AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

5/16/09

Audrey's Whirl: Celebration Of Sisterhood

JUDITH JAMISON, 'DANCING SPIRIT'

AUDREY’S SOCIETY WHIRL- EDELMAN, HARRIS, JAMISON

The Links’ Diamond Celebration of Sisterhood & Service paid tribute to three sensational women – Marian Wright Edelman, Carla Harris and Judith Jamison at annual Easter Event

By Audrey J. Bernard

Fashion/Lifestyles/Society Editor

On Saturday, April 11, the Greater New York Links Chapter – established in 1949 -- celebrated its 60th Anniversary Easter Luncheon and Fashion Show at the beautiful Chelsea Piers from 11 am to 4 pm with proceeds from the event benefitting the excellent programs of The Big Apple chapter.

Themed "A Diamond Celebration of Sisterhood & Service," this year’s signature Easter event honored three exceptional women – Marian Wright Edelman, Carla Harris and Judith Jamison -- and one "do right" man, Hilton O. Smith, senior vice president, Turner Construction.

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional life. Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation’s strongest voice for children and families.

The Leave No Child Behind® mission of the Children's Defense Fund is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

Ms. Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, began her career in the mid-60s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi.

In l968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People's Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began organizing before his death. She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and the parent body of the Children's Defense Fund.

For two years Ms. Edelman served as the Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and in l973 began CDF; served on the Board of Trustees of Spelman College which she chaired from 1976 to 1987; and was the first woman elected by alumni as a member of the Yale University Corporation on which she served from 1971 to 1977.

Ms. Edelman has received many honorary degrees and awards including the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Prize, the Heinz Award, and a MacArthur Foundation Prize Fellowship. In 2000, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award for her writings which include nine books.

Carla Harris is a managing director in the Strategic Client Group at Morgan Stanley Investment Management providing investment advice to corporations, public pension plans, foundations and endowments. She also heads the emerging Managers Platform.

Ms. Harris formerly headed the equity capital markets effort for the consumer and retail industries and was responsible for equity private placements. She has extensive industry experiences in the technology, media, retail, telecommunications, transportation, industrial, and health care sectors.

For more than a decade, Ms. Harris was a senior member of the Equity Syndicate desk and executed such transactions as initial public offerings for UPS, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Ariba, Redback, the General Motors sub-IPO of Delphi Automotive, and the $3.2 Billion common stock transaction for Immunex Corporation, the largest biotechnology follow on offering in U.S. history.

Ms. Harris began her career with Morgan Stanley in the Mergers & Acquisitions department in 1987. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Carla received from Harvard Business School an MBA, Second Year Honors and an AB in economics from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude.

The investment maestro is actively involved in her community and heartily believes that "we are blessed so that we can be a blessing to someone else." As a result, she has funded the Carla Harris Scholarship Fund at Harvard University and at Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida.

Ms. Harris is the chair of the board of The New York City Food Bank, Food for Survival, and the Morgan Stanley Foundation and sits on several boards including The Apollo Theater Foundation and the Maya Angelou Research for Minority Health.

Ms. Harris is the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate from Howard University; the Bert King Award from the Harvard Business School African American Alumni Association; the 2005 Women’s Professional Achievement Award from Harvard University; and the Pierre Toussaint Medallion from the Office of Black Ministry of the Archdiocese of New York,

Judith Jamison was appointed artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in December 1989 at the request of her mentor, Alvin Ailey, who personally chose her to succeed him before his untimely death. Recognizing her extraordinary talent, Mr. Ailey created some of his most enduring roles for her, most notably the tour de force solo, Cry.

A native of Philadelphia, Ms. Jamison studied with Marion Cuyjet, was discovered by Agnes de Mille, and made her New York debut with American Ballet Theatre in 1964. She became a member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1965 and danced with the company for 15 years to great acclaim.

After leaving the Company in 1980, Ms. Jamison appeared as a guest artist with ballet companies all over the world and starred in the hit Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies. In 1988, she formed her own company, The Jamison Project; a PBS special depicting her creative process, Judith Jamison: The Dancemaker, aired nationally the same year.

As a highly regarded choreographer, Ms. Jamison has created works for many companies. Her most recent ballet, Reminiscin’, was inspired by great female jazz artists and Edward Hopper’s famous painting Nighthawks. Love Stories, with additional choreography by Robert Battle and Rennie Harris, was created in 2004.

Ms. Jamison is an author whose autobiography, "Dancing Spirit," was edited by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and published by Doubleday in 1993. She is the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including an honorary doctorate from Howard University.

Today, Ms. Jamison presides over the artistically and fiscally vibrant Ailey organization where her presence has been a catalyst, propelling the organization in new directions including the development of the Women's Choreography Initiative.

Ms. Jamison has continued Mr. Ailey's practice of showcasing the talents of emerging choreographers from within the ranks of the Company. As artistic director of The Ailey School, official school of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, she has helped to implement a multicultural curriculum including the dances of West Africa and South India.

Ms. Jamison is an advocate for education in the arts and was a guiding force in establishing the B.F.A. program between The Ailey School and Fordham University, which offers a unique combination of world-class dance training and a superior liberal arts education.

The awards ceremony is the centerpiece of the enormously popular pre-Easter spectacular. The other highlight is the fashion extravaganza. Fashion director/editor, coordinator, judge and commentator Walter Greene returns as commentator for the show entitled `Diamond Life,' a salute to Greater New York Links’ 60th Anniversary.

The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation, established in 1946. The membership consists of 12,000 professional women of color in 270 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

The premier female organization is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the cultural and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry.

The New York Chapter consists of women from all five boroughs and Long Island. For more information about the Greater New York Links 60th Anniversary Easter Luncheon and Fashion Show email gnylinkspr@hotmail.com.

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City.

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