North Side Celebrates 60th

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Former President Bill Clinton presented the Mamie Award to Susan Patricof. For 32 years, Mrs. Patricof has been a member of Northside Center’s Board of Directors and for the past 13, its Chair. Wynton Marsalis presented the Mamie Award to Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn.

More than 650 guests joined former President Bill Clinton; jazz legend and Pulitzer Prize winner Wynton Marsalis; producer, educator, and philanthropist Dr. Camille O. Cosby; and Grammy-Award winning musician John Legend, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Northside Center for Child Development at its annual gala.  Nearly $1.5 million was raised for the June 8 event, which was held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan.

Three long-time board members and supporters of the agency, Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn, Carolyn Wright-Lewis, and Susan Patricof were presented with Mamie Awards. The Mamie Award is named in honor of Dr. Mamie Phipps Clark, who in 1946 founded Northside Center for Child Development with her husband, Dr. Kenneth Clark, and served as its Executive Director for 34 years. The Clarks’ ground-breaking research helped drive the historic Brown v Board of Education Supreme Court decision.  

“We are pleased to be presenting Mamie Awards to three women who together have devoted more than six decades of service to Northside Center, and have worked tirelessly to see that Dr. Mamie Clark’s vision lives on,� said Dr. Thelma Dye, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “For 60 years, Northside Center has served at-risk children in Harlem, but we never could have accomplished our goals without advocates, friends, and board members like Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn, Carolyn Wright-Lewis, and Susan Patricof. We are extremely grateful for their devotion, leadership, and support.�

Former President Bill Clinton presented the Mamie Award to Susan Patricof.  For 32 years, Mrs. Patricof has been a member of Northside Center’s Board of Directors and for the past 13, its Chair. 

Wynton Marsalis presented the Mamie Award to Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn. Mrs. Ahmad-Llewellyn is Vice Chairman of the Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Inc., a privately held corporation and the fourth largest Coke bottler in the United States. For 16 years she served on Northside Center’s Board of Directors, five of which as Co-Chairman and is now a member of the Council of Advisors. 

Dr. Camille Cosby presented the Mamie Award to Carolyn Wright-Lewis. Mrs. Wright-Lewis honed her sensitivity to the needs of at-risk children and their families and her belief in the philosophy of the Clarks during her 25-year career as a speech pathologist. After graduate school, where she first became acquainted with the work of the Clarks, she began her career as Chief of Speech Pathology-Home Care Program at D.C. General Hospital in Washington, D.C.

She and her husband of 15 years, Edward Lewis, Founder and Chairman of Essence Communications, Inc., oversee the Lewis Scholarship Fund for minority students at the University of New Mexico. 

In addition to the presentations, guests were treated to a performance by John Legend; Dr. Dye and News Anchor Maurice DuBois, of New York’s CBS2, conducted an auction to fund special activities for children who are clients of Northside Center; and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn congratulated Northside Center on its 60th Anniversary after the crowd sang Happy Anniversary to the agency.

Each year, Northside Center serves more than 1,800 children with emotional and/or behavioral difficulties, learning problems, language deficits, and/or neurological impairments. 

More information about the agency is available at www.northsidecenter.org.

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