Intergenerational Summit on the State of Black America

Presented by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
and the National Visionary Leadership Project

October 17, 2003

2003 Honorees

Edward Brooke
Cardiss Collins
David Dinkins

The National Visionary Leadership Project held two major events in Washington, DC on Friday, October 17th: an intergenerational Summit on the State of Black America at the Library of Congress (our co-host); and the Visionary Leadership Awards Gala honoring some of our Visionaries in the Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center’s intimate Terrace Theater.

The Summit on the State of Black America at the Library of Congress honored five visionaries from the areas of politics, education, and social activism. The five honorees were Edward Brooke, Cardiss Collins, David Dinkins, John Hope Franklin and Dorothy Height.

This very special event began with a private, VIP reception and then moved to the Library’s historic Coolidge Auditorium for a brief inaugural awards ceremony, during which each Summit honoree was presented with the 2003 Visionary Leadership Award, a sculptural work of art, commissioned and created solely for this occasion.

The intergenerational Summit discussion ran from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Moderated by veteran journalist Bernard Shaw, the audience consisted mainly of students from various colleges and high schools. The 2-hour program was divided into the subject areas of politics, economics and education.

The evening’s Visionary Leadership Awards Gala began at 7:30 pm at the Kennedy Center. Hosted by Phylicia Rashad, the black-tie event honored seven Visionaries in the Performing Arts: Ray Charles, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Dick Gregory, Jimmy Heath, Geoffrey Holder and Odetta. Each Visionary chose a younger protégé, who preformed in his or her honor.

The Gala evening ended with an elegant, celebratory dinner in the Kennedy Center’s beautiful atrium.