Celebrating Trailblazers At The 58th Annual Frederick Douglass Awards Gala

June 8, 2024


On Saturday, June 8th, 2024, the Harlem-based New York Urban League hosted a momentous occasion at the 58th Annual Frederick Douglass Awards Gala in NYC.

Held at the iconic Ziegfeld Ballroom, this prestigious event celebrated exceptional individuals whose contributions have significantly impacted the pursuit of equality and justice.

Hosted by GMA3’s DeMarco Morgan, the gala paid tribute to the renowned abolitionist and social reformer Frederick Douglass.

Honoring Changemakers

The evening’s honorees, Aurora James, George Gresham, Camille Joseph-Goldman, and Renee McClure, were recognized for their remarkable achievements alongside Honorary Co-chair Meagan Good. Aurora James, founder of the groundbreaking 15% Pledge, received the Frederick Douglass Medallion for her innovative efforts in fostering economic equity and uplifting marginalized voices in the fashion industry.

George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, was also bestowed with the Frederick Douglass Medallion for his tireless advocacy for workers’ rights and improving healthcare accessibility across New York City and beyond. Renee McClure, an esteemed advocate for social justice and racial equity, was honored with the Frederick Douglass Medallion for her instrumental work in addressing systemic injustices and amplifying marginalized voices.

Camille Joseph-Goldman, a trailblazer in education and community development, received the Ann S. Kheel Award for her advocacy for educational equity and empowerment, embodying Frederick Douglass’s vision of education as a tool for liberation.

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Inspiring Remarks and Announcements

Honorary Co-chair Meagan Good addressed attendees, emphasizing the importance of solidarity and collective action in the ongoing struggle for justice. Host DeMarco Morgan skillfully guided the evening’s proceedings, ensuring a memorable and impactful event for all attendees, including notable guests like Johnathan Majors, Summer House: Martha’s Vineyard star Jasmine Ellis Cooper, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, and Harlem congressperson Adriano Espillat.

During her speech, New York Urban League President and CEO Arva Rice announced plans to transform the organization’s historic headquarters into a center for black excellence and innovation, housing various programs and initiatives.

A Celebration of Progress and Perseverance

“We are deeply grateful to Aurora James, George Gresham, Camille Joseph-Goldman, and Renee McClure for their exceptional contributions to our community,” expressed Arva Rice. “Their leadership and advocacy inspire us to persist in fighting for a more equitable and just society.”The 58th Annual Frederick Douglass Awards Gala stood as a resounding testament to the New York Urban League’s steadfast commitment, celebrating those who embody the principles of equality, justice, and community empowerment. It served as a reminder of the pivotal role of collective action in shaping a more just and equitable future for all.

To learn more about the New York Urban League, its initiatives, and how you can contribute to their mission, please visit www.nyul.org.

Photo credit: 1) Arva Rice. 2) Eric McNeal. 3) DeMarco Morgan. 4) James Reed. 5) Antoine Gregory. 6) Aurora James 7) Ah-Niyah Gold. 8) Aisha McShaw. 9) Stephanie Horton. 10) Renee McClure. 11) Mark Levine. 12) Chuck Nice. 13) Edwing D’Angelo. 14) Jasmine Ellis Cooper. 15) Malcom Ellis and Melicent Jane. 16) Gary Lennon. 17) Camille Joseph-Goldman. 18) Megan Good. By Johnny Nunez.

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