SGA Begins Lecture Series

Pine Bluff, AR. Susan L. Taylor, former Editor of ESSENCE magazine, will visit the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff November 12 at 6 p.m. in the L.A. Davis, Sr. student union lounge as the first speaker in the “Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders” lecture series. The brainchild of SGA President Randall Walker and his progressive movement, Walker believed more emphasis needed to be placed on cultural development and intellectual engagement. The free lecture series is sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA), self-proclaimed as the “Progressive Administration” and is open to the public.

Susan L. Taylor is synonymous with Essence magazine, the brand she built—as its fashion and beauty editor, as editor-in-chief and editorial director. She was the first and only African American Woman to be recognized by the Magazine Publishers of America with the Henry Johnson Fisher Award—the industry’s highest honor—and the first to be inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. She is the recipient of the NAACP President’s Award for visionary leadership and has honorary degrees from more than a dozen colleges and universities.

A fourth-generation entrepreneur, Taylor grew up in Harlem working with her father in his women’s clothing store. She founded her own cosmetics company, a first for Black women, which led to the beauty editor’s position at Essence. She is the author of four books: In the Spirit: The Inspirational Writings of Susan L. Taylor; Lessons in Living; Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom That Has Shaped Our Lives, which she coauthored with her husband, Khephra Burns; and her most recent, All About Love, Favorite Selections from In the Spirit on Living Fearlessly. A much sought-after speaker, Taylor inspires hope and encourages us to reclaim our lives and create sustainable communities.

She is an avid supporter of a host of organizations dedicated to moving the Black community forward, but her passion and focus today is the National Cares Mentoring Movement, a call to action, which she founded in 2006 as Essence Cares. The Cares Mentoring Movement is a massive campaign to recruit one million able adults to help secure our children who are in peril and losing ground. “Not on our watch!” Taylor says. “Our children are the mothers and fathers of our tomorrows, and their future is in our hands.” The goals of the Cares Movement are to increase high school graduation rates among African American students, end the violence in Black communities and the over-incarceration of our young. “Creating safe, top-tier schools in every underserved community in this nation is the mandate—and it’s doable,” notes Taylor.

Taylor is a cofounder of Future PAC, the first national political action committee devoted to providing a network of support and sources of funding for progressive African American women seeking federal and state-level political offices. She is co-chair with Danny Glover of Shared Interest, a capital campaign to raise money to build housing in the rural areas of South Africa, and serves on the boards of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. She has worked passionately to help restore the lives of people in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region that were devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

For more information on the lecture series, contact Michael Washington at (870)575-7061 or the Student Government Association at (870) 575-8521

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