DuPont Legal Black History Month Celebration Presents
|A glimpse of the Black History Month celebration: Keynote Speaker Phylicia Rashad; student during the Q&A with Ms. Rashad; the Christina Cultural Arts Center Dance Ensemble; and Delaware Governor Jack Markell.|
Sponsored by the DuPont Legal Black Employee Network (LBEN), the theme for this year's event was “A Soul to Behold: The Timeless Inspiration of African-American Women.” More than 1,000 guests including government officials, employees and students filled the seats at The DuPont Theatre in Wilmington, Del.
According to DuPont corporate legal counsel Chyrrea Sebree, LBEN's long-standing event “has always been a forum for exposing prominent African-Americans, and their contributions, triumphs and challenges. This year's program also was designed to share the stories and triumphs of strong women that may not be apparent, or even present, in history books or other media.”
Selecting acclaimed actress Phylicia Rashad as the keynote speaker was easy. According to Chyrrea Sebree, Ms. Rashad embodies the spirit of African-American women who were honored through the event. Among other accomplishments, Ms. Rashad was the first black woman to win the Tonys' best actress award and earned two Emmy nominations for her role as Clair Huxtable, a lawyer and mother on The Cosby Show.
The actress encouraged students to follow their dreams, commit to education and listen to their parents -- even when they don't want to -- because their love and discipline will shape their success.
After the formal presentation, Ms. Rashad answered questions from students who were curious about her career and experiences. The event also included remarks by Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Hinton Lucas, DuPont vice president & assistant general counsel, as well as an interpretive dance performance by the Christina Cultural Arts Center Dance Ensemble. Awards were presented to students who won a gold, silver or bronze prize in the program's Black History Month essay contest.
The “Soul to Behold” theme also was highlighted in a special video depicting exemplary qualities of African-American women who have been astronauts and actresses, poets and pioneers, mothers and mentors.
Ms. Rashad said she was impressed with the event, and commented on the uniqueness of such a diverse audience coming together as a "single community." She also complimented the professional quality of the event, including the dance performance and video.