51st Annual Frederick Douglass Dinner and Awards
On May 17, 2016 over 400 guests joined us at Pier Sixty for the 51st Annual Frederick Douglass Dinner and Awards honoring Michael Cordozo, Amalgamated Bank, Sherry B. Bronfman and Deutsch for their commitment to service and leadership. Every year the Frederick Douglass Dinner provides the opportunity to support New York Urban League’s college access, STEM, employment and advocacy programs as well as award scholarships to deserving students throughout NYC and surrounding boroughs. It was a night to remember sponsored by Gala Co-Chair Moet Hennessy USA.
Opening remarks were presented by William D. Holiber, President & CEO, New York Daily News & U.S. News and World Report and Chairman, New York Urban League Board of Directors. While thanking the sponsors, Mr Holiber also provided rich history on the first ever Frederick Douglass Dinner and Awards fifty-one years ago.
Deutsch received the Frederick Douglass Award for Volunteer Service. “Over the past year, Deutsch, among the most prominent advertising, media and marketing firms around, shared some of their magic with us, assisting with our social media and public outreach efforts”, says presenter Carmen Rita Wong, CEO & Founder, Malecon Productions and New York Urban League Board Member.
Arva R. Rice, President & CEO, New York Urban League presented a Special Recognition Award to Congressman Charles B. Rangel. “Charles Bernard Rangel has been among the longest serving elected agents of change in our nation. As U.S. Representative for New York’s 13th District, Mr. Rangel has been a faithful, devoted public servant, serving continuously since 1971,” Ms. Rice says. In Congressman Rangel’s absence, Mayor David Dinkins proudly accepted and received a standing ovation.
“Amalgamated Bank uses their influence to bring the issues and concerns of low income New Yorker’s to the forefront. Amalgamated Bank now accepts I.D. NYC as a valid primary form of identification to open a bank account. This is a huge milestone in the goal of financial literacy for all New Yorker’s”, says Chad Roberson, President, New York Urban League Young Professionals as he and Erika Beckles, Vice President, New York Urban League Young Professionals introduced and presented the Frederick Douglass Medallion to Amalgamated Bank for their corporate citizenry.
“What are you doing to make the earth shake? What is your legacy?, asks President and CEO of the New York Urban League, Arva R. Rice. During her inspiring speech, Ms Rice also thanks staff, supporters and friends of New York Urban League.
The Ann S. Kheel Award is named after the founder of the Frederick Douglass Awards Dinner. This years’ recipient is Sherry B. Bronfman, Philanthropist and Arts Activist. Ms. Bronfman thanked and introduced her children Hannah, Ben and Vanessa Bronfman who were in attendance and served on the Host Committee for the Gala After party. Her call to action was having everyone take an un-selfie and to use social media for social justice. “Let art save a life today”, says Sherry B. Bronfman.
As the ceremonies came to an end, New York Urban League Scholar, Lauren Christine Dorvil introduced the Frederick Douglass Medallion recipient, Michael A. Cardozo for his Leadership and Service. “In his role with Proskauer, he directs pro-Bono services, enabling top-notch legal assistance to those who might otherwise lack representation. He also leads the firm’s Mentoring Circle, which supports minority associates at Proskauer.” says Ms Dorvil.
Guests enjoyed an array of desserts, cocktails and dancing during the official after party with sounds provided by DJ A-run. This evening would not be possible without the sponsorship of Bloomberg Philanthropies, Moet Hennessy USA, Pratt Industries, Proskauer, Amalgamated Bank, GEICO, Macy’s, Inc., New York Daily News and UPS. Thank you for your continued support.
Special thanks to Mistress of Ceremonies, Janice Huff, Chief Meteorologist, NBC 4 New York; Henri Star, concert violinist; Reverend Michael A. Waldrond, Jr., First Corinthian Baptist Church; Reginald Van Lee, Executive Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton’s offices in Washington, DC and New York; Manny Gonzalez, Senior Director, Multicultural Marketing, Moet Hennessy USA and The Wakeman Agency.
Photos by Margot Jordan Photography.