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September 30, New York, NY. - The first Candace Awards, acknowledging extraordinary achievements by Black women and men in Arts and Letters, Health and Science, Education, Business, History, New Technologies, Economic Development and Community Service was held tonight at a gala black-tie ceremony in the Temple of Dendur, Sackler Wing, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The event, attended by over 700 of the nation's most prominent business leaders, dignitaries, journalists and politicians was sponsored by Bailey's Original Irish Cream Liqueur. Ms. Jewell Jackson McCabe, president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women and Mr. Al Ferro, president of the Paddington Corporation, importers and distributors of  Baileys were the two chief organizers of the Awards.

The Award winners, selected from over 1,000 nominees, were chosen by a blue-ribbon selection committee whose members included Benjamin Hooks, executive director of the NAACP; John Jacobs, president of the National Urban League; Ernesta Procope, president, E.G. Bowman, Inc.; former California congresswoman Yvonne Braithwaite Burke; and Earl Graves, publisher of Black Enterprise Magazine. 

Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening was Mrs. Margaret B. Young, civil rights worker and author, and the widow of the civil rights leader who served as Executive Director of the National Urban League until his death in 1971.

Mrs. Young is chairwoman of the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Memorial Foundation, Inc., and is a member of the board of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

A highlight of the two and one half hour Candace program was the performance by well-known Black female opera star Clamma Dale.

In addition to the 16 Candace Awards presented, a Distinguished Service Award was given to Rachel Robinson, president of the J.R. Development Corporation, a real estate and planning firm. Ms. Robinson is the widow of Hall of Fame baseball great Jackie Robinson. Moreover, Ms. McCabe announced the establishment of the Ennis Francis Scholarship, a $5,000 grant provided by Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur, to be awarded to an outstanding medical student at Meharry Medical College, which provides medical and dental educations to over 50 percent of Blacks graduating in those fields today.

"For centuries Black women and men have excelled in fields that require rigorous discipline and ingenuity, but they have rarely been honored or even associated with these significant accomplishments," stated Ms. McCabe. "The Candace Award will set a standard and precedent for recognizing serious Black achievement in the future. The recipients and the objective will clearly demonstrate that Blacks aren't only performers and athletes."

Mr. Ferro added, "Corporate America has a responsibility to promote and inspire the accomplishments of today's Blacks. By helping to establish the Candace Awards, Baileys hopes to inspire future thinkers into action and thus help to mold a better world. We hope these awards will act as a strong motivator for the youth of today."

"Candace," according to Ms. McCabe, "was the ancient Ethiopia name for empress or queen, and thus a reminder of Black female power and accomplishments dating back to 332 B.C."

The Candace Award, created and donated by Tiffany, is an ebony and crystal statue with the stylistic representation of a Black woman's head.

[[caption]] Alvin J. Ferro, President of Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur and Mrs. Jewell Jackson McCabe, President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women were the two chief organizers of the Awards. [[/caption]]


coalition of 100 black women