Rep. Joyce Beatty to attend NAACP Image Awards
There’s a big difference between the U.S. House floor and a Hollywood red carpet, but by Friday night, Rep. Joyce Beatty will know what it feels like to have set foot on both.
The Democratic congresswoman representing parts of central Ohio was invited to attend this year’s NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, Calif. The awards show honors African American achievements in arts and entertainment.
"I'm excited that I get to witness firsthand many African Americans who've been influential through their voice in the arts or through their voice in movies that are based on real life stories," she said.
Hilary Shelton, NAACP Washington Bureau Chief, said the organization invites a handful of policymakers every year based on their "commitment to the NAACP’s work."
“Ever since she’s been on Congress, she’s voted with us 100 percent of the time, and also provided great leadership,” he said.
This year’s awards hold particular interest to Beatty. One of the nominees, “Concussion,” starring Will Smith, focuses on the work of Dr. Ben Omalu, who advanced the research of sports-induced brain trauma — an issue Beatty is passionate about.
In 2013, she co-sponsored a bill that would have required colleges to perform baseline testing on their football players, which led the National Collegiate Athletic Association to hire a neurologist to lead research on the matter.
“We got national attention,” she said. “Often times a bill may never see the light of the day of in the President’s office, but I am so proud that I had the courage to talk about something that had been silent.”