Voices 8 – Educate.Inspire.Transform
When: May 17, 2012
Where: Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street, New York City
- Honorees & Host
The Brotherhood/Sister Sol (BHSS) is pleased to announce our 8th annual VOICES celebration, to be held Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center on Thursday May 17th, 2012. It will be an incredible night and we look forward to having you in attendance.
We proudly announce our honorees, Theodore V. Wells Jr., Partner and Co-Chair of the Litigation Department at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Nina Wells, former Secretary of the State of New Jersey, Ana L. Oliveira, President and Chief Executive Officer of The New York Women’s Foundation and Bill Lynch, former Vice Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Founder & Chairman at Bill Lynch & Associates. Harry Belafonte, a former BHSS honoree, will present Mr. Lynch with his award. Soledad O'Brien, CNN anchor and host of Voices 7, will present Ms. Oliveira with her award. The actor Boris Kodjoe will host the evening’s festivities.
Our Fundraising Chairs are Michael J. O'Brien, SVP, General Counsel and Secretary at Omnicom Group, and Susan E. Chapman, SVP, Global Real Estate & Workplace Enablement at American Express. Our event Co-Chairs are Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay, Michelle Ores, Tiffany R. Warren, and Khary Lazarre-White.
VOICES is our signature annual benefit highlighting our youth and life changing programming. The event provides an extraordinary opportunity for our dynamic supporters to celebrate BHSS’s commitment to helping Black and Latino youth develop into critical thinkers and community leaders. Last year we honored David N. Dinkins, author Dr. Cornel West and actress Rosario Dawson. CNN’s Soledad O’Brien hosted the event and over 400 people were in attendance.
Senior Vice President, Advertising Sales & Marketing, TV One
*Michelle Ores, Attorney
*Tiffany R. Warren
Senior Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer, Omnicom Group
Khary Lazarre-White, Esq.
Executive Director & Co-Founder, The Brotherhood/Sister Sol
Michael J. O'Brien, Esq
Senior Vice President, General Council & Secretary, Omnicom Group
Susan E. Chapman
Senior Vice President, Global Real Estate & Workplace Enablement, American Express
Tinika Brown, Esq.
*Paul E. Butler, Esq.
Gia Cavellini Guzman
Derrick Cephas, Esq.
*Rabbi Rachel Cowan
Meyer Sandy Frucher
*Stephen C. Graham
Dr. Lynelle Granady
*Dr. Farah Griffin
Carol M. Joseph, Esq.
Martin Karlinksky, Esq.
*James A. Krauskopf
Rashida K. La Lande, Esq.
Ernest Leif Boyd
Diarra McKinney, Esq.
Dr. Ogretta V. McNeil
*Dr. Pedro A. Noguera
Dr. Kim Rosenthal
Karen Saah, Esq.
*Nicole G. Valentine, Esq.
Mario Van Peebles
*Reverend John Vaughn
*Douglas H. White, Esq.
*Gwynne Wilcox, Esq.
Theodore V. Wells Jr.
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Former Secretary of State of New Jersey
A partner and co-chair of the Litigation Department, Theodore V. Wells, Jr. has extensive litigation experience in white-collar criminal defense, complex civil and corporate litigation, SEC regulatory work, FCPA investigations, environmental matters and class action litigation.
In 2010 The National Law Journal named Mr. Wells one of "The Decade's Most Influential Lawyers" and over the years has repeatedly selected him as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America. Mr. Wells also has been recognized as one of the outstanding jury trial lawyers in the United States by numerous publications including Chambers USA 2006 which noted he “is recognized by many as ‘the greatest trial lawyer of our generation.’” Chambers has named him a Star Performer for nationwide trial litigation since 2010, for New York general commercial litigation since 2009 and for New York white-collar crime and government investigations since 2009. He was described in the 2011 edition as “a charismatic litigator with exceptional trial experience and excellent judgment." In addition, he was recently recognized by the 2011 Legal 500 as a “leading trial lawyer” and a “remarkably successful” white-collar criminal defense lawyer.
In 2010, Mr. Wells successfully defended Citigroup in a three-week jury trial where the plaintiff, the London-based private equity firm Terra Firma, claimed it was defrauded in connection with its purchase of the music company EMI, and claimed over $7 billion in damages.
