The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (BHSS) held its VOICES 11 annual benefit on Thursday May 14, 2015, at 6:30pm at Gotham Hall in NYC. Nearly 500 people were in attendance as we celebrated 20 years of The Brotherhood/Sister Sol providing transformative youth services, our honorees, and the young people who inspire and empower our work.
VOICES is our signature annual benefit highlighting our youth and life changing programming. The event provided an extraordinary opportunity for supporters to celebrate BHSS commitment to helping youth develop into critical thinkers and community leaders.
Our honorees for the evening were Lynn Nottage, Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright and Michele Roberts, Executive Director, National Basketball Players Association. Our special guests presenters were Charles Randolph Wright Writer and Director and Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law, Founding and Executive Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. Our Event Co-Chairs were our Board Co-Chairs Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay and Clara Markowicz. Our Fundraising Co-Chairs were Michael J. O’Brien, Craig S. Phillips and Liz Phillips.
This special evening featured an awards reception, a silent auction, and words & performances by our youth members and alumni.
To view photos of our Annual Gala event Click Here.
Rahsan-Rahsan LindsayCo-Chair, Board of Directors, BHSS
Clara MarkowiczCo-Chair, Board of Directors, BHSS
Michael J. O’Brien*
Craig & Liz Phillips*
Fundraising Vice Chair
Tiffany R. Warren*
B. Alan Echtenkamp*
Nicole G. Valentine*
Gia Cavellini Guzman
Rabbi Rachel Cowan*
Honorable David N. Dinkins
Stephen C. Graham*
Rashida La Lande*
* BHSS Board of Directors Member
Pedro A. Noguera*
Susan L. Taylor
Reverend John Vaughn*
Nina M. Wells
Theodore V. Wells
Douglas H. White*
Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright
Lynn Nottage is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and a screenwriter. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. They include the upcoming Sweat at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lily Award, Drama Desk Nomination), Ruined (Pulitzer Prize, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award), Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play), Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (OBIE Award), Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Las Meninas, Mud, River, Stone, Por’knockers and POOF!. She is currently developing a new play and multimedia performance installation based on two years of research and interviews conducted in Reading, PA. (w/ Oregon Shakespeare, Arena Stage & Labyrinth Theatre Company). In addition, she is working with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on adapting her play Intimate Apparel into an opera (commissioned by The Met/LCT).
She is the co-founder of the production company, Market Road Films, whose most recent projects include The Notorious Mr. Bout directed by Tony Gerber and Maxim Pozdorovkin (Premiere/Sundance 2014), First to Fall directed by Rachel Beth Anderson (Premiere/ IDFA, 2013) and Remote Control (Premiere/Busan 2013- New Currents Award) Over the years, she has developed original projects for HBO, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Showtime, This is That and Harpo.
Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellowship, Steinberg "Mimi" Distinguished Playwright Award, the Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, the inaugural Horton Foote Prize, Helen Hayes Award, the Lee Reynolds Award, and the Jewish World Watch iWitness Award. Her other honors include the National Black Theatre Fest's August Wilson Playwriting Award, a Guggenheim Grant, PEN/Laura Pels Award, Lucille Lortel Fellowship and Visiting Research Fellowship at Princeton University. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, where she has been a faculty member since 2001. She is also an Associate Professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia School of the Arts.
Nottage is a board member for Theatre Communications Group, BRIC Arts Media Bklyn, Donor Direct Action, Second Stage, The New Black Fest, and the Dramatists Guild. She recently completed a three-year term as an Artist Trustee on the Board of the Sundance Institute.
Executive Director, National Basketball Players Association
Notably, Michele Roberts is the first woman to head a major professional sports union in North America. In her role as Executive Director, Ms. Roberts serves as the primary advocate for all players, ensuring the protection of the organization and its membership, including serving as the lead negotiator in all collective bargaining activities. Prior to this selection, Ms. Roberts was a renowned trial lawyer and member of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s Litigation Group. Her practice focused on complex civil and white collar criminal litigation before state and federal courts and in administrative proceedings. Ms. Roberts has tried more than 100 cases to jury verdicts, representing clients in a wide variety of areas, including products liability, white collar, racketeering, securities regulation violations, Title VII issues and premises liability. She has been called the “finest pure trial lawyer in Washington, D.C.” by Washingtonian Magazine. Ms. Roberts is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Ms. Roberts also served for eight years in the office of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she was named Chief of the Trial Division. She served as counsel in more than 40 jury trials.
Prominent Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, Jr. commended Ms. Roberts’ courtroom presence, stating “she becomes the 13th juror, capable of seeing the case as the jury sees it, and therefore able to revise strategy, as necessary, mid-trial to address the jury’s concerns” (The Legal Times, March 2011).
Ms. Roberts repeatedly has been ranked in the top tier for Litigation: Trial Lawyers in both Chambers Global and Chambers USA. She was the recipient of the Business Trial Lawyer of the Year at the 2011 Chambers USA Awards of Excellence. Ms. Roberts also was named a finalist in the “Litigator of the Year” category at the inaugural Chambers USA Women in Law Awards 2012. She was named Best Lawyers’ “2015 Washington DC Criminal Defense: White-Collar Lawyer of the Year,” was named one of Benchmark Litigation’s “Top 250 Women in Litigation” in 2013, and was included in the list of “Top Guns” in the Ethisphere® Institute’s 2012 “Attorneys Who Matter” rankings. In addition, she has been included in The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who Legal – Business Crime Defense and Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. When the Washington Business Journal was looking for innovative and inspiring leaders, they named her to their 2010 “Women Who Mean Business” list. In 2007, she was recognized as one of Washingtonian’s “Big Guns: Top 30 Lawyers in Washington, D.C.,” and since 2003, Washingtonian Magazine has named her to its top lawyer rankings, including 2009’s list of Washington’s “100 Most Powerful Women.” In 2006, The Legal Times also listed her among the top 10 white collar lawyers in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Roberts is a frequent lecturer and presenter to both the bench and bar on a variety of topics related to litigation and trial practice. She serves as an adjunct member of the faculty at Harvard Law School, teaching a Trial Advocacy Workshop and is an instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.