Photo by Moses Robinson Getty Images Entertainment
Usher Raymond IV recently celebrated the 16th anniversary of his non-profit organization The New Look Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia with the "United To Ignite" luncheon. Atlanta native rapper, and actor Ludacris hosted the gala once again. The President’s Circle Awards Luncheon was held at the St. Regis Atlanta hotel (in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood). Usher created the organization at the age of 20, with the backing of his mother.
Usher immediately took a moment to discuss the importance of education, empowerment and exposure.
"The biggest threat to the tsunami amongst us is close mindedness. Without exposure we know nothing. Without an education we know nothing. Education, resources, opportunity... when they all come together they can make you infinite. Nelson Mandela said, education is the most powerful weapon which you use to change the world.
Ludacris followed saying,
"It's about uniting to ignite and supporting each other. We want to engage new individuals in this youth movement. It's about getting all hands on deck."
The luncheon celebrated community influencers that have inspired youth to pursue their passions while making a significant impact in their respective professional fields. The luncheon was also an opportunity for New Look supporters and community influencers to come together, enjoy live music performances by the students, mingle with community influencers, and recognize the award honorees whose efforts have transformed the lives of under served young people around the globe.
Each year, New Look honors individuals, organizations and corporations that are creatively empowering youth as leaders and change agents around the world. This year's honorees included Ludacris (Ignitor Of Service), Lt. Casey Cagle (Ignitor of Education), Michele Lai (Ignitor of Global Youth Empowerment), and Elizabeth Williams (Ignitor Of Global Youth Leadership).
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was also in attendance. Grammy award-winning superstar Usher told about 400+ attendees that he hopes to gain more of their support, and for corporate leaders to join forces with him to “create a spark” for young students. Usher encouraged those in attendance to carry the light out of the room and pass the torch to others for the youth education movement. Usher reminded the community leaders that they were blessed to be a blessing to someone else. The New Look choir and dance team closed out the luncheon with a performance of their own remix of the popular hit "Uptown Funk". Check out more photos from the event below. Photos by Moses Robinson Getty Images Entertainment.
The 2015 United to Ignite Luncheon was presented by Ford Motor Company. Other sponsors included Arby’s, WNBA Atlanta Dream, Bank of America, BET Networks, FedEx, General Electric, Georgia Power Company, The Home Depot, MGM Resorts International, PayPal, Sony Records, Southwest Airlines, Travelers and more.