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Jasmine Guy, a performer and social activist best known for her starring role as Whitley Gilbert in the television series "A Different World," will be the guest speaker at the third annual Old Dominion University NAACP Student Image Awards at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20, in the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building Auditorium.

Guy also will receive the university NAACP chapter's Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented to an individual "who has gone above and beyond to help all people and in doing so has made a change in our world." Actor and social activist Danny Glover received the award last year. The awards ceremony and lecture are free and open to the public.

Students involved in the Old Dominion NAACP chapter decided that this year's ceremony, titled "Honor and Diversity: Connecting the World," should include a special tribute to America's armed forces. Special invitees for the evening will include military officials and political dignitaries. Awards also will be presented to the university's top student groups, advisers and community leaders.

Guy has served as the national spokesperson for "Perspectives in African American Art," a program that supports emerging visual artists at museums nationwide. She also initiated and financed the dance and arts program at A Place Called Home, a community safe house for approximately 2,000 children in Southcentral Los Angeles. Se has received six consecutive NAACP Image Awards for her role on "A Different World."

A spinoff of "The Cosby Show," "A Different World" enjoyed a successful run on NBC from 1987 to 1993. The half-hour ensemble situation comedy was the first to immerse America in student life at a historically black college. Over the course of its run, the show was also credited with tackling social and political issues rarely explored in TV fiction, and opening television industry doors to unprecedented numbers of young black actors, writers, producers and directors.

In addition to featuring Lisa Bonet, who first rose to fame on "Cosby," "A Different World" helped launch the careers of Guy, Academy Award-winning actress Marisa Tomei, Kim Wayans, Jada Pinkett and Sinbad. Guy is credited with directing and writing episodes of the show. She has also starred in the television mini-series "Queen," Alex' Haley's sequel to "Roots," as well as the CBS network movie "Stompin' at the Savoy," HBO's "The Boy who Painted Christ Black" and Showtime's "Feast of All Saints". Her film credits include "Harlem Nights" and "School Daze."

She has been a guest on various television series, including "Melrose Place," "Touched by an Angel" and "NYPD Blue." Guy also is a former member of the Alvin Ailey II Dance Company and has appeared in productions of the Broadway musicals "Grease" and "Chicago."

For more information, call 683-3114.

This article was posted on: March 22, 2002

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