Former Editor in Chief of Essence Empowers Students
Susan Taylor talks about National CARES Mentoring Movement
By Kristina Rowley
Susan L. Taylor, editor- in-chief emeritus of Essence Magazine visited BSU on March 10 to motivate students, share her experiences of struggle and success, and spread the word about the National CARES Mentoring Movement initiative.
Bowie State University's Department of History and Government invited Ms. Taylor to join the BSU community in celebration of Women's History Month.
Taylor started her career with Essence Magazine as a fashion and beauty editor and later became editor in chief. Taylor is the first and only African American woman to receive the Magazine Publishers of America Henry John Fisher Award, and the first African American woman to be inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. Along with many other awards and honors Taylor has received she has also received the NAACP President's Award for Visionary Leadership.
Taylor began her presentation with a promotional video for the National CARES Mentoring Movement of which she is founder and CEO. The video showed different celebrities and public figures stating the facts about poverty and peril in the African American community.
Taylor's National CARES Mentoring Movement was created in 2006 as Essence CARES. The goals of the movement are to recruit 1 million adults to mentor children in poverty, increase high school graduation rates among African American students, and put and end to violence and over incarceration in the African American community. "The National CARES Mentoring movement is a call to action to us able stable Black people of every class to get involved in the recovery of our young people and our community," Taylor said.
Although the facts about poverty, violence, and incarceration in the African American community are devastating Taylor recognized students at universities as being part of a positive solution. "You are the good news," said Taylor "The good news we don't see on the nightly news and never read about in our daily papers, able, stable, strong, educated young Black folk doing the good work and moving the community forward," she said.
Taylor stressed the importance of continuing education not for personal or material gain but to make a difference in the community. Taylor started her own cosmetic business before joining Essence Magazine but she went to college afterwards to learn so she could make a difference in the African American community. "If you want to make a difference you have to do your homework and know what your talking about," said Taylor.
Money and education can help you be successful but they do not make you happy Taylor related that everyone must have a higher purpose. Taylor said that Black America does not have a plan for recovery and as a community African Americans do not hold themselves accountable.
Taylor encouraged everyone to request educational and recreational centers in African American communities and churches to give children an outlet. "Everyday remember who you are and remember what people sacrificed and struggled for you to have a seat where you are," Taylor said in her closing statements and reminded all to remember that the present generation is the generation that the ancestors struggled for and dreamed for. After repeating the last stanza of the Black National Anthem in unison with the audience Taylor answered questions and signed copies of her book All About Love. To find more information about the National CARES Mentoring Movement visit www.caresmentoring.com.