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DIVERSITY NEWS


BY JOSHUA H. SHIELDS


GALA AND PATHWAYS CONFERENCE AWE ATTENDEES


YT BELL WAS AN MCCA INTERN LAST YEAR. SHE GREW UP IN RURAL GEORGIA AND WAS THE FIRST IN HER FAMILY TO ATTEND COL- LEGE. Her fi rst airline fl ight was last year, when she came to New York City to see the Pathways conference in action. I found myself wishing she could have attended the 2011 Diversity Honors Gala in place of that trip. T en I reconsidered. If YT had attended the Diversity Honors Gala at the


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Lincoln Center her head might have exploded. I’m sure she would have described it as a fairy tale. A gregarious, smiling 21-year-old, YT would have had a ball, which is the idea. T e Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is the ultimate venue. T e red carpet was off Broadway, with fl ashing cameras recording every face and elegant gown. When attendees moved into the sold-out 1,095-seat


Alice Tully Hall the conversation was about how great the event was—and it was just getting started. After honor-


Scan this QR Code with your mobile device to see more images from the Gala and Pathways Conference.


ing the Employer of Choice companies (profi led on pages 36-39), the program turned to the man of the evening, Vernon Jordan (profi le begins on page 16). Ursula Burns, the CEO of Xerox Corporation, and a


longtime mentee of Jordan’s, provided a magnifi cent introduc- tion. “Vernon’s life story is the embodiment of the American dream—from the public housing projects of Atlanta to the very pinnacle of corporate and political power, he has seen and done it all—Civil Rights lawyer, head of the United Negro College Fund, President of the National Urban League, partner in a prestigious Washington law fi rm, power broker and kingmaker, board member of some of America’s leading global corporations, senior managing director of Lazard Freres, author, lecturer, champion of diversity and social justice, but that is only part of Vernon’s enormous legacy. “Our country owes him an enormous debt for his con-


XEROX CEO URSULA BURNS ON THE RED CARPET, LEFT


tributions on the national scale. But so, too, do the legions of people like me who owe their success in no small measure to this giant of a man.” As I listened to the


MCCA PRESIDENT & CEO JOE WEST


DIVERSITY & THE BAR® NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 RICHARDSON AND


ACC PRESIDENT & CEO VETA


CEO of Xerox toast Jordan’s accomplish- ments, my thoughts returned to our young former intern. She would have loved to have been in the audience, taking it all in, but she was across the country, in New Mexico, pursuing her dream of becoming a Secret Service agent. As Jordan climbed


the stage to begin his remarks, I thought


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