Since its founding in London in 1997, the Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy has successfully celebrated the United Kingdom’s ethnically varied society by recognising diversity in media and honouring inspirational “multicultural” icons from around the world with the EMMA Lifetime Achievement Award.
Prestigious recipients of the award include Muhammad Ali who in 1999 supported our initiative with the following statement: "As in the United States, Britain is lucky to draw from the talents of a community rich in ethnic diversity." Other Lifetime Achievement award winners include Nelson Mandela (2000), Lord Richard Attenborough (2001), Ray Charles and Maya Angelou (2002), Stevie Wonder (2003) and Sir Bill Morris (2004).
The success of the EMMAs from its humble beginnings has been due to our ability to celebrate humanitarianism around the world and highlight the multicultural values and standards of professional excellence that cross traditional cultural divides whilst maintaining cross-cultural communications at its core. Our internationally renowned patrons and partnerships with global organisations such as the U.N through Kofi Annan and individuals such as Nelson Mandela has enabled EMMA to serve as a meaningful bridge for multicultural exchange throughout the world in these troubled times.
EMMA is looking forward to taking an exciting new step in our organisation’s history. Future EMMA Awards will be hosted in international locations, where host countries will be able to highlight their own successful multicultural achievements in media and join in a global celebration of humanitarianism, cosmopolitanism and cultural diversity.
EMMA is proud to announce that we are preparing for the 2009 EMMA Awards to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in March. Brazil is the biggest country in South America, with borders along every single country in the continent aside from Chile and Ecuador, and is one of the ten largest economies in the world. The diverse city of Rio de Janeiro has been chosen to host the prestigious award ceremony because it is one of the cultural epicentres of a truly dynamic multi-racial and multi-ethnic nation.
The Brazilian EMMA Awards marks the beginning of a wonderful opportunity to represent and promote Brazil’s immense cultural strength and heritage to a global community. Among Brazil’s diverse population of just under 200 million are descendents of the following groups of migrations:
- Amerindians, descendents of the groups that migrated from Siberia across the Bering Strait around 9000 BCE.
- Portuguese colonists and settlers who began arriving in 1500.
- Africans who were originally brought to the country as slaves as early as 1530 and until the end of the slave trade in 1850. Brazil now has the biggest black population outside of Africa.
- Diverse groups of immigrants from Europe, Asia and the Middle East who came to Brazil during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Although Brazilians represent a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, they share a common language of Portuguese. They also share a passion for football – having won the FIFA World Cup a record of five times, Brazil’s football team is one of the best in the world – and a joie de vivre during the country’s annual Carnival – the four-day national celebration, literally meaning “farewell to the flesh,” is the largest party in the world.
Emma is honoured to be part of an equally significant occasion for a plurality of individuals and organisations to unite in celebration of Brazil’s thriving multicultural society and in recognition of its diverse media industry.