Washington, DC –The 29th Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner last evening raised more than $1.6 million for programs fostering diversity in the cable industry. More than 1,000 industry executives attended the dinner hosted by actress, host, and author Sherri Shepherd, who entertained the audience courtesy of ASPiRE and gmc TV.

Making a surprise appearance, world-renowned actor, recording artist and businesswoman Jennifer Lopez shared the importance of multicultural programming. Her presence at the dinner followed yesterday’s announcement of her new partnership with nuvoTV.Last evening Lopez said, "I believe the time is now for all Americans to be able to enjoy wonderful entertainment that reflects a more modern Latino, an accurate picture of the rich, multicultural life of our nation's outstanding community. We have a lot of work to do but I am confident that only by leaving old notions of Latino entertainment and stereotypes behind, and reflecting today's reality, can we meet viewers’ expectations and we can succeed as an industry together."

The Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls, a commission of media leaders, subject experts and advocates for children spearheaded by the Girl Scouts of the USA, was presented with the Diversity Advocate Award. Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, accepted the honor that is given to an organization outside of the cable industry that has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to diversity.

Cox Communications was honored with The Diversity Champion Award, an award annually given to individuals or organizations that act as catalysts for diversity within their respective organizations, or throughout the industry. In recent years, Cox has made a strong commitment to increase diversity in its workforce, supplier base and philanthropic endeavors. Specifically, efforts led by Cox President, Pat Esser to spearhead a corporate diversity council, have consistently been recognized by a variety of organizations including Diversity, Inc., Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) and the Human Rights Campaign. Cox’s corporate diversity council has ensured that diversity and inclusion receive focused attention and action, and has successfully established local diversity councils in each of the company’s markets to further tailor diversity efforts.

Funds raised from the dinner help fund the activities of the Walter Kaitz Foundation’s diversity efforts, along with the programs and activities of the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC), and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT). The initiatives of these organizations focus on leadership and professional development, career coaching, skills training, mentoring, and internships.

Further information about the event and information about the activities of the organization can be found on the Walter Kaitz Foundation's website.