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Russell Simmons Honored With GLAAD Award

Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Hip-hop entrepreneur and activist Russell Simmons was honored at the GLAAD Media Awards during its annual ceremony on Saturday (March 19) in New York City. Other honorees included pop singer Ricky Martin, comedian Tina Fey, anchor Anderson Cooper and Oprah.

“This year’s honorees, nominees and award recipients represent diverse stories that are building acceptance and understanding about our community through their excellent work,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. “GLAAD thanks all in attendance for joining us and voicing their support for equality.”

Clad in a smooth baby blue blazer and bowtie, Simmons gave a moving speech that invoked Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s point that civil rights can’t be achieved unless every human being has equal rights. He was given the Excellence in Media Award by Rev. Al Sharpton, and also paid tribute to him as a mentor and inspiration.

“I’m humbled having one of my heroes and mentors, Rev. Sharpton, giving me this award,” Simmons said in his speech. “This is for all of us who step outside of our comfort zone and fight for the rights of others… I’m honored and appreciative and I want to thank you.”

Check out some pictures from the ceremony here and see Simmons’ speech below in a clip shot by a member of the audience.

Watch Russell Simmons’ GLAAD Award Acceptance Speech

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