New York Urban League Celebrates 53rd Annual Frederick Douglass Awards
Commemorating the achievements of past, present and future, the New York Urban League celebrated its 53rd annual Frederick Douglass Awards on Tuesday, May 15th at Pier Sixty in Manhattan. Focusing on the achievements of the most prominent African-Americans, in their respective industries, the Urban League has selected an esteemed group of honorees to award for their service to the community and advancement of their culture. Celebrating a staple in the fashion industry, legend Dapper Dan was honored with the Icon Award, giving acclaim to the mark that he has made on fashion over the last several decades. Continuing the progression for feminism, Google’s Global Head of Women and Black Community and Engagement, Valeisha Butterfield was given the Ann S. Kheel Awards for strides in diversity and inclusion in the tech sphere. Championing the cause for representation, Next Management President, Kyle Hagler was honored with the Frederick Douglass Medallion for Leadership and Service for his role in guiding young men and women of color in the pursuits of their modeling dreams.
Over 350 guests attended the black tie event including City Councilmember and Majority Whip Laurie Cumbo, State Senator Kevin Parker, City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, Counsel to Governor Andrew Cuomo Alphonso David, activist Tamika Mallory, CEO John Banks, Real Estate Board of New York, media personality Bevy Smith, designer Kent Stetson, and media mogul Mona Scott-Young.
“As we began the selection process for this year’s honorees we felt that it was very important to merge the past with the present to showcase where we, as an organization, are headed in the future. Looking at the influence that Dapper Dan has had, not only on his culture, but fashion as a whole is so moving. Drawing inspiration from his resilience to pursue his dream and his recent resurgence we felt the history of this living legend had to be told,” said New York Urban League President, Arva Rice. “It is the tenacity of figures like Dapper Dan that paved the way for our other phenomenal honorees—President of Next Management, Kyle Hagler and Google’s Head of Women and Black Community Engagement, Valeisha Butterfield. Prominent figures in both of their respective careers, Kyle and Valeisha are amazing representations of how we as a people have evolved to break barriers and to achieve our highest capabilities.”