Prince George’s Community College hosted A Legacy of Change: Excellence Unleashed, March 7, 7 p.m. in Hallam Theatre at the Largo campus. Produced by the National Visionary Leadership Project (NVLP), the program was moderated by Camille O. Cosby, producer, educator, philanthropist and wife of actor and comedian William H. Cosby, and featured a distinguished panel of African-American elder Visionaries, Contemporaries and two Prince George’s Community College students. Participants discussed how education transformed their lives. During the unique intergenerational conversation, attendees learned about the characteristics, qualities and values that contribute to life-long success.
Cosby was joined by Johnnetta B. Cole, NVLP chairperson and director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. Panelists included Robert (Bob) Moses, prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement; David N. Dinkins, former mayor of New York City; Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General; Bonnie St. John, Paralympic medal winner; and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, actor, director and musician.
Co-founded in 2001 by Cosby and Renee Poussaint, Emmy Award-winning network journalist, NVLP records, preserves and distributes the wisdom of extraordinary African-American Visionaries who have shaped American history. The interviews are available worldwide on the NVLP website and permanently archived at the Library of Congress.
A Legacy of Change: Excellence Unleashed was presented by Prince George's Community College in partnership with Prince George’s Community College Foundation, Inc. General admission was free. For more information on these and additional events, contact the foundation office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert (Bob) P. Moses was a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement as a field secretary for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1961, Dr. Moses initiated SNCC’s Mississippi Voter Registration Project, and was appointed its director in 1962. A graduate of Hamilton College, Dr. Moses worked for the Ministry of Education in Tanzania, where he chaired the Samé school math department and subsequently started the Algebra Project (AP), which uses mathematics as an organizing tool for a Quality Public School Education for all students. With support from the National Science Foundation since 2002, the AP has been working with cohorts of high school students who previously performed in the lowest quartile on standardized exams. In 2011–2012, Moses was the Distinguished Visitor at the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University.
A former politician and the 106th Mayor of New York City from 1990 to 1993, David N. Dinkins was the first and is, to date, the only African American to hold that office. Mr. Dinkins began his career in public service in 1966 in the New York State Assembly. He is a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at the Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA), serves on its Advisory Board, and hosts its Annual Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum. In 2003, the David N. Dinkins Professorship in the Practice of Urban & Public Affairs was established at Columbia University.
The daughter of a sharecropper, M. Joycelyn Elders, M.D. made history in 1993 by becoming the first African American appointed United States Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service by President Bill Clinton. She served in this post until January 1995. Dr. Elders was only the second woman to head up the U.S. Public Health Service and is best known for her frank discussion of her views on controversial issues such as drug legalization and distributing contraception. In 2011, the University of Minnesota Program in Human Sexuality established The Joycelyn Elders Chair in Sexual Health Education. It is the nation's first department chair in Sexual Health Education.
Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, Bonnie St. John became the first African American to win Olympic medals in ski racing at the 1984 Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria. Recognized as a best-selling author, she is a highly sought after keynote speaker, a television and radio personality, and business owner. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in 1986 and won a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. In 2010, Ms. St. John represented the USA as a member of President Obama’s official delegation to the Paralympics Winter Games in Vancouver. NBC Nightly News has hailed Ms. St. John, “One of the five most inspiring women in America.”
Emmy-nominated actor and director Malcolm-Jamal Warner is recognized as an American television actor, television director, producer and musician. As a staple in television and film for over 25 years, Mr. Warner first rose to national prominence in his role as Theo Huxtable on the long-running classic television series The Cosby Show. He has directed the comedy series Malcolm & Eddie, and several episodes of The Cosby Show, All That, Keenan & Kel, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Sesame Street. When not acting and directing, Mr. Warner is a poet and bass player. His jazz-funk band Miles Long has performed in several major jazz festivals including opening for Earl Klugh and the late Luther Vandross.
A producer and educator, Dr. Cosby’s notable body of work advances an appreciation of our meaningful and diverse cultures. Her portfolio includes a Peabody Award-winning television film and a Tony-nominated Broadway play as well as numerous films and documentaries. In 1995, Dr. Cosby co-produced with Judith Rutherford James the Broadway run of “Having Our Say,” the inspiring story of Sarah and Elizabeth Delany, two centenarians born to a former slave, who went on to become an educator and dentist, respectively. Dr. Cosby’s experience with “Having Our Say” led to her co-founding the National Visionary Leadership Project (NVLP), an intergenerational institution dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing history as told by distinguished African American elders.
Anthropologist, educator, author and mentor, Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole is Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, the only national museum dedicated to the exhibition, conservation and study of the traditional and contemporary visual arts of Africa. Before assuming her current position, Dr. Cole had a long and distinguished career as an educator and humanitarian. Dr. Cole served as president of Spelman College and Bennett College for Women, the only person to have served as president of these two historically Black colleges for women in the U.S. Dr. Cole is Chair of the National Visionary Leadership Project (NVLP).
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