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Gabriella E. Morris

Foundation chief executive Gabriella E. Morris was born on March 26, 1956 in Houston, Texas to Elise LeNoir Morris and John E. Morris. After graduating from high school, Morris received her A.B. degree in architecture and urban planning, and a certificate in African American studies, from Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey in 1978. She later earned her J.D. degree from the University of Texas Law School in Austin, Texas. Morris has also received certifications from Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program in corporate social responsibility, and from Stanford University’s Center for Social Innovation.

Morris was hired as real estate council for The Southland Corporation in Dallas, Texas. She then became associate counsel of the Houston-based law firm of Baker and Botts in its securities, real estate and oil and gas practices. In 1985, she was hired by Prudential Financial as a regional counsel and associate general counsel for the company’s real estate operations. Morris then became president of the Prudential Foundation in 1994, and also served as vice president of community resources. In that position, Morris helped develop a number of community programs focused on education, including the Prudential Young Entrepreneurs Program, founded in 1999. She also helped form the New Jersey Statewide Education Summit, which aided the development of new education standards for the City of Newark and was influential in creating one of the first charter school lending programs in the nation. After over twenty years of service, Morris left Prudential in order to form her own consulting firm, Connective Advisors LLC. In 2014, she was named as the senior vice president of the UNICEF Bridge Fund.

In addition to her professional career, Morris has been involved in her community through membership in many organizations. She was a founding member of United States Artists, the Brick City Development Corporation, and the Newark Trust for Education. Morris also served as a board member for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Harlem School of the Arts, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Women’s Association, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Gabriella E. Morris was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 27, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.074

Sex

Female

Interview Date

03/27/2017

Last Name

Morris

Maker Category
Schools

Clinton Park Elementary School

Incarnate Word Academy

Fidelity Elementary School

Princeton University

University of Texas at Austin

First Name

Gabriella

Birth City, State, Country

Houston

HM ID

MOR18

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Fake It Till You Make It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New Jersey

Birth Date

3/26/1956

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Newark

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Lamb Chops

Short Description

Foundation chief executive Gabriella E. Morris (1956 - ) worked for twenty-seven years in senior legal, philanthropic and community relations positions at Prudential Financial.

Employment

US Fund for UNICEF

Connective Advisors

Prudential Financial

The Southland Corporation

Baker & Botts

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:376,6:1687,25:2101,32:4240,95:4516,100:4861,107:17448,336:30771,545:43088,700:43781,711:46784,771:47323,779:47785,786:49556,806:50172,818:50865,828:51712,840:52790,872:58322,908:58692,918:59950,944:61550,950:61970,959:62210,964:62990,981:63710,996:67700,1036:68260,1045:68680,1053:69380,1071:69660,1076:69940,1081:70850,1111:71270,1118:90590,1315:92060,1345:93390,1373:93740,1380:98656,1425:99340,1442:99796,1449:103140,1502:104584,1539:105192,1553:114295,1632:116528,1679:122181,1763:122871,1780:123975,1820:128444,1851:135094,1968:137691,1997:138117,2006:143665,2072:146310,2100:146718,2105:149676,2150:151920,2177:156360,2230:159720,2324:168400,2543:174621,2605:175783,2622:189274,2807:197260,2904$0,0:256,11:8701,241:9115,248:9529,255:9805,260:16794,387:17442,397:18306,413:18594,418:20034,434:20394,440:20970,452:28991,602:29994,627:30525,643:30761,648:35314,687:36874,717:37186,722:41106,746:42008,760:42828,775:45032,791:56791,969:62082,1054:63678,1084:63982,1089:64438,1096:70062,1177:70442,1187:71886,1227:73406,1252:73710,1257:77410,1263:77946,1272:82845,1342:83808,1352:99080,1492:99430,1498:100200,1513:100900,1527:101460,1545:104400,1610:107060,1664:107900,1688:111960,1778:116340,1792:117090,1806:120165,1873:123315,1959:123765,1966:124140,1972:124740,1982:133980,2068:135540,2096:138420,2130
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gabriella E. Morris' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her mother's upbringing and education

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her father's aspirations

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris describes how her parents met and married

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her adoption

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the sights and smells of her childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Clinton Park neighborhood of Houston, Texas

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her early education

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her early interests and personality

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her mother's role on 'Queen for A Day'

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her elementary school teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers being mistaken for Latina in Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Incarnate Word Academy in Houston, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her experiences of discrimination at the Incarnate Word Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her decision to attend Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her aspiration to become a lawyer

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her decision to study architecture

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her arrival at Princeton University

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls the senior awards ceremony at the Incarnate Word Academy

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her social life at Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her architectural education

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers her professors at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers national events fromn her time at Princeton University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her skin color privilege

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls the notable alumni and faculty of the University of Texas Law School

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers working at Baker Botts LLP

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her casework at Baker Botts LLP

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers meeting her first husband

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls her start at Prudential Financial, Inc.

