Friends, colleagues, protégés and mentors of Marc H. Morial gathered in his hometown to celebrate his 25 years of public service with a tribute and examination of the impact of his work on the city of New Orleans, the state of Louisiana and the nation.
In honor of the milestone, Morial announced the establishment “Urban League 25” an annual recognition of 25 young leaders in business, public service, the arts and civic life. The first honorees will be announced next year.
The event included the national premiere of a short film, A Legacy of Change, on the life and legacy of Marc Morial.
This month marks 25 years since Marc H. Morial was elected to the Louisiana State Senate. He was elected Mayor of New Orleans in 1994, and served two successful terms, leaving office with a 70 percent approval rating. He was appointed President and CEO of the National Urban League in 2003, ushering in an era of digital revolution, fund-raising expansion and a deepening mission.
Guests at the event spoke on each phase of his career, including Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette J. Johnson; Diana Bajoie, former President Pro Tempore of the Louisiana Senate; former New Orleans City Councilman Oliver Thomas; Esther Bush President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh; and Winston Burns, the CEO of Newburns Management Group.
A panel discussion followed the screening of A Legacy of Change. Reflecting how Morial personally inspired their own careers were Tulane University Vice-President Tania Tetlow; Urban League of Louisiana President and CEO Erika McConduit; Don Cravins, Jr., former Louisiana State Senator and Executive Director, National Urban League Washington Bureau; Jones Walker LLP partner Richard F. Cortizas; CEO & President of Foundation for Louisiana Flozell Daniels, Jr., and Kevin Hooks, President and CEO of the Las Vegas Urban League.
Musical tributes were presented by violinist Trenton Thomas and the St. Peter Claver Church Choir.