in over 100 episodes of “Moesha,” three seasons of Nickelodeon’s hit series “Instant Mom,” “Ray Donovan” for Showtime, and currently has a recurring role on Freeform’s “Motherland.” On the big screen, she has starred in “The Mighty Quinn,” “Mistress,” “To Sleep with Anger,” and “Sister Act II.” In theater, Sheryl is known for creating the role of Deena Jones in the legendary Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” which earned her Best Actress nods for Tony and Drama Desk Awards. Sheryl most recently appeared on Broadway as Madame Horrible in “Wicked,” becoming the first African-American actress to take on the classic role.

Sheryl is also a passionate health advocate and honored AIDS activist, as the founding director of the DIVA (Divinely Inspired Victoriously Anointed) Foundation 501(C)3 which she created in memory of the many friends she had lost to HIV/AIDS. She also created the critically acclaimed Divas Simply Singing!, an evening of song and entertainment that is the longest consecutive running musical AIDS benefit in the country. Sheryl was awarded the first Red Ribbon Award at the UN for her unique use of the arts in HIV/AIDS activism, and was recently appointed as an AIDS Ambassador for Jamaica’s Ministry of Health. Sheryl is a mother of two with a blended family of four, and loves every moment of motherhood and marriage. She is happily married to State Senator Vincent Hughes of Pennsylvania.

“A League of Their Own” evokes the joyful spirit of Penny Marshall's beloved classic, while widening the lens to tell the story of an entire generation of women who dreamed of playing professional baseball, both in and outside of the AAGPBL. The show follows Carson (Abbi Jacobson) and Max (Chanté Adams) and a new ensemble of sharp and hilarious characters as they carve their paths toward the field, along the way finding their teams and themselves.

Abbi Jacobson is a co-creator, writer, director, executive producer and star of the critically acclaimed show “Broad City,” which was nominated by the Writers Guild of America for ‘Best Comedy Series.’ Currently, Abbi can be seen executive producing, co-showrunning and starring in the Amazon Prime Video series, “A League of Their Own,” based on the 1992 film of the same name. Most recently, Abbi can be heard voicing the character “Katie Mitchell,” a creative outsider who is accepted into the school of her dreams, in the Netflix animated film “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” The film received an Academy Award® nomination for “Best Animated Feature” and won eight Annie Awards for animation, including “Best Animated Feature.” Abbi can also be heard as “Bean” in Netflix’s animated series “Disenchantment” by Matt Groenig. Jacobson previously starred in Netflix’s “6 Balloons,” alongside Dave Franco, the animated Warner Bros. film, “The LEGO Ninjago Movie,” directed by Charlie Bean and Paul Fisher and opposite Olivia Munn, Justin Theroux, and Fred Armisen, and the Universal feature film “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.”

In 2018, Abbi released the book I Might Regret This, published by Grand Central Publishing which hit the New York Times Best Sellers List. She is already a New York Times-bestselling author of her illustrated book, Carry This Book, which showcases bright, quirky, and colorful line drawings at the world around us, all through the framework of what we carry. She also has a podcast in collaboration with MoMA and WNYC, titled, A Piece of Work.

Chanté Adams can currently be seen in the Amazon series, “A League of Their Own,” opposite Abbi Jacobson. Most recently, Chanté Adams was the lead opposite Michael B. Jordan in Sony’s 2021 Christmas film, “A Journal for Jordan,” directed by Denzel Washington. Chanté was recently seen on Broadway in the Dominique Morisseau’s production of “Skeleton Crew,” where she starred opposite Phylicia Rashad and directed by Tony award winner, Ruben Santiago-Hudson. She is currently working on the David E. Kelley’s Netflix limited series “A Man in Full” opposite Diane Lane, Jeff Daniels, and William Jackson Harper. Previously, she was singled out for her outstanding performance in Universal’s romantic drama “The Photograph” opposite Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield directed by Stella Meghie. In 2018, she starred in the feature film “Bad Hair,” written and directed by Justin Simien, which premiered at Sundance. She can also be seen starring opposite John David Washington and Anthony Ramos in
“Monsters and Men,” directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green. The film competed in dramatic competition at Sundance and screened as a Special Presentation at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival.

In 2017, Adams was the recipient of the Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Performance at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival for her powerful portrayal of 80’s hip-hop pioneer Roxanne Shante in Michael Larnell’s biopic “Roxanne Roxanne,” produced by Forest Whitaker’s Significant Productions and Pharrell Williams' IamOTHER Entertainment which premiered in theatres and on Netflix. On stage, Chanté starred in Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s adaptation of August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” MA at Two Rivers Theatre in October 2016. Vanity Fair named her as one of the 9 “Rising Stars to Watch” in their September 2018 issue.

For media interested in attending the dinner, please RSVP here.

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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