In 2008, Mr. Wells successfully defended Citigroup in a five-month civil jury trial where the plaintiff alleged that Citigroup aided and abetted in the massive fraud at Parmalat, the Italian dairy and food corporation. The jury totally rejected the $2 billion claim for damages against Citigroup and also awarded Citigroup $364 million on Citigroup’s counterclaim.
Some of Mr. Wells’ significant and publicly reported representations include:
- the successful defense of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Michael Espy in U.S. v. Espy;
- the successful defense of U.S. Secretary of Labor Raymond Donovan and other corporate executives in State v. Schiavone;
- the successful defense of U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli in the Department of Justice’s three-year campaign finance investigation;
- the successful defense of investment banker Frank Quattrone for obstruction of justice charges;
- defense of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, chief of staff to former Vice President Dick Cheney, on perjury charges in U.S. v. Libby;
- the successful defense of former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer for possible violations of federal statutes;
- the successful defense of Margaret Flake and U.S. Congressman Floyd Flake in U.S. v. Flake;
- the successful defense of Tennessee financier Franklin L. Haney, accused of campaign contribution law violations in connection with the Clinton/Gore 1996 Presidential campaign in U.S. v. Haney; and
- the successful defense of San Francisco investment banker Calvin Grigsby of fraud charges involving the Port of Miami and Dade County, Florida in U.S. v. Grigsby.
In addition to defending a number of political figures, Mr. Wells has also represented numerous corporate executives and corporations in jury trials, grand jury investigations and before the SEC. Mr. Wells also has extensive experience in representing major pharmaceutical companies in criminal and civil matters involving off-label marketing issues.
More specifically, he has defended:
- financier Michael Milken in various criminal and civil securities litigations;
- hedge fund manager James Regan in the first Wall Street RICO prosecution in U.S. v. Regan;
- Carnival Corporation in U.S. v. Carnival Corporation (environmental prosecution); and
- the successful defense of investment banker Frank Quattrone for obstruction of justice charges;
- Exxon Mobil Corporation in U.S. v. Exxon (environmental prosecution).
Mr. Wells also has extensive experience in representing major corporations in massive class action litigations, including Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Mitsubishi Corporation, Carnival Corporation and Philip Morris Corporation.
In addition, Mr. Wells has successfully defended major law firms in malpractice actions.
With extensive experience in corporate governance issues, Mr. Wells previously served on the Board of Directors of CIT Corporation, a New York Stock Exchange company, where he was a member of CIT’s audit committee. Mr. Wells is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has served as co-chair of the White-Collar Criminal Section of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has been a faculty member of the Practising Law Institute Trial Advocacy Program, a teaching team member of the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop and a lecturer at the Securities Regulation Institute. He has lectured on the use and scope of the RICO statute, the defense of securities and environmental criminal and civil matters, federal grand jury procedures and federal sentencing guidelines.
Active in social, political and community affairs, Mr. Wells served as national treasurer for Senator Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign and is the chairman emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Board of Directors. He previously served, on a pro bono basis, as general counsel to the New Jersey NAACP, New Jersey co-chairperson of the United Negro College Fund and general counsel to the New Jersey Democratic Party.
Mr. Wells served as an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.
During a career that has spanned 33 years, Nina Mitchell Wells, Esq. has been an attorney, educator, public servant and has worked for numerous philanthropic causes.
Appointed by Governor Jon S. Corzine, Nina Mitchell Wells was sworn in as Secretary of the State of New Jersey in January, 2006 and served in that capacity until January 2010. As head of the New Jersey Department of State, she was responsible for the Division of Elections, the Division of Travel and Tourism (the third largest industry in New Jersey) generating $40 billion annually in expenditures, the Division of Archives and Records Management; the Amistad Commission, the New Jersey Historical Commission; the New Jersey Council on the Arts; the New Jersey Cultural Trust; the New Jersey State Museum; the New Jersey Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission; the New Jersey Commission on American Indian Affairs; the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism; AmeriCorps; the Office of Faith Based Initiatives; the New Jersey Israel Commission; and the War Memorial, home of Patriot’s Theatre.