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers the birth of her first child

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers the financial downturn of the late 1990s

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls meeting President George W. Bush

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris remembers becoming president of the Prudential Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Foundation's philanthropic strategy

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Foundation's impact in the community of Newark, New Jersey

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris reflects upon her career at the Prudential Foundation

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Foundation's volunteer programs

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Prudential Young Entrepreneur Program

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the United States Artists initiative

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Brick City Development Corporation

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls marrying her second husband

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her duties as president of the Prudential Foundation

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Newark Trust for Education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gabriella E. Morris recalls founding Connective Advisors LLC

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Harlem School of the Arts in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the UNICEF Bridge Fund

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her involvement in the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gabriella E. Morris describes the Stanford University Center for Social Innovation

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her plans for the future

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Gabriella E. Morris reflects upon her life

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Gabriella E. Morris reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Gabriella E. Morris describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Gabriella E. Morris talks about her family

Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Gabriella E. Morris describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gabriella E. Morris narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

6$7

DATitle
Gabriella E. Morris recalls her experiences of discrimination at the Incarnate Word Academy
Gabriella E. Morris remembers working at Baker Botts LLP
Transcript
But I started my hapless career there with my mother [Elise LeNoir Morris] coming to our first open house, which was my first sh- first semester of freshman year [at Incarnate Word Academy, Houston, Texas]. And then when you walk in, it's the list of everyone on the honor roll, and she said, "Your name is not up there." And we went around and we collected all of my cards and of course I should've been on the honor roll, I had all A's. So she goes to the principal, "My daughter's name is not here, why?" "Oh yeah that's a mistake, we'll correct it," she said, "No, you'll correct it now. Today is the day when everyone sees who's on the honor roll. You will put her name there now." And of course I'm sort of semi-embarrassed, but I witnessed lot of this stuff from my mother with her own way of holding her righteous indignation through all kinds (laughter) of scenarios. That's what it takes to make that difference. And that was very, that was very important to me, because it was really about standing up for what even- everyone else is entitled to. You know that makes a diff- even that small little thing. So ah, that's how they got to know my mom (laughter), I'm sure they didn't forget it, she was a piece of work, so.$$Well, she did the right thing.$$Yeah so you know it was--you know as, as dedicated as the nuns were to teaching girls, they didn't have a vision for women. And it was you know funny tracks, you know almost like homemaker, secretary, they didn't have a vision that they're train- they're training girls for the world. I think even today I'm not sure how much, how equipped they are to say women can do anything they want. And I, I say that because you know counselors are supposed to say well you know you should go to school here. Or here's some good, they never did any of that for me. And when I got a notice from Princeton [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey], I went there and I said aren't they supposed to tell you? Oh yeah they said you're a likely, as if (makes sound) why would you wanna do that? So that always bothered me you know that they did not, they sort of had in their mind limitations for girls, for black girls, brown girls.$$You think that, there's a difference in the limitations they had for, they had limitations for all girls. But then for black and brown girls--$$Absolutely.$$--special limitations.$$Absolutely my mother to this day said they, well not to this day but she would say they, they really cheated me out of the valedictory, I was salutatorian. Because my number had all zeroes behind it, no well you can't average out four years and get all zeroes, you know to the decimal point. And that it was important to them that I not be the valedictorian, so you know once again it's religious. It's you know it's, it's important to challenge, but it's just important to keep plowing ahead as well.$$Okay.$$Yeah.$So you're, you're interning with Baker and Botts [Baker Botts LLP, Houston, Texas] and do, do they offer you a job while you're in law school [University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Austin, Texas]?$$Yeah they offered me a job after my second summer with them, and it was interesting, they had more Princeton [Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey] alums there. They're very different field, more you know very eastern in their approach to things and I'd say Vinson and Elkins [Vinson and Elkins LLP, Houston, Texas] at the time was a little, little more homegrown. And they're both great firms but it was sort of like it was the last experience I had. I had both of those experiences, there were only, each firm had one black male attorney, who really was the groundbreaker. Sherman Stimley at, at Vinson Elkins unfortunately passed very, very young, but he was a terrific guy who was a mentor. He wanted, he was really responsible for gathering young people even those still in high school. Those interested in being lawyers, those in college, those in law school, just really trying to direct them to work in the big firms, he was a great guy. And then at Baker and Botts, [HistoryMaker] Rufus Cormier who recently retired was the only black attorney partner at, at Baker and Botts, he was a terrific guy as well, little different manner. But sort of austerely and calmly, confident great leader just a, a quiet man more of a quiet, quiet leader. So I worked there for three years and, and basically the system, these are basically guys that didn't wanna hire women, I gotta tell you in that day. And I only thing I think that really moved them was that they were having daughters who also wanted to be lawyers. You see they have these, these movements actually just really helped propel us forward. And they had to ask themselves why can't women work here, so there weren't that many women and they were very few, I think I was the second black person to work at the firm, so. But not a lot of mentorship overall in the firm, so I decided I should go to a corporate, a corporate law practice after that.

