Special Needs Network, Inc.

SNN president honored at 2015 African American Vanguard Awards

Areva Martin - 2015 African American Vanguard Award Recipient and President of SNN

Areva Martin – 2015 African American Vanguard Award Recipient and President of SNN

October 12, 2015 – Noted civil rights attorney, special needs advocate, TV commentator, and SNN’s own Areva Martin will be honored at the 2015 African American Vanguard Awards by the National Action Network and MSNBC hosts and civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton. The event will take place at the California African American Museum on Thursday, October 15. Martin will receive the Mervyn Dymally Excellence Award for her work as a civil rights attorney and autism advocacy. Other Distinguished Award recipients include CA State Senator Isadore Hall, Los Angeles School Board Member Dr. George McKenna and AEG executive Kevin McDowell.


“I am thrilled to be recognized by the Vanguard Awards and am looking forward to joining with my colleagues to celebrate the amazing contributions African Americans make to the city of Los Angeles.” Areva Martin stated. “To join the list of distinguished former honorees including Congresswoman Karen Bass, LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and California State Senator Holly Mitchell, is humbling.”


Martin, selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer for 2014 and 2015, is known to audiences across the country from her regular appearances on The Dr. Phil Show, The Doctors, Anderson Cooper 360, Nancy Grace, Good Morning America and various other daytime talk shows and cable news shows including CNN, MSNBC, HLN and Al Jazeera. Areva has been an outspoken voice on issues of race and police excessive force and has joined national civil rights leaders in calling for national reforms to the criminal justice system.


Areva is also the founder and President of Special Needs Network Inc., a Los Angeles based non-profit organization created specifically to raise awareness of issues that impact individuals with autism and related disabilities living in underserved and marginalized communities. She has raised millions of dollars for autism and is leading the organization on a campaign to build the state’s first-ever autism medical health home for kids as a part of the historic Martin Luther King Hospital health campus.


More than 600 guests are expected to attend the Vanguard Awards which will not only acknowledge the six Distinguished Award recipients, but will also pay tribute to the 100 Most Influential African American honorees. African Americans have played a significant role in the history of Los Angeles for centuries and continue to remain an integral part of the city today. Recently Lord, Bush & Randolph, LLC. (LBR, LLC), creator of the 100 Most Influential in Los Angeles, in conjunction with the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Action Network (NAN-LA founded by the Rev. Al Sharpton), asked a list of top African-American contemporary academics, artists, civic organizations and leaders to ultimately select the 100 most impactful African-American individuals in Los Angeles and surrounding communities.


The event is free and open to the public. Registration in advance is requested.

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