Black AIDS Institute 2015 Heroes In The Struggle Reception Gala Reception And Awards Ceremony

Source: Paul Archuleta / Getty


2015 has been a breakout year for Empire star Jussie Smollett.

Before performing at the 2015 BET Awards, Jussie was honored by the Black AIDS Institute during the annual Heroes In The Struggle (H.I.T.S) gala. H.I.T.S pays tribute to Black Americans and the Allies who have contributed in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Previous inductees of the gala include Maxine Waters, Magic Johnson and President Bill Clinton.

According to Euroweb, Smollett was overjoyed when he heard the news about the honor.

“I got the call from Phil Wilson (President and CEO, Black AIDS Institute) who’s been one of my mentors since I was sixteen. He asked if I would be honored by the organization and I said of course. I love what the Black AIDS Institute has done and all of the lives that they’ve changed. I love Phil and to be honored by him is everything.”


Jussie was presented the honor by his sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell and actor/activist Wilson CruzOther recipients of the 2015 award include the executive director of Empower U community health center, Vanessa Mills, Gregorio Millett, the Vice-President and Director of public policy for AMFAR and Janssen Therapeutics.

Jussie even spilled the tea about when we can expect his album to drop and what we can expect to hear from season two of Empire.

“It’s going to be fun. For ‘Empire’ season two, I’ve been recording with everybody from obviously Timbaland to Jim Beanz and also Swizz Beatz and Ne-Yo so it’s going to be dope. It’s going to be excellent!”

In case you lost count, ‘Empire’ is 78 days away. Yes, we are counting down.

Way to go, Jussie!

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