Carmel Marr

Attorney, retired energy consultant and former member to the United States Mission to the United Nations, Carmel Carrington Marr was born June 23, 1921 in Brooklyn, New York. Her parents, William P. and Gertrude Carrington, immigrated to the United States from the island of Barbados. She attended PS 35 in Brooklyn and went on to Hunter College, graduating with a B.A. (Cum Laude) in political science in 1945. Marr earned a J.D. from Columbia University Law School in 1948.

After a period in private practice she was appointed to the United States Mission to The United Nations as a legal advisor in 1953. Marr joined Dr. Ralph Bunche, Marion Anderson, Robert L. Brokenburr, Dr. Channing Tobias, Frank Montero, Edith Sampson, Charles Mahoney, and James Nabrit as African Americans associated with the United Nations in its formative years. Marr served as senior legal officer to the United Nations Secretariat from 1967 to 1968, during which time she wrote a book on United Nations procedures. Appointed to the New York State Human Rights Appeal Board in 1968, Marr was the first black woman appointed to the New York State Public Service Commission as a regulator of utilities. She served as chair of the advisory council to the Gas Research Institute from 1979 to 1986, chairperson of the United States Department of Transportation’s Tech Pipeline Safety Standards Commission, 1979-85, and chairperson of the National Association of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners, NARUC, and Gas Committee, 1984-86. Marr was also president of the NARUC’s Great Lakes Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners. She was an energy consultant until her retirement in 1990.

Marr, honored on numerous occasions, volunteered for many organizations including: Friends of the Billie Holiday Theatre, the National Arts Stabilization Fund, the Brooklyn Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Alpha Phi Alpha. With her husband, Warren, she was intensely involved in the Amistad Research Center, which he co-founded in 1976. Marr was president and chair of Amistad from 1982 to 1995. The Marrs, lived in Valley Cottage, New York, and had two adult children, Warren Quincy Marr III and Charles Carrington Marr.

Marr passed away on April 20, 2015.

Accession Number

A2004.158

Sex

Female

Interview Date

9/13/2004

Last Name

Marr

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Hunter College

Columbia Law School

P.S. 35 Stephen Decatur School

First Name

Carmel

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MAR09

Favorite Season

None

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

6/23/1921

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pie (Apple)

Death Date

4/20/2015

Short Description

Lawyer and legal advisor Carmel Marr (1921 - 2015 ) was appointed to the United States Mission to The United Nations as a legal advisor, and as senior legal officer to the United Nations Secretariat. Marr was the first black woman appointed to the New York State Public Service Commission, and was a past president and chair of the Amistad Research Center, co-founded by her husband Warren. Marr passed away on April 20, 2015.

Employment

U.S. Mission to the United Nations

Dyer & Stevens Law Firm

United Nations Secretariat

New York State Human Rights Appeal Board

New York State Public Service Commission

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:8441,97:13030,182:13534,187:14290,194:22050,293:23130,300:25830,318:26550,323:43138,392:47896,481:48412,517:49014,535:51078,583:53916,597:59612,622:66748,682:69590,718:75641,754:87590,824:88353,829:91000,843$0,0:11004,123:23865,243:26740,271:27660,281:28810,294:29270,299:29730,304:40008,408:40476,415:57245,515:69505,586:69895,593:70220,599:70805,611:71195,618:71455,623:75392,641:76000,651:76304,656:76912,661:85220,716:86090,733:93720,823:94350,831:94800,838:95520,850:108258,937:108792,944:132308,1097:133082,1113:137432,1162:137824,1167:138510,1183:138902,1188:148922,1231:150716,1246:156582,1277:176624,1379:197500,1504:206410,1582:210028,1636:215185,1669:215605,1674:237369,1760:239642,1777:243870,1798:244690,1809:274160,2083
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carmel Marr's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Carmel Marr's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carmel Marr lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carmel Marr talks about her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carmel Marr talks about her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carmel Marr describes her mother and her mother's emigration from Barbados

