Image Award Winner Kerry Washington, Sitcom Star Rachel True and American Idol Finalist Justin Guarini to Appear At Leadership 500 Summit

Entertainers part of vanguard of young socially conscious performers

Kerry Washington, winner of the 2005 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress; Rachel True, star of the UPN hit series, "Half and Half" and Justin Guarini, runner-up on Fox TV's first "American Idol," will attend the NAACP Leadership 500 Summit in Destin, Fla. Washington, True and Guarini represent an expanding group of entertainers who support the civil rights activities of the NAACP.

The first annual Leadership 500 Summit is being held to ask the next generation of leaders and supporters of the civil rights agenda to join the movement for social justice in all walks of life. Young adults aged 25-50 have been invited to the Summit to outline some of the problems facing minorities in the 21st Century.

Roslyn Brock, Vice Chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors, and the inspiration behind the Summit, said: "Since Hollywood is not immune to the problems that affect many segments of the African American community, it is vital that we have involvement from committed and talented performers such as Washington, True and Guarini."

During the meeting, May 26-29, there will be a series of workshops and meetings to discuss strategies and ideas for eradicating discrimination against racial and ethnic groups in America. Attendees will have an opportunity to network with colleagues from similar or different backgrounds who want to attack some of the problems that plague America today.

Kerry Washington, who starred in the movie "Ray," is scheduled to appear at the dinner on Saturday, May 28. A native of New York City, Washington is co-starring with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the soon to be released film "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." In the movie "Ray," Washington played the real-life character Delia Bea Robinson, wife of Ray Charles.

Since 2002 Rachel True has starred in "Half and Half" as the character Mona Rose Thorne. True became interested in acting as a child. Her first break came with a role on the NBC sitcom "The Cosby Show" playing a friend of Theo's, and she was brought back for three more episodes.

Singer and actor Justin Guarini, who once sang in the Atlanta Boys Choir, was one of 10,000 potential American Idols and attracted national attention as one of the 10 finalists on the first program. He eventually became one of the show's two finalists. Guarini, who is scheduled to appear at the Saturday, May 28 luncheon, is currently working on a new CD.

The Summit, which will be held at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, will open with an evening keynote address from NAACP Chairman Julian Bond followed by two days of workshops, interactive panel discussions and facilitated general sessions led by prominent private and non-profit leaders and scholars from across the country. There will also be a town hall meeting moderated by Harvard Law School Professor Charles Ogletree. Workshop topics include economic development, the media, education, religion, law, health and entertainment.

In addition to Bond and Ogletree, speakers include: the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona; former Rep. Jack Kemp; Hon. Alisha Thomas-Morgan, Georgia State Representative - District 39; political consultant Donna Brazile; Dr. Monica Coleman; Dr. David C. Forbes Jr., pastor of the Columbus Christian Center; Earl G. Graves Jr., president & COO, Earl G. Graves Publishing Co.; Judge Greg Mathis, Superior Court Judge 36th District of Michigan; Marc Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League; Janet Murguia, president and CEO, National Council of La Raza; the Rev. Robert Paul Hollman, Pastor, Beulah Baptist Church, Dothan, Alabama; and Amy Wilkins- Executive Director, Trust of Early Education (TEE).

Other speakers include: Minister Ava Muhammad, national spokeswoman for the Nation of Islam; comedian Jonathan Slocumb; polling consultant Cornell Belcher; Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (D., Fla.); Omar Wasow, Executive Director, BlackPlanet.Com; L. Londell McMillian, entertainment attorney; Danita J. Barbee, National President, Urban Financial Services Coalition and Dr. Robert Franklin, Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics, Emory University.

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

CONTACT: NAACP Office of Communications 410.580.5125

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