On a cold and rainy Monday night, New York’s best and brightest heated up Cipriani Wall Street to raise money and awareness for our nation’s most vulnerable.

Susan Taylor, who helmed ESSENCE as its editor-in-chief and publications director for nearly four decades, hosted her annual For The Love of Our Children Gala, which raises money for her non-profit, the National CARES Mentoring Movement. The non-profit, where Taylor serves as the founder and CEO, aims to support Black children who are affected by poverty.

This year, Taylor tapped Oscar-winning rapper Common to serve as Honorary Chair for the gala.

“Forty percent of Black babies are born into inter-generational poverty. Their lives, derailed at birth, are immeasurably harder in this polarized political environment that is causing some donors that traditionally supported vulnerable Black children and communities to retreat,” he wrote in a letter posted to the non-profit’s website, explaining why an “investment in our children” is more needed than ever before.

The evening, which honored Vista Equity Partners Chairman and CEO Robert F. Smith, was hosted by daytime talk show host, Tamron Hall, along with Michael Eric Dyson.

Here’s who else we spotted inside the star-studded gala.

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