CNN analyst Angela Rye and Extra correspondent A.J. Calloway hosted the annual “Root 100” Gala in New York City. For the first time, the event that celebrates black excellence in different fields will air on Fusion.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters accepted the first-ever Gladiator Award for Public Service. Comedian/actress Franchesca Ramsey, New York Times journalist Yamiche Alcindor,  Women’s March Co-President Tamika D. Mallory, attorney S. Lee Merritt, Hip Hop artist Common, The View co-host Sunny Hostin, model-actress-editor Veronica Webb, and Fusion’s Kimberly Brooks attended the gala as well.

“At a time when things may feel at their darkest, these are the individuals providing the light, illuminating our culture, bringing issues out of the shadows and forcing a society, often reticent to deal with racial issues, to fully face the realities of black life in America,” says The Root’s Editor-in-Chief Danielle Belton. “Whether one wants to see them or not, their light shines upon all as a beacon commanding our attention and calling our eyes to black brilliance in the face of insurmountable odds.”

Belton adds, “These 100 honorees–from entertainment, the arts, sports, media, politics, business, science and technology – not only represent the best of what America has to offer, they are America, in all its exceptionalism. They are what makes our country great and we should be so bold to listen to what they have to say about love, life, work and art in this country of ours.”

“The Root 100” primetime special is scheduled to air on Sunday, November 19 at 9 pm. To see the full list of 2017 honorees click it.

Check out a promo video for “The Root 100 On Fusion” below.

TheRoot100 2017

Photo via FerenComm