*New York — The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) has announced the 2010 Prestige Awards honorees as part of the organization’s 23rd Anniversary Weekend of events.

The Prestige Awards reception will be held at New York’s LVMH Tower on Sunday, October 31, 2010 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm. This event is co-chaired by Gail Johnson, Executive Director of Human Resources at AT&T, and Gail E. Slaughter, Esq., Counsel, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC. The Prestige Award, TMCF’s highest award, is presented annually to individuals who embody the leadership, commitment and legacy of the late Justice Thurgood Marshall.

“The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is proud to bestow the 2010 Prestige Award upon six outstanding honorees,” says Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., President & CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. “Judith Agism, Audrey Bernard, Carol Campbell, Shon Gables, Jocelyn Taylor and Nathan Hale Williams are all cutting edge individuals whose successes, achievements and contributions to the community are truly inspirational.”

The Prestige Awards cocktail reception is held annually as part of TMCF’s Anniversary Weekend, which brings together more than 600 students from across the country for a Leadership Institute and Recruitment Conference. With over 100 corporations and government agencies participating, these students are provided an excellent opportunity to network with and learn from noted industry executives. The Anniversary Weekend culminates with a gala Awards Dinner which is the signature fundraising event for the organization. More information can be found at: www.thurgoodmarshallfund.org.

Audrey J. Bernard
Internationally recognized society columnist and photojournalist Audrey J. Bernard is known as the premier chronicler of Urban and African American activities nationwide. Ms. Bernard has served as the Lifestyles & Society and Fashion & Beauty editors for one of the country’s preeminent African American newspapers, the New York Beacon, for the past 25 years where she pens her signature column, “Audrey’s Society Whirl.”

Known for her gilded pen reporting as she travels about New York society covering social events for discerning partygoers, her social wings have also landed her in Martha’s Vineyard, the Hamptons, St. Martins, St. Barth, South Beach, Fire Island, the Caribbean and Europe where she was a resident of Paris, France for ten years.

Ms. Bernard’s columns have also appeared in the Amsterdam News, the Harlem News Group, the Daily Challenge, the New American, the Afro Times, the Black American, the New York Trend and the New York Voice, and she was the first African American to ever write for the then 75-year-old Fire Island News. Her byline has also graced the pages of several urban magazines.

The “Queen of Fluff” has internet and radio presence as well, appearing twice weekly on the Electronic Urban Report (eurweb.com) and as the east coast editor for radio syndicate, RadioScope, where her interviews with top celebrities can be heard in over 50 urban markets.

Ms. Bernard is a prominent member of the Women Film Critics Circle that annually issues “best” and “worst” film awards; and her insightful film reviews are carried on the WFCC website. She has producer creds under her wings having been a fixture on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Public Access Cable Television for over 20 years where she executive produced and co-hosted three widely watched weekly shows: “Swinging Around Town,” which was later changed to “Audrey’s Society Whirl,” and then to “Audrey’s Reel Whirl.”

Ms. Bernard is the recipient of numerous awards and merits for journalistic excellence including the New York Association of Black Journalists Arts/Entertainment Award, The Black Alumni of Pratt Award, the National Action Network’s Women Of Excellence Award, Support Network, Inc.’s Excellence in Education Award and the Den’s Woman History Month Award. In addition, she’s the recipient of numerous citations and certificates of distinction.

Ms. Bernard is equally known for her fabulous parties at such legendary watering spots as The Cellar Restaurant and Leviticus – just to name a few — and at her Upper Westside abode. As a result, she was often referred to as the Black Perle Mesta who was known as the “hostess with the mostest” for her lavish parties. The social butterfly is credited with having coined the popular term, the BBPs (Beautiful Black People), which is still used in numerous “back in the day” circles.

The native Brooklyn, New York divorcee attended the historic Girls High School and Brooklyn College and currently resides in Manhattan, New York.

About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund
The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc., named for the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, was established in 1987 and represents 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 6 law schools located in 22 states and the US Virgin Islands with a population of over 235,000 students. Over the last 23 years, TMCF has awarded more than $100 million in leadership development, programmatic and capacity support, and scholarships enabling more than 12,000 students to attend public HBCUs.

It is the only national organization of its type that provides merit-based scholarships and programmatic support to students attending the nation’s public HBCUs. TMCF also provides internship programs and joins corporate and foundation partners in providing leadership training and support to students preparing for undergraduate and professional schools. TMCF is a 501(c) (3), tax-exempt organization. Please visit the Thurgood Marshall College Fund at www.thurgoodmarshallfund.org.