‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett to receive the Chairman’s Award

​​Smollett plays Jamal Lyon on the Fox TV show.

Jussie Smollett

​The 32 year-old actor who stars ​on the hit ​television show “Empire” will receive the NAACP​’s highest honor – the Chairman’s Award.

​​Smollett, ​who plays Jamal Lyon on the show, is a longtime activist who has actively stood up for civil rights, HIV/AIDS awareness and more social justice causes since age 15. ​He ​volunteers with nonprofits organizations such as the Black AIDS Institute, Artists for a New South Africa, and United Negro College Fund​ and is an outspoken advocate for LGBT issues and extremely active in GLAAD.

Smollett​​ ​will​ be presented with the accolade during the 47th NAACP Image Awards broadcast on Friday, February 5.

The NAACP Chairman’s Award is bestowed in recognition of special achievement and distinguished public service. Past honorees include ​​Tyler Perry, Former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, Aretha Franklin, Bono, then-Senator Barack Obama, The Dave Matthews Band, Danny Glover, and Forest Whitaker.

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