As Black History Month 2016 comes to a close, the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC) and Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAACC) are once again preparing to host a group of remarkable figures in the black community who have made positive lasting—or fresh—impacts on culture and the community.

“The TACC and GLAAACC have enjoyed a tradition of paying tribute to African Americans—past, present and up and coming—for over almost two decades,” says Tracy Underwood, Chair of the Black History Celebration Committee. “We come together annually to recognize the contributions of African Americans who have made a difference on the world stage as well as those who have changed lives in our local community. This year is no exception as we celebrate the many achievements of those being honored at this event.”

The theme for this year’s celebration, Breaking Barriers: Paving the Way to a Brighter Future, highlights the ways in which this year’s honorees have challenged the status quo to create positive pathways to change—paving the road for upcoming generations to follow in their footsteps.

Says Jac Folkert, Chairwoman of the Board for the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, “This year the chambers are delighted to recognize outstanding achievements by honoring Sam “Bam” Cunningham (NFL football player and USC Hall of Famer), Cheryl Cooley (lead guitarist for the all girls band “Klymaxx”), Synthia Saint James (visual artist and author), Rose Royce (American Soul/R&B group with many hit singles including “Carwash” and “Wishing on a Star”), Kim Turner (Transit Director, City of Torrance), Tori Correia (Student, California State University Dominguez Hills), and the Don Cornelius Foundation (an organization formed by the family of Don C. Cornelius, creator of “Soul Train”).”

Among those who will be present to show support for this year’s honorees are Secretary of State Alex Padilla; Pastor Wayne Chaney, Jr., who will give the invocation; and Ted Lange, Master of Ceremonies, who was also an honoree during the 2015 Black History Celebration.

“I’m proud to join the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce to celebrate Black History Month and honor those who are paving the way to a brighter future in our community,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla says. “As Secretary of State I am committed to opening wide the doors of democracy and empowering more Californians to start a business. An inclusive democracy is fundamental to building a more inclusive economy.”

The Black History Celebration will take place on February 24th, 2016 at the Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach, 3635 Fashion Way in Torrance.

by Brandon Smith

Brandon is the Communications Coordinator for the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce. His primary responsibilities include design, marketing, and editorial. He also designs and maintains Feel free to contact him at any time.

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