Susan was there for Oprah when she open her leadership academy in South Africa and now Oprah is returning the favor.
CNN and ESSENCE correspondent Roland S. Martin is on hand to support and celebrate Susan L. Taylor.
Taylor and ESSENCE Special Projects Director Sandra Martin look on with pride.
Yolanda Adams and Donnie McClurkin give a soul-stirring performance at the event.
Michael Eric Dyson, left, Taylor’s husband, Khephra Burns, Oprah Winfrey and Taylor give praise.
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.
“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.”
Actress Phyllis Yvonne Stickney and vocalist Branice McKenzie shared cohosting duties throughout the evening.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Marcia Dyson, left, Khephra Burns, Taylor and Michael Eric Dyson share a moment on stage.
Oprah lends her name and provided a generous donation of one million dollars to the National CARES Mentoring Movement.