We hosted our “Courage to Change” fundraiser on June 10, 2014 at the Roulette Theater. Editor Emerita of Essence Magazine, Susan L. Taylor was the keynote speaker for the event. Ms. Taylor’s words of inspiration left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of everyone in the room. She shared her own struggles of poverty, single motherhood, and triumph to inspire others to have the courage to overcome barriers and obstacles in their own lives.
We presented Ms. Taylor with a YWCA of Brooklyn – Woman of Distinction Award for her years of devotion and service to women and girls. Ingrid P Lewis-Martin (Senior Adviser to the Brooklyn Borough President) was also on hand to present Ms. Taylor with a Citation, signed by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, for her distinguished service and dedication to the community!
Ms. Taylor joined us on the stage as we recognized the recipients of the Brownstone Tutors SAT Preparation Scholarship. As recipients of the Brownstone Tutors SAT Preparation Scholarship, each student receives weekly tutoring for two years, SAT preparation, and assistance with college applications. Funding for the scholarship is made possible by Lee Perlman. We designed the scholarship application, recruited applicants, and selected the students for the scholarship on behalf of Mr. Perlman. The scholarship was open to Freshman and Sophomore girls attending high school in Brooklyn. The scholarship applicants were also required to have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA and demonstrate financial need for the scholarship.
Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo provided closing remarks for the event.
As the soul of Essence Magazine for over three decades, Ms. Taylor was the driving force behind one of the most celebrated African American owned businesses of our time. She was the first and only African American woman to be recognized by the Magazine Publishers of America with the Henry Johnson Fisher Award-the industry’s highest honor! Ms. Taylor is a social activist, philanthropist, author of four books, and role model for young women. She is Founder of National Cares Mentoring Movement to increase high school graduation rates among African American students, end the violence in Black communities and the over-incarceration of youth. She cofounded Future PAC, the first national political action committee to provide funding for progressive African American women seeking federal and state offices. She also is co-chair with Danny Glover of Shared Interest, a capital campaign to raise money to build housing in rural South Africa.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the women and girls impacted by our residential and community programs.