Businessman Clarence Otis, Jr. makes a special appearance to host The HistoryMakers Year in Review—2013 and take a look at another strong year of growth for the organization, including the next installment of the An Evening With… celebrity series with Xerox CEO Ursula Burns as interviewed by Gwen Ifill in at The New York Times Center in New York City, helping to launch The HistoryMakers in the city. The HistoryMakers’ New York City debut is a successful one, with 400 people in attendance and over $1 million raised to support the organization. The contributions of African Americans in the military continue to be celebrated with large public events in Illinois and The HistoryMakers invests more in archival education to increase use of their digital archives in schools and libraries for people of all ages. The year wraps up with 240 HistoryMakers telling their stories for the archives. In addition to behind-the-scenes footage of the PBS-TV taping and other events that year, the program includes a pre-recorded performance by the Fisk Jubilee Singers, in tribute to Ursula Burns and those interviewed in 2013. Immediately following will be a screening of An Evening With Ursula Burns and A Night With Sylvester Turner.
Corporate executive Clarence Otis, Jr. was born on April 11, 1956 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He graduated from David Starr Jordan High School, and majored in political science and economics at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He earned his J.D. degree at Stanford University Law School, before going to work for several New York law firms. With a growing interest in finance, Otis joined the municipal securities group at Kidder, Peabody & Company in 1984. He went on to serve as the vice president of the public finance division at First Boston Corporation, and managing director of public finance at Chemical Securities. In 1995, Otis became a senior vice president and treasurer at Darden Restaurants in Orlando, Florida, and was later promoted to chief financial officer. He also served as president of its restaurant chain, Smokey Bones BBQ. In 2004, Otis was named chief executive officer of Darden Restaurants, serving until 2014.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers are vocal artists and students at Fisk University in Nashville, TN., who sing and travel worldwide.
The original Fisk Jubilee Singers introduced ‘slave songs’ to the world in 1871 and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition known today as Negro spirituals.
They broke racial barriers in the US and abroad in the late 19th century and entertained Kings and Queens in Europe. At the same time, they raised money in support of their beloved school.
The Fisk Jubilee Singers continue the tradition of singing the Negro spiritual around the world. This allows the ensemble to share this rich culture globally, while preserving this unique music.
Taped: Saturday, April 13, 2013
An Evening With Ursula Burns, was a one-on-one interview of Ursula Burns, the former CEO of Xerox. Taped in front of a live audience at The New York Times Center and hosted by veteran PBS-TV news journalist Gwen Ifill, the program explored the life and career of Burns, the first African American woman to head a Fortune 500 company. A lifelong New Yorker, Burns told of her poor upbringing on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, her mother’s efforts to raise three children on her own, her start at the Xerox Corporation as a young engineer and intern, and her meteoric rise through the corporate ranks.
Intermixed throughout the program are live appearances of Ursula Burns' mentors. Former Xerox CEO, Paul Allaire, told of how Burns initially spurned his offer to become his executive assistant. Former Xerox CEO, Anne Mulcahy told of how she and Ursula spearheaded a turnaround of Xerox during a financially precarious period for the company. They worked as true partners and made history when Ursula became the first female to succeed another female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Then, business and civic leader Vernon Jordan spoke of the importance of Burns’ journey and of how she overcame class, race and gender in order to reach the highest rank of Corporate America. Others provided their perspectives on her trailblazing career and her family life. They included: American Express CEO, Executive Leadership Council's Executive Director and Viacom Senior Vice President, Marva Smalls, as well as Burns' husband, daughter, son and sister, Lloyd Bean, Malcolm Bean, Melllisa Bean and Deborah Eastman.
Taped: Tuesday, November 29, 2016
A Night With Mayor Sylvester Turner, In Salute To Houston HistoryMakers was a one-on-one interview with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, hosted by ChaseSource CEO Anthony Chase. Taped at the Granville M. Sawyer Auditorium at the historic Texas Southern University, A Night With Mayor Sylvester Turner explored the life and career of Mayor Turner, from his birth in the Acres Homes neighborhood, to his education at the University of Houston and eventually Harvard Law School, to his law career and storied tenure in the Texas House of Representatives, and his bids for Houston’s mayoralty in 1991, 2003, and triumphantly in 2015.
In addition to recognizing Mayor Turner’s own life and accomplishments, A Night With Mayor Sylvester Turner featured clips and commentary from many of the forty other HistoryMakers that have been interviewed in Houston, including Texas Southern University Provost Bobby L. Wilson, obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. L. Natalie Carroll, astronaut Dr. Robert L. Satcher, Jr., former Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority International President Mattelia B. Grays, Attorney Anthony Hall, Jr., and former NBA star David Lattin.