Special Programs & Events
NVLP Visionaries Share Common Legacy as Change-makers
FEBRUARY 23, 2009 - Work harder than your colleagues, focus on your strengths, do the unexpected and don't give up. Those were some of the themes discussed by NVLP Visionaries who participated in A Legacy of Change , a panel discussion held on February 23, 2009 at the headquarters of UBS Financial Services in New York City. Moderated by NVLP President and Co-founder Camille O. Cosby, Ed.D., the panel featured the Honorable Willie L. Brown, Jr., the first African American Mayor of San Francisco; the Honorable David N. Dinkins, the first African American Mayor of New York City; and the Honorable L. Douglas Wilder, the first African American elected Governor of a U.S. state.
Built upon insightful questions by Dr. Cosby, the 90-minute discussion revealed the impact our Visionaries' pioneering achievements have made on world history and culture, and examined these elders' astute perceptions of today's new political, social and cultural landscape.
Dr. Cosby highlighted the value and significance of the evening's conversation in her opening remarks. "I believe that history is the most important subject taught in schools," said Dr. Cosby. "Since the institutional mandate has always been to teach history from an elitist perspective, our nation's children--probably most of our children--have been mis-educated and therefore uneducated about their respective identities and the identities of others. If you don't learn about your culture's value in history, how do you see yourself?" she said.
The audience--comprised of NVLP special guests and UBS employees--was enthralled as the panelists shared stories about their childhoods, how they overcame racism and other obstacles, and the strategies they used to succeed in politics.
The event was hosted by Ms. Raquel Oden, an NVLP Board Member and Managing Director, Head of Internal Sales, Products and Services U.S. for UBS Financial Services.
A Legacy of Change , NVLP's newest initiative, puts into perspective the stories of NVLP Visionaries whose careers and accomplishments set the stage for the changes being ushered in with the election of Barack H. Obama. Further, we are looking back to look forward--revisiting our Visionaries through videotaped interview updates and discussions like this--to collect fresh viewpoints and wisdom about the future.
Video excerpts from this discussion are available on NVLP's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/visionaryproject.
NVLP Hosts Pre-Inaugural Event
Gwen Ifill signs copies of her
new book The Breaktrhough
More than 300 guests, including New York Governor David A. Paterson; former network anchors Carole Simpson (ABC) and Bernard Shaw (CNN); NVLP Board Chair Johnnetta B. Cole; NVLP Board member Raquel Oden; and journalists from around the country, enjoyed an evening of music, hors d'oeuvres, good company, and history.
Throughout the evening, visitors to NVLP's historic headquarters were also treated to videos featuring NVLP Visionaries and their historic breakthroughs. It was an opportunity to show the bright men and women who are chronicling a unique moment in our present, a glimpse of the extraordinary African American elders who shaped America's past.
2003 NVLP Awards Gala
Phylicia Rashad greets NVLP Visionary
Joe Adams who accepted the award for his
long-time friend and client, Ray Charles.
Held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the inaugural NVLP gala honored Ray Charles, Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee, Dick Gregory, Jimmy Heath, Geoffrey Holder, and Odetta.
Phylicia Rashad hosted the celebration which included performances by younger protégés selected by the honorees, including Tracy Chapman, Mos Def, and Stephanie Mills. The entire event was videotaped and aired on public television.
The Gala evening ended with an elegant, celebratory dinner in the Kennedy Center’s beautiful atrium. We hope to establish the Gala as NVLP’s signature fundraising event to help continue the work of preserving and disseminating the wisdom of our elders to inspire new generations of young leaders.