Star Jones and Pauletta Washington (N-Y Historical Society)

Looking remarkably well after recent heart surgery, Star Jones showed up at a recent benefit for the New-York Historical Society. Also in attendance was Pauletta Washington, the actress and philanthropist who is married to Denzel Washington.

On May 6, 226 guests, including Washington and Jones, attended the New-York Historical Society's (N-YHS) annual Strawberry Festival luncheon. Setting a new record for this event, more than $230,000 was raised, which will benefit the programs of the Historical Society, including major exhibitions and educational programs on American history. In addition, 10 percent of proceeds from jewelry sold at an exclusive Verdura trunk show featuring the stunning 70th anniversary collection, will also benefit N-YHS.

Kimberly B. Davis, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, who oversees the firm's global philanthropic giving, employee volunteerism and strategic corporate programs, was the honoree at the event celebrating women in philanthropy. Ms. Davis is a graduate and trustee of Spelman College.

In a keynote address, Spelman College president Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum celebrated the women in philanthropy who are changing the world every day through their generosity.

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 From left: Marva Smalls, Kimberly Davis and Star Jones.

This image was lost some time after publication.

 From left: Pauletta Washington, Marva Smalls and Star Jones.

This image was lost some time after publication.

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From left: Dr. Beverly Tatum, Marcella Maxwell and Pauletta Washington.

SOURCE: NY Historical Society

One of the stories that Tatum shared with the audience was that of Dovey Johnson Roundtree:

"A Spelman graduate from the class of 1938, Dovey was one of the first black women to serve in the armed forces, paving the way for others, and later became a prominent civil rights attorney whose work, alongside Thurgood Marshall, laid the legal foundation for the successful challenge to school segregation in the Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, expanding the universe of educational opportunity for generations of children all across the nation. Still living, Mrs. Roundtree recently published her autobiography, titled Justice Older than the Law. In it, she recalls a moment that changed her life forever.

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"Struggling to make her way through college during the years of the Great Depression, she hit a wall. She needed $300 to stay in school, an amount way beyond her grasp. Without family members who could help her, or a bank to give her a loan, her dream of completing her Spelman education was slipping away. Just when she was about to give up hope, something wonderful happened. In a tremendous act of generosity, one of her professors, a woman with resources, stepped forward to pay her tuition bill. All she asked in return was that Dovey "pay it forward" when she could. That act of kindness changed Dovey‟s life, but it also changed ours. Because of that gift, Dovey was able to graduate and went on to achieve those "firsts": to become one of the first black women to serve in the armed forces, to go to law school, to fight for the rights of five young black children before the Supreme Court. Her choices to change the world were made possible by a gift of $300—granted worth more in 1938 than today, but still a modest investment—a gift of love made by a woman, a teacher, who had the power to make that difference."

SOURCE: NY Historical Society