On Tuesday, September 27, 2011, Medgar Evers College of The City University of New York will host its Founders, Visionaries and Alumni Dinner, themed “Sustaining the Vision and Fulfilling the Dream”, in a memorable evening featuring a keynote address delivered by world renowned comedian, author, activist, and actor, Dr. Bill Cosby. The evening commences with a reception at 6:00 p.m. and is followed by the program at 7:00 p.m. in Academic Building I – 1638 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225.
Medgar Evers College is dedicated to higher education as a vehicle of transformation. The evening’s honorees, who share that belief, include: Byron Lewis, UniWorld Chairman/CEO and communications pioneer and Annabelle Miller, Medgar Evers College alumna and Vice President in Sales Management at Macy’s; and Dr. Bill Cosby.
Over four decades ago, visionaries and founders in Central Brooklyn struggled to create an institution that would be committed to guaranteeing higher educational access to the community. Many of those leaders were and have become some of New York City’s and this nation’s most distinguished figures. Founders include: the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, Congressman Ed Towns, New York City Councilman Al Vann, Educator Dr. Marcella Maxwell, Civil Rights Activist Elsie Richardson, and Judge William Thompson, Sr., amongst several other notables.
For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (718)270-6968 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Keynote Speaker Bill Cosby
One of America’s most beloved comedians of all time, Bill Cosby has captivated generations of fans with his comedy routines, iconic albums and bestselling books such as Fatherhood. His comedy transcends age, gender and cultural barriers. Cosby broke television’s racial barrier with I Spy, becoming the first African American to costar on a television series while winning three consecutive Emmys. He created and produced the Emmy-winning cartoon Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, which began airing in the 1970s and was made into a film in 2004. The show, based on Cosby’s childhood in Philadelphia, was designed to educate and entertain.
The former Navy serviceman’s illustrious list of accomplishments includes roles on the children’s educational show Electric Company and creating and producing the Emmy award winning Little Bill, which is based on his bestselling book series. Bill Cosby’s next book, I Didn’t Ask to Be Born, But I’m Glad I Was, will be released by the Hachette Book Group in November. Cosby talks about the Bible, being a grandfather and his first love in his humorous and insightful manner.
Perhaps Cosby’s greatest contribution to American entertainment and culture is The Cosby Show, about a close-knit, upper class black family. Cosby said his intent was to portray an American family. Time magazine called the show “an encouraging sign of maturity in matters of race.” The Cosby Show dominated the No. One spot for years, earning nearly unanimous critical praise. Life magazine described the program as “a gentle, whimsical, warmhearted” show whose “delicious ordinariness of its pleasures and tribulations has given millions a fresh, laughter-splashed perspective on their own domestic lives.”
Cosby has received the Kennedy Center Honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom (America’s highest civilian honor), the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and the Marian Anderson Award.
Cosby is married to the former Camille Hanks. They raised four daughters (Erika, Erinn, Ensa and Evin) and one son (Ennis) and now have three grandchildren.
About Byron Lewis
Byron Lewis, Chairman & CEO, is a pioneer in ethnic marketing and communications. Over the past 40 years, he has been responsible for many innovative communication initiatives and activities that include advertising, publishing, public relations, promotion, broadcast and entertainment.
Lewis began his career working for African American newspapers and magazines in Harlem, New York. Due to exclusionary industry conditions, he never worked for a mainstream advertising agency or marketing company. Uniworld was founded during a period of industry indifference to ethnic marketing and a scarcity of targeted national media. To compensate, he created an internal system of integrated communication services, to reach and engage underserved African American and Hispanic consumers. Capitalizing upon lessons learned from numerous “uptown” grassroots marketing ventures, he laid the foundation for UniWorld’s non-traditional business platform.
Now in its 41st year of successful operation, UniWorld is one of the nation’s oldest multicultural advertising agencies with annual billings in excess of $250,000,000. Under his leadership, UniWorld pioneered ethnic film, broadcast and branded entertainment strategies for major sponsors. Beginning with the original “Shaft” black film series, the firm subsequently worked on the break through “Glory”, Malcolm X and Boyz n the Hood film releases. More recently, the company has won some of the largest mainstream advertising assignments ever awarded to an ethnic agency. This includes breakthrough creative campaigns for the Ford Division, and Lincoln Automotive brands. Other important clients include AARP, MCNY, Colgate-Palmolive, The Home Depot, Time Warner Cable, CVS Pharmacy, and Western Union.
Listed in Who’s Who in America, Byron Lewis currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Apollo Theater Foundation, the Jackie Robinson Educational Foundation, Ad Week, American Research Foundation and a Trustee for Long Island University. He is active in the African American community and proud of his agency’s contributions to that community; and values his long-standing business and personal association with nationally prominent ethnic leaders.
About Annabelle Miller
Annabelle Miller is the Vice President of Store Management for Macy’s Cross County New York. During her nearly 15 year tenure in the Macy’s Metro District, Miller has consistently excelled and soared to new heights. Starting out as a Sales Manager in 1997, she worked her way through the ranks to become one of the first African American Vice Presidents of Store Management. She has also broken barriers as one of the few women to hold that title and has served in that position for over 5 years.
Miller oversees three high volume locations totaling over $80 million in sales annually. Her tenacious spirit and drive for distinction has gained her accolades from her peers and professionals. She has inspired those within her community and her philanthropic endeavors are notable. She has received a Neighborhood Advocate Award and been number one fundraiser in the Metro District for non-profit organizations such as City Harvest and Reading is Fundamental.
Miller is a graduate of Medgar Evers College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. She resides in Brooklyn with her husband.
Medgar Evers College was founded in 1970 through the efforts from educators and community leaders in central Brooklyn. The College is named after Medgar Wiley Evers, a Mississippi-born black civil rights activist who was assassinated on June 12, 1963. The College is divided into four schools: The School of Business; The School of Professional and Community Development; The School of Liberal Arts and Education; and The School of Science, Health, and Technology. Through these Schools, the College offers 29 associate and baccalaureate degree programs, as well as certificate programs in fields such as English, Nursing, and Accounting. Medgar Evers College also operates several co-curricular and external programs and associated centers such as the Male Development and Empowerment Center, the Center for Women’s Development, the Center for Black Literature, and The DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy.