Harry Belafonte and Elsie Richardson Evoke Message of Medgar Evers College’s Namesake at 40th Anniversary Gala Dinner

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Medgar Evers College’s  40th anniversary Founder’s Day Alumni and Visionaries Dinner,Tuesday, September 28 — hosted by Dr. William L. Pollard, President of the College,  and the Medgar Evers College Community — was a wonderful tribute to how far the college has come since its founding.
It  also was remarkable in its revelation, most notably through the speeches of community activists Elsie Richardson, a founder of the college, and Harry Belafonte, a Civil Rights lion, that the journey is not yet done.
More than 300 people gathered for the benefit which was held in the $250 million dollar state-of-the-art building housing the School of Science, Health and Technology – to open in October.   Mrs. Richardson noted she and her colleague founders would not have conceived such a building  in 1970 when Governor Rockefeller signed legislation approving the “establishment of an experimental four-year college {based in Central Brooklyn} offering both career and transfer associate degrees and the bacalaureate degree.”
Named for the martyred civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers (1925-1963), in photo far right, was established as a result of the advocacy of community residents in Central Brooklyn, and education and civil leaders throughout the City.
Among the original founders in attendance at the dinner — in addition to Ms. Richardson, were Mr. George Harvey, Mr. William Howard Sr., The Honorable Anna Jefferson, Sen. Waldaba Stewart, and Councilman Al Vann.
The dinner sponsors were National Grid, Con Edison, City University of New York (represented by Jay Hershenson) and the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry represented by Roy Hastick.
Broadcast journalist Julian Philips was Master of Ceremonies; The Rev. Conrad. B. Tillard delivered the invocation;   Dr. Marcella Maxwell,  along with Mrs. Richardson, delivered messages on behalf of the founders.
Mrs. Richardson set the tone, recalling the hard work and her great hardworking colleagues. Belafonte, 84, sounded the bell for all to come back to the fold to continue the work. He revealed that he had been approached by students about certain challenges at the college, and he did not shy away from telling us “winers and diners” what he felt we needed to hear.
Our colleague Milton Allimadi, the jourmalist and publisher, remarked on the delivery of Mr. Belafonte’s extemporaneous remarks that ranged from a salute to President Barack Obama to a blueprint for saving our youth, gracefully taking the dinner message from a celebration of what we have done to a “wake up” call signalling where we are failing and what we need to do moving forward. Said Allimadi  of Belafonte, “He could have been a world political leader, but he chose a more important path for his people.”
Following are Mrs. Richardson’s remarks in their entirety.  Excerpts from Mr. Belafonte’s eloquent speech, roundly applauded by Mr. Pollard and dinner guests, will be presented in two parts over coming issue.  BG/DG  See Page 6.

Medgar Evers College’s  40th anniversary Founder’s Day Alumni and Visionaries Dinner,Tuesday, September 28 — hosted by Dr. William L. Pollard, President of the College,  and the Medgar Evers College Community — was a wonderful tribute to how far the college has come since its founding.       It  also was remarkable in its revelation, most notably through the speeches of comunity activists Elsie Richardson, a founder of the college, and Harry Belafonte, a Civil Rights lion, that the journey is not yet done.  More than 300 people gathered for the benefit which was held in the $250 million dollar state-of-the-art building housing the School of Science, Health and Technology – to open in October.   Mrs. Richardson noted she and her colleague founders would not have conceived such a building  in 1970 when Governor Rockefeller signed legislation approving the “establishment of an experimental four-year college {based in Central Brooklyn} offering both career and transfer associate degrees and the bacalaureate degree.”Named for the martyred civil rights leader Medgar Wiley Evers (1925-1963), in photo far right, was established as a result of the advocacy of community residents in Central Brooklyn, and education and civil leaders throughout the City. Among the original founders in attendance at the dinner — in addition to Ms. Richardson, were Mr. George Harvey, Mr. William Howard Sr., The Honorable Anna Jefferson, Sen. Waldaba Stewart, and Councilman Al Vann.The dinner sponsors were National Grid, Con Edison, City University of New York (represented by Jay Hershenson) and the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry represented by Roy Hastick.Broadcast journalist Julian Philips was Master of Ceremonies; The Rev. Conrad. B. Tillard delivered the invocation;   Dr. Marcella Maxwell,  along with Mrs. Richardson, delivered messages on behalf of the founders.Mrs. Richardson set the tone, recalling the hard work and her great hardworking colleagues. Belafonte, 84, sounded the bell for all to come back to the fold to continue the work. He revealed that he had been approached by students about certain challenges at the college, and he did not shy away from telling us “winers and diners” what he felt we needed to hear.Our colleague Milton Allimadi, the jourmalist and publisher, remarked on the delivery of Mr. Belafonte’s extemporaneous remarks that ranged from a salute to President Barack Obama to a blueprint for saving our youth, gracefully taking the dinner message from a celebration of what we have done to a “wake up” call signalling where we are failing and what we need to do moving forward. Said Allimadi  of Belafonte, “He could have been a world political leader, but he chose a more important path for his people.”Following are Mrs. Richardson’s remarks in their entirety.  Excerpts from Mr. Belafonte’s eloquent speech, roundly applauded by Mr. Pollard and dinner guests, will be presented in two parts over coming issue.  BG/DG  See Page 6.

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