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carmel Marr describes her mother's occupation

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carmel Marr talks about her father

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carmel Marr describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carmel Marr recalls family vacations from her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carmel Marr compares her school experience at P.S. 35 in New York, New York to her grandchildren's school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carmel Marr recalls her teachers at P.S. 35 elementary school in New York, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carmel Marr describes her experiences in high school and her childhood activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carmel Marr recalls going to the movies as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carmel Marr recalls discussions in her childhood home about New York and West Indian politics

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carmel Marr describes her career aspirations in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carmel Marr recalls her experience at Hunter College in New York, New York, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carmel Marr recalls her experience at Hunter College in New York, New York, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carmel Marr recalls her experience at Columbia Law School in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carmel Marr recalls being denied the opportunity to compete in a moot court completion at Columbia Law School in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carmel Marr talks about her first job after graduating from Columbia Law School at Dyer & Stevens Esquires in New York, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carmel Marr recalls her impression of Ralph Bunche

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carmel Marr recalls her experience serving on the United States Mission to the United Nations and in the United Nations Secretariat

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carmel Marr recalls an incident when she was embarrassed by the way United Nations officials treated delegates from African countries

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carmel Marr talks about working for the United Nations Secretariat

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carmel Marr recalls her impression of United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carmel Marr recalls her friend, President of the United Nations General Assembly Angie Elizabeth Brooks, and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carmel Marr talks about her work on the New York State Human Rights Appeal Board and as a regulator for the New York State Public Service Commission

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carmel Marr recalls serving on the board of the New York State Training School for Girls and a corrupt official on a gas regulatory committee

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carmel Marr talks about her husband, HistoryMaker Warren Marr, II

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carmel Marr describes her hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carmel Marr reflects upon her legacy, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carmel Marr reflects upon her legacy, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carmel Marr reflects upon her life and her husband's, HistoryMaker Warren Marr, II, life

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carmel Marr talks about being an African American Republican, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carmel Marr talks about being an African American Republican, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carmel Marr describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

9$7

DATitle
Carmel Marr describes her career aspirations in high school
Carmel Marr recalls her experience serving on the United States Mission to the United Nations and in the United Nations Secretariat
Transcript
Now when you were in grad--in high school, did you--were you real active? Did you run for class office or anything, or did you graduate with honors or anything that sort of thing?$$From junior high [P.S. 35, Brooklyn, New York, New York] I graduated with honors.$$Okay.$$And I, you know well junior high, you do skip some classes and you know and I went to junior high.$$Okay. Did, did you have any idea what you wanted to be in, in high school?$$Well I certainly did because my father [William Preston Carrington] wanted me to be a lawyer, and he made no bones about it. So, you know. He had wanted to be a lawyer in Barbados, but he and his father did not get along. And his father had what was recognized as a good position in Barbados. So I, I never saw, never met my grandparents. But I did get to Barbados. We went several times.$I wound up at one point leaving the U.S. mission to the UN [U.S. Mission to the United Nations].$$Now what year was that?$$That was because--gee, I don't remember right now. But what happened was that [Ambassador Henry] Cabot Lodge [Jr.] was giving me authority to do a number of things and I took them seriously. But he had a man on the staff that was a bigot, and there's no other way of describing him, except that he was a bigot. And one day Lodge came into my office and wanted to know where the newspapers were that dealt with some things that I had been working on. And I, I didn't quite know how to handle that either because he wanted to know what publicity I had had. And he seemed to be a bit peeved because I hadn't given him press clippings. I didn't know that I was supposed to give him press clippings because when I went to the person who was his primary assistant, he kept you know, putting me out of the way. He didn't want me to be speaking with Cabot Lodge. And he was a southerner. And a true southerner. And I, you know I wasn't--I guess it wasn't really any of my business, but I made it my business, which may not have been the best thing for me to have done as far as I was concerned. But Lodge apparently had enough up here to see what was going on, and he, he gave me some things to do that he wanted me to do. And I think, I think more of that could have been done if the bigot he had on his staff had been moved out a bit. But I, I enjoyed the UN and I did have responsibilities given to me that I liked. And I took it upon myself to move into the [United Nations] Secretariat instead of just working for the US mission. And from that point on, I was very heavily involved in the UN. And I, I also wrote a book for regulations that should be viewed and considered seriously by the Secretariat. So I, you know I went from one side of the street to the other. And when I left to go to the Secretariat, there was a sit-down strike. And the guards in the secre--the US mission, picked me up and took me across the street to the, to the UN.