Prior to becoming Secretary of State, Ms. Wells was President of the Schering-Plough Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Schering-Plough Corporation, and Vice-President of Public Affairs for Schering-Plough Corporation. She began her legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Newark and thereafter practiced corporate law for many years with major corporations including New Jersey Bell Telephone Company, Bell Communications Research, Inc. and the CIT Group. Ms. Wells was also head of the Division of Rate Counsel in the Department of the Public Advocate during the Administration of Governor James Florio, and also served as a Rutgers University Law School Assistant Dean. She has served as a board member of numerous secondary and collegiate institutions, cultural organizations and foundations, community organizations and various philanthropic causes, including the Board of Trustees of the Newark Day Center, Saint Barnabas Health Care System; the NJ Public Broadcasting Authority; the Victoria Foundation; the Board of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; The Newark Museum, Drumthwacket Foundation, The Montclair Kimberly Academy, Seton Hall Preparatory School; the Advisory Board of Teach for America; the Council of NJ Grantmakers; and the College of St. Elizabeth.
A cum laude graduate of Newton College of the Sacred Heart (now Boston College) with a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts. Secretary Wells also holds a degree from the NYU Stern School of Business, Executive Management Program and was a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She also received an Honorary Degree from both the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station, NJ, and from Drew University in Madison, NJ. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including, but not limited to being named the recipient of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Platinum Award for Leadership in Law, the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Public Sector Advocate of the Year Award, The NAACP’s President Award, the Montclair Art Museum Honoree for Arts Education, the Girl Scout Council of Greater Essex and West Hudson’s Woman of Distinction Award and that organization’s first outstanding philanthropic award, the New Jersey Garden State Bar Association’s Award for outstanding legal, community and philanthropic services and The New Jersey Garden State Bar Association’s Superlative Leadership Award, the Association of Black Women of New Jersey – Women in Business Award and, she is a member of the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame.
Ana L. Oliveira
President and Chief Executive Officer of The New York Women’s Foundation.
Ana Oliveira became the President & CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation in 2006, on the eve of its 20th Anniversary. In five years of Ana’s leadership at NYWF, The Foundation has grown in several dimensions, establishing a new strategic plan, sponsoring landmark research reports, increasing visibility and public awareness of The Foundation’s presence in NYC; and dramatically increasing the impact of The Foundation, with the distribution of a record $5 million in grants in its 25th year, in 2012.
Ana has worked in the health and human services field for over 22 years, developing programs for vulnerable populations throughout NYC. She served as the Executive Director of Gay Men’s Health Crisis for over seven years, overseeing a complete turn-around of the agency. Before working at GMHC, Ana directed innovative community-based programs at Samaritan Village, the Osborne Association, Kings County and Lincoln Hospitals. Ana was a member of the New York City HIV Planning Council and was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to the New York City Commission on AIDS in 2004. She served on the HIV Advisory Board to the Administration of Children’s Services, chaired the NYC Commission for LGBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth, and Co-Chaired Mayor Bloomberg’s Young Men’s Initiative.
Ana is a Co-Chair of the board of the Women’s Funding Network, and is a board member of NYC’s LGBT Center.
In 2005, Ana was profiled in Newsweek as “America’s Best,” a series highlighting ordinary individuals using their extraordinary vision on behalf of others.
?Her awards feature: Mutual Welfare League Certificate, (Osborne Association); Liberty Award, (Lambda Legal & Education Defense Fund); Community Service Award (Empire State Pride Agenda); the Rosie Perez Fuerza Award, (Latino Commission on AIDS), and the Master’s Award (Association of Women Business Owners).
Ana was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and resides in Manhattan. She has an M.A. in Medical Anthropology from the New School for Social Research.
Former Vice Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Founder and Chairman, Bill Lynch Associates.
Bill Lynch, founder and Chairman of Bill Lynch Associates, LLC, has more than 30 years of experience in local and national politics, government operations, labor, and public policy.
Mr. Lynch successfully managed the mayoral campaign of David N. Dinkins in 1989, serving as Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Affairs from 1990-93. In addition to his responsibility for everything from the Community Development Agency to the Mayor’s Action Center, he oversaw the mayor’s federal, state and municipal legislative affairs offices. He had earlier been Manhattan Borough President Dinkins’ Chief of Staff.
In 1990, he coordinated the mayor’s urban national agenda, convening a meeting of 38 of the nation’s mayors. In 1992, he was one of the leaders of the team that brought the Democratic National Convention to New York.
When Nelson Mandela was released from prison in South Africa in 1991, Mr. Lynch coordinated the massive New York welcome celebration for the anti-apartheid leader. He was a key adviser to Mr. Mandela during his election campaign for President when South Africa’s black majority was first able to vote.
