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Susan Taylor looks great at 70th birthday gala, honors leading Black philanthropists

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Susan L. Taylor, Essence magazine editor-in-chief emerita, celebrated her 70th birthday with friends on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side as part of a fundraiser for her organization, the National CARES Mentoring Movement.

The first-ever “For the Love of Our Children” gala, presented by Verizon, raised funds to support the replication of the organization’s transformational group-mentoring programs, now operating in four U.S. cities.

Hosted by Michael Eric Dyson, the gala honored Eddie and C. Sylvia Brown for their philanthropic support of educational initiatives through the Brown Family Foundation, and ongoing commitment to the CARES mission.

Guests included the Rev. Al Sharpton, Gayle King, Terry McMillan, Valerie Simpson, Tamron Hall, Terrie Williams and other special guests; along with performances by vocalist Cassandra Wilson; dancer Camille A. Brown, the IMPACT Repertory Theater; and singer-songwriter Gordon Chambers. Several politicians were also in attendance, including Congressman Charlie Rangel, Assemblyman Keith Wright, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries and Councilwoman Inez Dickens.

Singing Vivian Green led the “Happy Birthday” serenade.

Taylor is well-known for serving as editor-in-chief of Essence magazine from 1981 through 2000. In 2006, she founded the National CARES Mentoring Movement to provide the nation’s most vulnerable youth with much-needed mentoring from able and caring adults. The organization’s national volunteer affiliate network connects adults to local youth-serving organizations. Go to for more information. –raymond hagans

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