On Monday, May 22nd the McSilver Institute sponsored the fifth annual McSilver Awards, which recognized 5 extraordinary leaders transforming systems to tackle issues of structural poverty and oppression. The event was held at the NYU School of Law, Vanderbilt Hall, and marked the first McSilver Awards under the leadership of its new Director Dr. Michael A. Lindsey. The event was sponsored by The New York Women’s Foundation, Ghetto Film School, NYU School of Dentistry, the Clark-Fox Policy Institute, Beacon Health Options, Government Affairs and Community Engagement at NYU, New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitations Services and The Institute for Community Living.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Lindsey praised this year’s honorees as leaders of the resistance working to strengthen individuals and communities impacted by poverty through education, empowerment, and philanthropy. NYU Silver School of Social Work Interim Dean Dr. James Jaccard and NYU Trustee and McSilver Institute Founder Constance Silver also provided greetings and opening remarks. Special guests included: NYU Vice Provost Cybele Raver, NYU Trustee Phyllis Barasch, Taina Bien-Aimée, Marjorie Cadogan, Flores Forbes, Henry Greenridge, Joshua Laub, Nika Milbrun, Silda Palerm, Luc Severe, Jerika Richardson, Hon. Ronald Richter, Basil Smikle and 2016 McSilver Honoree, Sheena Wright, CEO of the United Way New York City.
Photos of the Awards can be browsed on Facebook.
During the program Dr. Michael Lindsey presented awards to:
David C. Banks, President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation, whose work in education has been transformative in the lives of young men of color throughout New York City. The Eagle Academies were founded on the belief that excellence, both in character and scholarship, opens doors and provides a bridge to equality. Mr. Banks, whose vision was pivotal in establishing Eagle Academies in all five boroughs and Newark, accepted his award on behalf of the 3,000 young black men he has served through the Eagle Academy Foundation.
NYC City Councilmember Corey Johnson is known as a prolific legislator who has developed an outstanding reputation for his dedication to issues concerning affordable housing, homelessness, domestic violence and LGBTQ rights. During the awards program, Councilmember Johnson spoke passionately on the importance of activism and his motivation for running for office, which is centered on fighting on behalf of the city’s most vulnerable citizens.
Dr. Jelani Cobb, a Professor at Columbia University School of Journalism and an acclaimed writer and author who has written powerfully about the intersections of race and poverty, accepted his award on behalf of his late mother, who graduated from the Silver School with both a Bachelors and Masters in Social Work.
Ana Oliveira, President and CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation, is often described as one of the most outstanding and impactful leaders New York City. In her remarks, Ms. Oliveira spoke movingly about the importance of philanthropy, activist philanthropists, and the concept of radical generosity.
Gary Parker, who is the former Deputy Director of the McSilver Institute, and currently serves as Associate Dean of External Affairs at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Mr was presented with the Values of McSilver Award. He accepted the award on behalf of the amazing colleagues he worked with at the institute.