Prior to his work in government, Mr. Lynch served as Director of Legislation and Political Action for District Council 1701 of AFSCME, and managed successful campaigns for Major Owens for Congress and Frank Boyland for Assembly as well as playing key roles in the Presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson and Walter Mondale. He was Deputy Campaign Manager for John Kerry for President in 2004.
President Bill Clinton appointed Mr. Lynch to the Democratic National Committee in 1997, where he served as Vice-Chair until 2003 when he was appointed to the New York City Charter Revision Commission by Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
Mr. Lynch serves on the boards of Advancement Project, the Children’s Defense Fund, Long Island University, the Museum for African Art, Shared Interest, the New York Organ Donor Network, and the Hamilton Heights-Sugar Hill Historic Commission.
Artist, Humanitarian and former Voices Honoree.
Harry Belafonte was born in Harlem in New York City in 1927. Overwhelmed and intimidated by its ghetto streets and thinking the islands to be a safer place, his immigrant mother sent him back to the island of her birth, Jamaica. The island and all its variety became a cultural reservoir, which he ultimately drew upon for his artistic expression. At the outbreak of World War II, his mother retrieved him from the island and brought him back to Harlem. He tried to adapt to his new environment, a process which came with great difficulty and finally, unable to finish high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served for almost two years. After his tour of duty ended, he was honorably discharged and returned to New York City where he worked both in the garment center and as a janitor’s assistant.
For doing repairs in an apartment Belafonte was given as his gratuity a ticket to a production of “Home is the Hunter” at a community theatre in Harlem called the American Negro Theatre. The world that the theatre opened up to him put Belafonte face to face with what would be his destiny – a life in performing arts. He joined the Dramatic Workshop of the New School of the School of Social Research under the tutelage of the great German director, Erwin Piscator, and with classmates like Marlon Brando, Walter Matthau, Bea Arthur, Rod Steiger and Tony Curtis. Belafonte became thoroughly grounded in the world of his choice… theatre. Paralleling this pursuit was Belafonte’s emersion in the world of Jazz. His love of the culture profoundly shaped his deep interest in its workings and revelations. From this experience he developed a relationship with the young architects of the art form, the geniuses of modern jazz and on the occasion of his first professional appearance had Charlie Parker, Max Roach, Tommy Potter and Al Haig as his “back-up band”. Since that launching, Belafonte has sustained an inordinately successful career. His RCA album “Calypso” made him the first artist in industry history to sell over 1 million LP’s. His first Broadway appearance in “John Murray Andersons Almanac” gave him the coveted Tony. As the first black producer in television, he won his first Emmy for his CBS production of “An Evening With Belafonte” directed by Norman Jewison. At the dawning of his cinematic film career, “Carmen Jones”, took top critical honors and attracted Oscar nominations. His many firsts in the over turning of numerous racial barriers in the world of culture in America is legend.
In the early 50s, Belafonte met a young Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. From that day until the leader’s assassination, Belafonte and King developed a deep and abiding friendship that for Belafonte still stands as one of the most precious of his experiences. Dr. King once said: “Belafonte’s global popularity and his commitment to our cause is a key ingredient to the global struggle for freedom and a powerful tactical weapon in the Civil Rights movement here in America. We are blessed by his courage and moral integrity.” Belafonte was a prominent contributor to the ending of the oppressive Apartheid Government of South Africa and the release of his friend, Nelson Mandela, after twenty-seven and a half years of incarceration. Belafonte was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as the cultural advisor for the Peace Corps. He has been honored many times by such diversified groups as the American Jewish Congress, the NAACP, The Urban League, The National Conference of Black Mayors, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the ACLU, the State Department, the Boy Scouts of America, Hadassah International and the Peace Corps. He has received awards such as The Albert Einstein Award from Yeshiva University, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize and the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors for excellence in the performing arts. He was the first recipient of the Nelson Mandela Courage Award and was honored at the White House with the 1994 National Medal of Arts from President Clinton for his contributions to our nation’s cultural life. He has received honorary degrees from City University of New York, Spellman College, Tufts University, Brandeis University, Long Island University, Bard College and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Columbia University and many others.
Disturbed by cruel events unfolding in Africa because of war, famine and drought, Belafonte set in motion the wheels that led to “We Are the World” on January 28, 1985. He, along with others, undertook to guide and direct the project known as USA for Africa. In 1987, Belafonte accepted the appointment as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, making him the second American to hold this title – the first was Danny Kaye. Belafonte has continued to devote himself globally to civil and human rights issues, focusing in particular on the United States and Africa.
