MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The National Civil Rights Museum will host the inaugural Black Men Crowned awards on Thursday where they will recognize 10 black men for the difference they are making in the Memphis community.

“What do we have specifically catered to us?”

That was the question that founder Justin Hart asked himself two years ago.

“I think having an event like Black Men Crowned will kind of change people’s perspectives and hopefully change the dynamic in the city of Memphis, because we are highlighting Black men that are doing extremely well,” Hart said.

Those 10 men were selected by an advisory committee and each recipient comes from a different background, ranging from sports, business owners, educators to community activists.

Having a diverse lineup was important to organizers.

“It’s important for us to take this opportunity to not only celebrate them, but to also show them as a shining example that, you know, you don’t have to be, you know, you don’t have to fit into a cookie cutter shape. You don’t have to be a monolith. You can be your version of Black excellence as a young Black man,” said Executive Producer Steven Sanders.

The sold-out event is being put on by a group of friends from Memphis who hope that this event can break the stigma associated with black men in Memphis and inspire the next generation.

“We’re honoring people who, you know, may not get that recognition, so I think it gives the youth, the average person that doesn’t hold this great leadership position, the opportunity to see, like, you know, hey, maybe I can make a difference,” said Lauren Keys, one of the coordinators of the event.

The Black Men Crowned awards ceremony will start on Thursday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at the National Civil Rights Museum.

It’s already sold out, but organizers are already planning for next year.