Entertainment attorney Nina Shaw will be feted as well

By Oliver Gettell
Updated February 02, 2016 at 02:58 AM EST
Credit: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic file

Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross, showbiz multihyphenate Debbie Allen, and entertainment attorney Nina Shaw will be honored at Essence‘s ninth annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, the publication announced Tuesday.

Ross, whose credits also include Girlfriends and Reed Between the Lines, will receive the Fierce & Fearless Award. Allen, an accomplished actress, choreographer, director, and producer known for her work on Fame and Grey’s Anatomy, among others, will receive the Legend Award. Shaw, a founding partner at the firm Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano, will receive the Lincoln Power Award.

The announcement of this year’s honorees comes amid an increasingly active discussion about diversity and inclusion in Hollywood. The Essence luncheon will air one day before the 88th Oscars, which have been widely criticized for the selection of racially homogenous and mostly male nominees. (The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences responded with sweeping changes to its membership.)

Vanessa De Luca, Essence‘s editor-in-chief, said in a statement, “At a time when the conversation about diversity in Hollywood remains prevalent, recognizing the indomitable power and presence of Tracee Ellis Ross, Debbie Allen, and Nina Shaw at our annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon embraces an inclusive and diverse Hollywood community.”

The luncheon will be broadcast Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.