Belafonte also has two children from a previous marriage – Adrienne and Shari and two children David and Gina from his 2nd wife Julie. He boasts of five grandchildren – Rachel, Brian, Maria, Sarafina and Amadaus. He says of them, “They represent my final contribution to a world in need of love.” Mr. Belafonte is currently married to Ms. Pamela Frank, of Boston.
Among his feature film credits are Spike Lee's "Love and Basketball," "Brown Sugar" in which he appeared alongside Taye Diggs and Queen Latifah, "The Gospel," "Tyler Perry's "Madea's Family Reunion," "All About Us" and "Starship Troopers 3: Marauder." Most recently, he appeared opposite Bruce Willis in the action thriller "Surrogates," and will appear in the upcoming Paul Anderson-directed thriller "Resident Evil: Afterlife".
In 2009, he made his Broadway debut in the Tennessee Williams classic "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," which included a talented cast that featured James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose and Giancarlo Esposito.
Prior to launching his acting career, he modeled at the Ford Modeling agency, where he was involved in such campaigns as Ralph Lauren, Perry Ellis, Yves Saint Laurent and The Gap. Given his fashion background, he recently started up the clothing company ALFA with his brother Patrick.
Kodjoe's main personal interest is to raise funds for Sophie's Voice Foundation, which he and his wife started in honor of their daughter, Sophie, who was diagnosed with spina bifida at birth.
He and Nicole have two children, and they reside in Los Angeles.
CNN Anchor & Special Correspondent
Soledad O’Brien is an anchor and special correspondent for CNN/U.S. Since joining the network in 2003, O’Brien has reported breaking news from around the globe and has produced award-winning, record-breaking and critically acclaimed documentaries on the most important stories facing the world today. She also covers political news as part of CNN’s “Best Political Team on Television.
O'Brien's most recent documentaries include Almighty Debt, a Black in America special that explores the role of the black church in helping African Americans survive the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression; Rescued, a look at Haiti’s remarkable children before, during and after the devastating earthquake; and Gary and Tony Have a Baby, the story of two gay men and their struggle to have a baby that has a biological and legal connection to both of them. In 2009, Soledad reported for Latino in America, a wide-ranging look at Latinos living in this country; prior, O’Brien reported for Black in America 2, a four-hour documentary focusing on successful community leaders who are improving the lives of African-Americans.
O'Brien joined CNN as the co-anchor of the network's flagship morning program, American Morning, and distinguished herself by reporting from the scene on the transformational stories that broke on her watch. For CNN’s Katrina coverage, O’Brien’s reports on the storm’s impact included an in-depth interview with former FEMA chief Michael Brown. She also covered the London terrorism attacks in July 2005, and in December 2004, she was among a handful of CNN anchors sent to Thailand to cover the disaster and aftermath of the tsunami.
In 2010, she released her critically-acclaimed memoir The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities, which chronicles her biggest reporting moments and how her upbringing and background have influenced these experiences. That same year, the National Association of Black Journalists named O’Brien the Journalist of the Year and Edward R Murrow Awards lauded her with the RTDNA/UNITY award for Latino in America. In 2009, she received the 2009 Medallion of Excellence for Leadership and Community Service Award from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. In 2008, she was the first recipient of the Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award from the Morehouse School of Medicine for being a catalyst for social change. Also in 2008, O’Brien was the first recipient of The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Goodermote Humanitarian Award for her efforts while reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the Southeast Asia tsunami. O'Brien was part of the coverage teams that earned CNN a George Foster Peabody award for its Katrina coverage and an Alfred I. duPont Award for its coverage of the tsunami. Her numerous other awards include a Gracie Allen Award in 2007 for her reporting from Cyprus on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict as well as her reports from the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The NAACP honored her with its President’s Award in 2007 for her humanitarian efforts and journalistic excellence.
O'Brien came to CNN from NBC News where she anchored the network’s Weekend Today since July 1999. Prior, O'Brien anchored MSNBC's award-winning technology program The Site. O'Brien joined NBC News in 1991 and was based in New York as a field producer for Nightly News and TODAY. Before her time at NBC, she served three years as a local reporter and bureau chief for the NBC affiliate KRON in San Francisco. She began her career as an associate producer and news writer at the then-NBC affiliate WBZ-TV in Boston.
Soledad O’Brien is a graduate of Harvard University and currently lives with her husband and four children in Manhattan.