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Susan was there for Oprah when she open her leadership academy in South Africa and now Oprah is returning the favor.
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CNN and ESSENCE correspondent Roland S. Martin is on hand to support and celebrate Susan L. Taylor.
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Taylor and ESSENCE Special Projects Director Sandra Martin look on with pride.
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Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin give a soul-stirring performance at the event.
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Michael Eric Dyson, left, Taylor’s husband, Khephra Burns, Oprah Winfrey and Taylor give praise.
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Oprah and Taylor find time to celebrate another icon in the midst, Dr. Adelaide Sanford, former regent-at-large, New York State Board of Regents. Dr. Sanford even has a school in Newark named in her honor.
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“It’s really time for the Black community to step up,” said Taylor when asked about the importance of mentoring. “This is a call to action, a call to commitment, and we’re saying, not on our watch.”
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Actress Phyllis Yvonne Stickney and vocalist Branice McKenzie shared cohosting duties throughout the evening.
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Friends from far and wide came out to toast Susan’s 37-years at Essence and raising funds for the National CARES Mentoring Movement, committed to saving a generation of vulnerable children.
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Taylor’s husband, Khephra Burns, left, Oprah Winfrey and Taylor look carefully as she cuts a cake made in her honor. The cake was decorated to match the covers of all her books.
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Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook and husband Phil Banks, Jr., president of 100 Black Men of New York, have been friends of Taylor’s for years.
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Taylor and former ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Marcia Gillespie share a unique bond. It was Gillespie who gave Taylor her first shot and introduced Taylor to the magazine that would change her life forever.
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Oprah and Taylor share a moment with Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford, a woman who has impacted the lives of students at every level of New York City’s school system.
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Dr. Marcia Dyson, left, Khephra Burns, Taylor and Michael Eric Dyson share a moment on stage.
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Oprah lends her name and provided a generous donation of one million dollars to the National CARES Mentoring Movement.
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