The Caribbean Heritage Organization announced that Grace Byers of the Fox Television smash hit “Empire” will receive the Rising Sun Award at the 2017 Caribbean Heritage Salute to Hollywood & Excellence Gala, to be held on June 17 at the Hilton Universal Studios in Hollywood, California.
The Caymanian actress is known for her breakout role as Anika Calhoun on the show, where she stars opposite Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson.
Ms. Byers, nee Gealey, attended college at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she received a B.A. in theater arts.
Upon graduation, she was accepted into the University of California Irvine’s graduate program and obtained her M.F.A in acting.
A successful showcase took her from Los Angeles to New York City, where she performed professionally. Several theater productions, short films and national commercials led her to Chicago where she is currently filming “Empire.”
She grew up in the Cayman Islands. As a multiracial young girl and child of deaf adults, she was bullied throughout her childhood. Her experiences have led her to write her first book, “I Am Enough,” coming out in 2018. The book was born out of her impassioned desire to empower young girls against the negative effects of bullying.
In her spare time, she volunteers with the non-profit anti-bullying organization, Saving Our Daughters. She lives with her husband, actor and “Empire” co-star Trai Byers and their little maltipoo, Baron Byers, in Los Angeles.
Ms. Byers recently shot the indie thriller “Bent,” opposite Karl Urban, Sofia Vergara and Andy Garcia.
Caribbean Heritage Organization
The Caribbean Heritage Organization was formed in January 2007 to celebrate the rich and diverse contributions of Caribbean people, Caribbean-Americans and friends of the Caribbean to the international society. This is done through the conservation and education of Caribbean arts and culture.
In celebration of Caribbean-American Heritage Month, the organization produces the official Los Angeles Caribbean-American Heritage month gala and the CaribbeanLens International Film & Art Festival “Where Hollywood Celebrates the Caribbean.”