With 2020 being designated as the year of the woman, this year’s Women’s History Month program brought together women pioneers in the entertainment business. In celebration of the accomplishment and contributions of women in history, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas celebrated 2 extraordinary individuals. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors presented scrolls to Comedian and Actress, Kym Whitley; and legendary Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway.
“This month we honor the voices of the past, present, and future. Without the heroic actions of many, we certainly would not be where we are today,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said.
The recognition is part of the Second District’s Women’s History Month Celebration honoring Los Angeles County residents who have made outstanding contributions to the arts and entertainment industry. They include:
Kym Whitley is an actress, comedian, director, producer; entrepreneur, and arts advocate. Born and raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio; Whitley got her big break starring in Shelly Garrett’s popular play Beauty Shop. Since then, Whitley has gone on to receive notable roles in major hit series such as; The Parkers, Moesha, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Raising Whitley and Young and Hungry. In addition to all her work as an entertainer, Kym is a dedicated activist. Her ‘Don’t Feed Me’ campaign, dedicated to her son, is a project dedicated to raising awareness about food allergies for children and adults. Finally, Kym holds an honorary doctorate from UVA — Lynchburg and serves on the boards of both The Jefferson Homes Adoption & Foster Home and The Special Needs Network.
Breaking barriers in the entertainment industry, Vanessa Bell Calloway has graced the stage and screen as a television actress and professional dancer. Widely recognized for her critically acclaimed role as Zora Neale Hurston in Letters From Zora. She continued to make her mark in Hollywood by appearing in box office smashes such as; South Side With You, Coming to America, What’s Love Got to Do with, Biker Boyz, Love Don’t Cost A Thing and Cheaper By The Dozen. Vanessa is also a director, producer, and creator. She directed the first episode of her hit series “Saints and Sinners.” When she is not acting, the entertainer can be found spending time with her loving husband Dr. Anthony Calloway and daughters Ashley and Alexandra.
“Many women in history have broken barriers, changed laws and orchestrated some of the most powerful movements in history. They have paved the way so that we and generations to come will have a bright and triumphant future,” commented Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.