DETROIT (WWJ) – A black tie affair in Detroit honoring African American men for being positive role models here and across the nation.

The focus of the annual Ford Freedom Award event in Detroit this week; honoring the uplifting and inspiring leaders in the community.

READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Theaters & Politics

NFL Hall of Famer and Detroit native Jerome Bettis, along with R&B recording artist Usher, were presenters at the event.

“Continue to keep your business here in Detroit – keep it home grown no matter how much you see, no matter how much money you make – keep it right here in Detroit,” advised Usher.

READ MORE: CDC: New Listeria Outbreak Tied To 23 Illnesses, 1 Death

Former prisoner, now criminal justice reform advocate Shaka Senghor referenced the future he believed could happen, including being a best selling New York Times author of “Righting My Wrongs.”

“You have to believe in what you are doing,” said Ford Courage Award honoree Senghor. “And once you really believe in it you’ll start accomplishing those things.”

Former Detroit mayor Dave Bing was named one of the 2016 Ford Freedom Scholars.

MORE NEWS: Red Wings Hire Lightning Assistant Derek Lalonde As Coach

The 2016 Ford Freedom Award honored late business tycoon, Wall Street lawyer, and philanthropist Reginald F. Lewis.