Thursday, May 15, 2014

New York Urban League Hosts 49th Annual Frederick Douglass Dinner

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Honoree Edward Enninful, NYUL President and CEO Arva Rice, Honoree Dr. John B. King, Jr. and Eueal Dagne

Fashion Icon, Education Leader and Corporate Citizen Honored

New York, NY – The New York Urban League held its 49th Annual Frederick Douglass Dinner on Wednesday May 7, 2014 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel raising over $450,000 to support its employment and education programs.  This year’s honorees were Edward Enninful, Style and Fashion Director at W Magazine, CVS Caremark, and New York State (NYS) Commissioner of Education Dr. John B. King, Jr.

Merryl Tisch, Chancellor of the NYS Board of Regents presented the Ann S. Kheel award to State Education Commissioner King, who told a moving story of his own progress through NYC public schools. He also reminded the audience of the upcoming anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and how despite the strides made there is more to do to ensure quality education for all New Yorkers.

Fashion industry friends Diane von Furstenberg, Joan Smalls, Iman and Jonathan and Ronnie Newhouse looked on as Edward Enninful was feted by supermodel Naomi Campbell. Past honoree Bethann Hardison attended as a friend and vocal advocate of diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry.  Eueal Dagne, District Manager of CVS Stores Manhattan accepted the Frederick Douglass Award on behalf of CVS Caremark.

The evening highlighted the New York Urban League’s (NYUL) direct services to middle and high school students in the areas of college readiness, mentoring, scholarships, and STEM education.  Representing the impact of NYUL Employment Services, Jabari Breary, a recent graduate of its retail certification program introduced the Chairman of the NYUL Board of Directors Bill Holiber, CEO of NY Daily News and US World News Reports.

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Naomi Campbell and honoree Edward Enninful

Throughout the night, guests were treated to the power packed voice of Alice Smith who sang her soul stirring rendition of Ceelo Green’s “Fool For You” while they enjoyed a seasonal two-course dinner and cocktails courtesy of Gala Co-Chair Moet Hennessy USA brands.

“Tonight showed the cross section of support the New York Urban League has continued to cultivate since its founding.  As we open doors, our community members are given more access to diverse careers and education opportunities”said Arva Rice, President and CEO.  Visit the New York Urban League website at

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