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An Evening With Franklin Thomas


November 11, 2017

AXA Equitable Building
787 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10019
United States

An Evening With Franklin Thomas was a live to tape show honoring legal, business, and civic leader, Franklin Thomas. Chaired by Ford Foundation President Darren Walker, An Evening With Franklin Thomas featured musical performances by Dianne Reeves, Carmen Lundy, and Ntomb'khona Dlamini. Close friends and associates from Thomas’ time as president and CEO of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and president of the Ford Foundation narrated events from Thomas’ life and spoke to his character as a public servant. Presenters included Ursula Burns, Vernon E. Jordan, Edward Lewis, Gay McDougall, Raymond McGuire, Indra Nooyi, Sandra Phillips, Mamphela Ramphele, Judge Albie Sachs, Henry Schacht, and Gloria Steinem. The evening’s stories highlighted Thomas’ intellect, generosity, and charisma. An Evening With Franklin Thomas was a night that will not be soon forgotten by all in attendance. 

Premier Sponsor

Ford Foundation

Title Sponsor

Toyota Motor Sales USA


The Weill Family FoundationCitibankPepsiCo, Inc.


  • American Express
  • George & Laura Bilicic
  • Blackstone Charitable Foundation
  • William M. Lewis, Jr. & Carol Sutton Lewis
  • Raymond J. McGuire & Crystal McCCrary
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
  • PWC Charitable Foundation, Inc.
  • Henry & Nancy Schacht


  • Toni Cook Bush & Dwight Bush
  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • Louise Grunwald
  • Richard D. Parsons


  • Susan V. Berresford
  • Donna Carroll
  • Charisse R. Lillie & Thomas L. McGill
  • Carolyn & Edward Lewis
  • Rattner Family Foundation
  • Cheri & Al B. Reid
  • Tamara L. Harris Foundation
  • Jonelle Procope & Frederick Terrell
  • Mary & Jeff Zients

Official Airline

American Airlines

Honorary Chair

  • Vernon E. Jordan, Jr.



  • Darren Walker



  • Ursula Burns
  • Raymond J. McGuire & Crystal McCrary
  • Indra Nooyi
  • Henry & Nancy Schacht
  • Joan & Sandy Weill

Benefit Committee

  • Dr. Bobby William Austin
  • Susan V. Berresford
  • George & Laura Bilicic
  • The Honorable Dwight Bush & Toni Cook Bush
  • William M. Lewis, Jr. & Carol Sutton Lewis
  • Gay McDougall
  • Theodore V. Wells, Jr. & Nina Wells