By Michal Ortner
Tamela Mann and Irene Gandy, two popular gospel artists, recently received the “Salute Her: Superwoman Making a Difference Award” at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem. This is the fourth year that this award, which recognizes different women for their “commitment to making a positive contribution to strengthening their respective communities,” has been handed out.
“I think it’s a great honor,” Mann said. “I believe wholeheartedly to give back because of my upbringing. You know raised I ain’t gonna say in the ghetto – but very poor not to say that’s a horrible thing; but to be able to come from very less fortunate to be able to give to someone else is very important to me.”
Mann is currently working with her husband of 27 years, David Mann, on projects like “Mann and Wife,” a show aired on Bounce Network. Growing up, Mann was the youngest out of 14 children and knows what it is like to be in need. To her, it is just as important to give back now.
In one special moment of the evening, David Mann addressed his wife from the podium, saying, “I plan on spending another hundred years with her, I love you and I am so proud of you.”
“If you have somebody in your corner, you just need to listen to them, make it happen, [and] work through it,” Tamela Mann said while receiving her award.
Gandy, who is currently busy with Broadway productions like “Porgy and Bess” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” is renowned as the first African-American theater press agent and publicist.
Gandy shared that she has always “liked to promote but liked to educate as well” in regards to advising actors and entertainers about “what they should ask for and what they should get.”
Some other women who were recognized at the event were talk show host Wendy Williams, actress and activist Malinda Williams, Lieutenant Colonel Latrecia Littles-Floyd, CEO and Publisher of Odyssey Media Linda Spradley Dunn, civil rights activist Hazel Dukes, CNN news anchor Michaela Pereira, and Comcast Vice President of Community Investment Charisse Lillie,
“To me, with these women, it means a whole lot because these are women who are really making a difference on their own terms,” said Gandy.
The funds that were raised during award night will go to a non-profit organization out of New Jersey, Distributing Dignity, which provides necessary hygienic products for homeless women in the area.