Star Trek's beloved Nichelle Nichols will honored at the Essence 7th Annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon on February 27 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Awards will be bestowed upon Oscar nominee Lupita Nyong’o (Best Breakthrough Performance), Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs (Trailblazer Award) and award-winning director/writer Ava DuVernay. Nichols, the actress and activist known to millions for iconic portrayal of Lt. Uhura, will be feted along with Dr. Maya Angelou, Diahann Carroll, Jim Brown, Denise Nicholas and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine guest star Clarence Williams III, as Champions of the Civil Rights Movement on the 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
As fans know, Nichols nearly departed Star Trek mid-run, but during a chance meeting at an NAACP event, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. convinced her to stay. Post TOS, Nichols helped recruit the earliest minority astronauts for the Space Shuttle Program, including Dr. Sally Ride, the first American female accepted into the program; Colonel Guion Bluford, who became the first African-American astronaut; Lori Garver, who went on the serve as Deputy Administrator; and Charles Bolden, the current National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator.
Nichols is, at the moment, executive producing an upcoming television series titled Noah’s Room. She also continues to act and appear at Star Trek and sci-fi conventions worldwide.
StarTrek.com spoke to Nichols about receiving the Essence Champions Award, and she had this to say: "It's wonderful. When I first heard about it I thought they wanted me to be a presenter. I'm so proud to be an honoree."
StarTrek.com, on behalf of fans everywhere, offers our congratulations to Nichols.
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