Lehman College 2018 Gala Honorees

Photo of Kerry WashingtonKerry Washington

The Lehman Award for Artistic Achievement

Actress, producer, director and activist Kerry Washington broke barriers by becoming the first African-American woman since 1974 to headline a network TV drama. Her portrayal of crisis-manager Olivia Pope on the hit Shonda Rhimes show Scandal has earned her numerous accolades including Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG Best Actress nominations as well as an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress.

In 2016, Washington launched her production company Simpson Street, developing broadcast, cable and digital projects. Confirmation, which Washington starred in and executive produced, was Simpson Street’s first project, produced with ABC Signature as well as Groundswell Productions and HBO Films. For her performance as Anita Hill, Washington received Emmy, Critics’ Choice, NAACP, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations. The film was also nominated for Outstanding Television Movie.

Film credits include OUR SONG, SAVE THE LAST DANCE, LIFT (for which she received an Independent Spirit nomination), SHE HATE ME, RAY, THE DEAD GIRL, I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE, LAKEVIEW TERRACE, MOTHER AND CHILD, NIGHT CATCHES US, DJANGO UNCHAINED and CARS 3.

Washington is active in many social and political causes. She served on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities during the Obama Administration. She was honored with the NAACP President’s Award, the GLAAD Media Vanguard Award and the ACLU Bill of Rights Award, and was included on Time Magazine’s Time 100 list of the Most Influential People in the World. Kerry is a Turnaround Artist with Turnaround Arts: California.

Washington currently serves as both a brand ambassador and creative consultant for Neutrogena. She is also a brand ambassador for Movado.