Arts + Culture

Usher’s New Look Foundation to Hold Annual World Leadership Conference and Awards

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Usher’s New Look Foundation will host up to 500 youth from around the globe, including the U.K., Africa and Asia, at the World Leadership Conference and Awards at the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta from July 20th – 22nd. The Conference theme, “One World Powered By Service,” will focus on two days of substantive workshops and panels led by New Look youth, as well as newsmakers, business leaders, artists, musicians, journalists and local personalities. The Conference will culminate on Friday, July 22nd with the second annual World Leadership Awards at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Media titan Ted Turner will be honored with the Service Legacy Award, which last year was presented to President Bill Clinton. In addition, the Foundation will award the following for their significant contributions to the advancement of young people in the United States and around the world:  Ford Motor Company will be presented with the Youth Catalyst Award; Maya Kosba will receive the Global Ambassador Youth Award; and Brandon “TD” Hamilton, a New Look alumnus, will be honored with the Global Youth Leadership Award.

The event is co-chaired by four distinguished Atlanta families – John and Cammie Rice, Michael and Lovette Russell, Rutherford and Laura Turner Seydel, and Ralph and Maria de la Vega, as well as co-chairs Anne Sapp and Shera Pillsbury.

“One World Powered By Service” supports unity across boundaries, cultures and ideologies to bring an understanding of global issues including education, poverty, health, injustice, hunger and the environment, and how young people can address them through service. Through collaborative workshops, New Look youth will learn how to provide leadership and guidance to their peers, helping them to develop real-world solutions to global problems. Panels will address hot topic themes such as “Women’s Global Leadership,” “Global Voices in the Media,” and “Expressions from a World Community.”  Usher himself will participate in a special “Usher and Friends Unplugged” workshop with country star John Rich of Big and Rich, as well as teen rock band Radio Silence NYC, where they will discuss how music can create awareness and inspire social change. Radio Silence NYC is most well-known for its anti-bullying anthem and hit single “Renegade,” which the band will perform Wednesday evening.

“In order to truly mentor youth leaders, we have to expose them to discussions of global economics, global challenges, and most importantly, global solutions – which is exactly what the World Leadership Conference does. The Awards will once again celebrate the contributions of individuals who have made a difference in the lives of young people everywhere,” said Usher Raymond, IV, founder of the New Look Foundation.

According to Shawn Wilson, President, New Look Foundation, “We are excited to bring the World Leadership Awards back to Atlanta, and extend them this year to incorporate a Conference where real issues can be discussed and debated, and New Look youth will have a chance to showcase their talents.”

Established in 1999, Usher’s New Look Foundation has mentored over 9,000 youth through over 150,000 hours of training across its four leadership pillars – talent, education, career and service. Through the development of innovative programs and a culture of consistent evaluation, reflection and refinement, New Look has achieved the gold standard in leadership development and success for youth. Now in its twelfth year, New Look has seen 98% of participating youth graduate high school and go on to college.

Among the sponsors of this year’s New Look World Leadership Conference and Awards are: The Coca-Cola Company, Ford Motor Company, Goldman Sachs, Blackbox Creative, General Electric, Georgia Power, Scott Mead, Nothing But Nets, Shell Oil Company, and Western Union. For more information on Usher’s New Look, visit