Kym Whitley To Host TMCF’s Leaders & Legends Gala


WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Actress and comedian Kym Whitley will serve as host of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s 36th Annual “Leaders and Legends” Fundraising Gala on Saturday, September 23, 2023 at the Washington, D.C. Hilton Hotel.

“We are grateful for Kym Whitley’s willingness to host our annual gala,” TMCF CEO & President Harry L. Williams said. “As a HBCU graduate, Kym understands the mission of TMCF and how we work hard to continue the work of Justice Thurgood Marshall. She’s a well-respected entertainer who has enjoyed an excellent career. We are looking forward to laughing with Kym as we gather to celebrate excellence.”

This highly anticipated event marks the culmination of an impactful week for TMCF, including the Wells Fargo-sponsored Leadership Institute from September 20-23.


Whitley’s presence highlights TMCF’s prestigious and star-studded black-tie affair that will honor three remarkable individuals who have made significant contributions to society.

NBA Hall of Famer and four-time NBA champion, Shaquille O’Neal, will receive the esteemed Breaking Barriers Award. Thasunda Brown Duckett, the Chief Executive Officer of TIAA, will be recognized as the CEO of the Year. Additionally, the outstanding achievements of Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr., President of Alabama State University, as the Educator of the Year, will be celebrated. Rhythm & blues legend Chante’ Moore will be performing.

Whitley became Hollywood’s go-to-girl with her smooth transition as a talented, comedic actress in numerous television shows, namely, Bounce TV’s record-breaking debut launch, Act Your Age, which stars Kym Whitley, Tisha Campbell and Yvette Nicole Brown. Kym has had notable performances in HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, ABC’s My Wife And Kids, Two Broke Girls and Made For Love on HBO Max.

Whitley starred in her own docu-series, Raising Whitley on the OWN network, and in Netflix’s sitcom, Young & Hungry.  Recently, she teamed up with the brilliant mind of Lena Waithe, to produce a scripted audio comedy series that resembles her life entitled KYM on Audible. Whitley and Waithe previously worked together on the Netflix comedy series, Master of None.

Whitley can be seen and heard regularly on her self-produced, two-time NAACP Image Award-winning podcast Two Funny Mamas alongside Sherri Shepherd. Other television credits include The Neighborhood, The Upshaws, Call Your Mother, Twenties, Fuller House, and classics such as The Wayans Brothers and The Parkers. Film credits include Hubie Halloween, Next Friday, Along Came Polly, College Road Trip and more.

In addition to all her work as an entertainer, Kym is a dedicated activist. Her ‘Don’t Feed Me’ campaign began as something she did for her son Joshua, and it evolved into an ongoing, high-profile project to raise awareness of food allergies for children and adults. Kym holds an honorary doctorate from UVA — Lynchburg, as well as a Bachelor of Science from Fisk University. She serves on the board of directors for both The Special Needs Network of L.A. and The Jefferson Memorial Home for Foster Children.

Tables and Seats for the Gala are still available. For more information about Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Gala or this year’s honorees, please visit TMCF’s website at

NOTE: Members of the working press, who wish to cover this event, must obtain press credentials. To obtain credentials, contact Rob Knox at [email protected].

Established in 1987, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the Black College Community. TMCF member schools include publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). Publicly supported HBCUs enroll over 80% of all students attending HBCUs. Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education spaces. The organization is also a source for top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.


CONTACT: Rob Knox Thurgood Marshall College Fund 6108001044 [email protected] 

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