City Life Org – The Brooklyn Public Library honors Grammy and Oscar-winning composer and bandleader Jon Batiste, bestselling author and Emmy-winning journalist Suleika Jaouad, and the One Initiative Million Black Women by Goldman Sachs

Photo: Gregg Richards

Fundraising gala held under the stars of the newly renovated Central Library at Grand Army Plaza
Hosted by Baratunde Thurston With special guest Wynton Marsali

Supporters of the Brooklyn Public Library gathered this week at the newly renovated Central Library to recognize leaders who are improving the lives of everyday New Yorkers. Over $1 million was raised to support library programs and collections.

The library offers tens of thousands of free programs each year for people from all walks of life: immigrants learning a new language, students preparing for college, older adults looking for companionship, budding entrepreneurs launching their dreams, children discovering the world and people from all walks of life. ages exploring arts and culture. At BPL, you can enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions, discovering a good book, without ever having to pay a fine.

“We were thrilled to be back in person to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Brooklyn Public Library and the individuals and organizations in the borough whose talent, perseverance and commitment to justice inspire us. Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women initiative is well on its way to closing the long-suffering opportunity gap for Black women and girls in Brooklyn and across the country. And through their music and writing, Jon Batiste and Suleika Jaouad bring clarity, joy and hope in equal abundance. We are thrilled to honor their accomplishments and welcome our supporters back to the Central Library,” said Linda Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library.

Suleika Jaouadand her husband, Jon Batiste, were honored for their contributions to the world of art, music, writing and journalism. The couple live in Brooklyn.

Jon Batiste is a five-time Grammy winner who has performed on some of the biggest stages in the world, including the Grammys and the Kennedy Center Honors, and nightly with his band Stay Human, appearing on the Late Show of CBS with Stephen Colbert. He has also spent much of his career bringing music back to where it started, including on the Central Library steps to celebrate Juneteenth with Sing for Hope, and on the opening season of BPL’s Dweck Center in 2008.

Suleika Jaouad is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, between two kingdoms. She wrote the Emmy-winning New York Times Life column, Interrupted, and her reporting and essays have been featured in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Vogue, and NPR, among others. A highly sought-after speaker, her keynote TED Talk was one of the ten most popular of 2019 and has nearly five million views. She is also the creator of The Isolation Journals, a community creativity project founded during the Covid-19 pandemic to help others convert isolation into artistic solitude; more than 100,000 people from all over the world have joined. Jaoud sits on the library’s Arts and Letters Committee and discussed his memoirs at the library’s Dweck Cultural Center.

Batiste accepted the award on his and Jaouad’s behalf, noting that of the many accolades they received throughout their careers, this was one of the greatest. He added, “Libraries are an oasis in our culture and one that the Brooklyn Public Library is leading the way.

Internationally renowned musician, composer and pedagogue Wynton Marsalis presented the honor, noting that “through the synergy of their union, they have enriched and advanced our social, cultural and civic life – here in Brooklyn and beyond – even in some of the most remote areas of our planet. “. The longtime friends are passionate about the role the arts and free speech play in a healthy democracy.

The Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women initiative was also honored. In partnership with black women-led organizations, financial institutions and others, Goldman Sachs has committed $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic capital over the next decade to combat the disproportionate gender and racial twin biases black women have faced for generations, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. The initiative, One Million Black Women, is named after and guided by the goal of impacting the lives of at least one million black women by 2030. Launched in March 2021, the initiative has invested nearly $1 billion in key pillars of health, employment, workforce creation and development, education, affordable housing, digital connectivity, financial health and access to capital. The Brooklyn Public Library, in partnership with Goldman Sachs, will work to develop new programs, partnerships, and pathways to provide opportunities for Black women and girls.

“We are proud to be honored by Brooklyn Public Library,” said Asahi Pompey, Chairman of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. “Institutions like the Brooklyn Public Library serve as vital anchors for our communities. By working together, we can achieve our common goal of providing opportunity for all.

Lindsay Greene, Chairman and CEO of Navy Yard, presented this honor to One Million Black Women of Goldman Sachs. Previously, she served as Director of Strategy for the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Director of Strategy for Economic Development and Housing in the Office of the Mayor of New York. She also spent six years working at Goldman Sachs, most recently in the firm’s urban investment group.

Gizelle George-Josephchief operating officer of the Global Investment Research division of Goldman Sachs, accepted the honor.

Baratunde Thurston served as host for the evening. A trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library, Thurston is an Emmy-nominated host who has worked for The Onion, produced for The Daily Show, advised the Obama White House, and written the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. He is the creator and host of How To Citizen with Baratunde, which Apple named one of its favorite podcasts of 2020, a founding partner of new media startup Puck, and the host of the upcoming America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston airs on PBS from July 5. Baratunde also sits on the board of BUILD.org

Mayor Adams delivered additional remarks and guests were entertained by the Brooklyn Youth Choir, brass queens and DJ FRITZo.

About Brooklyn Public Library
The Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and one of New York’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen community fabric among the more than 2.6 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. . We offer nearly 65,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists and educators, around the corner and around the world. And we give our customers millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.

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