Case Western Reserve University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) will present actress, author and humanitarian Holly Robinson Peete as keynote speaker for its 24th Annual Unity Banquet & Scholarship Benefit.
The event, which recognizes the academic accomplishments of the university’s underrepresented students and graduating seniors, is 7 p.m., Friday, April 11 at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights. The theme for this year's event is “Be the Change.”
 From her first appearance on Sesame Street at age 4 to her most recent role on the comedy series Mike & Molly, Robinson Peete has consistently turned used her celebrity to advocate for issues dear to her heart.
Inspired by her father’s courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease, Robinson Peete, with her husband and former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, formed the HollyRod Foundation in 1997 to help improve the quality of life for people with the progressive disorder of the nervous system that gradually affects movement.
The foundation’s mission expanded in 2005 to provide support and resources to those affected by autism after their eldest son was diagnosed with the disorder.
Through the foundation and her family’s personal experiences, Robinson Peete has become an advocate for consistent and reliable education, outreach and support for both Parkinson’s and autism.
In 2010, Robinson Peete released her second book, an NAACP Image Award winning children’s book about autism from the sibling’s perspective, co-authored by 12-year old Elizabeth Peete, entitled My Brother Charlie (Scholastic).
The annual fundraiser benefits the mission, activities and services of OMA, which supports the success and retention of all students, with specific attention to African-American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American and Pacific Island students. OMA’s web site can be found here:
Banquet tickets are available online for $60 by March 31 and $75 by April 6. For information, call OMA at 216-368-2904.