The New York Urban League (NYUL) holds its 57th Frederick Douglass Awards Gala earlier this month where actress, activist and producer Alfre Woodard was among the honorees.

The organization also saluted Tom Halloran, EVP & CFO of Fidelis Care and Alison Overseth, CEO, Partnership for After School Education.

The event was emceed by NBC4’s Myles Miller with Honorary Chairs Phylicia Rashad and James Rhee.  Wendy and Doug Eisenberg Co-Chaired the event with Ken DeRegt and Fidelis Care served as the Lead Sponsor.  And Diageo / Pronghorn underwrote this year’s reception. 

A special tribute video was created by NBC and narrated by NBC Anchor David Ushery that played for each honoree. Awards were presented by Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt, who presented the Ann S. Kheel Award to Overseth, Abenaa Udochi, who presented the Frederick Douglass Award to Halloran and Alexander Smalls, who presented Woodard with her awards

The theme of the evening was “RENEW.”  Each honoree shared what RENEW means to them including NYUL President and CEO Arva Rice. 

Alexander Smalls and Alfre Woodard Credit: NYUL photo

“RENEW means to double-down, to recommit, and re-center on the New York Urban League’s cause and its constituency,” she said.

Rice urged the over 450 attendees to “RENEW their commitment to social justice, RENEW their commitment to making a difference, RENEW their resolve to keep contributing when we move forward and even when we have to take a step back.” 

Guests were also able to enjoy the stories of individuals whose lives have been touched by the NYUL in a video created by Bronte’ Laurent. 

Bronx Legacy High School Principal Kameca Waugh shared how the partnership with the NYUL has positively impacted her students.  While District Attorney Alvin Braggs, Jr. shared how he had grown up in the New York Urban League and received a Whitney M. Young, Jr. Scholarship. Current Whitney M. Young, Jr. Scholar Jalynn Perkins and her Young Professional mentor Courtney Jackson talked about how their relationship is helping ensure Jalynn’s success.

“The request for services is greater and the calls for support come more frequently – from parents and students who need support, corporations who are looking for meaningful partnerships and government with whom we work to provide critical programs and services,” NYUL Board Chair Ward Corbett. “This work requires more focus, more energy, more innovation and a renewed commitment.” 

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