The Gala was an amazing evening which will be remembered as one of the best moments in our year-long celebration of Roeper’s 75th anniversary for a long time.
Bryan Stevenson’s speech was riveting. He spoke brilliantly, passionately and clearly of the terrible injustice in our criminal justice system in its treatment of economically disadvantaged and poorly represented men, women and children who have been sentenced unfairly to death or to life in prison without parole. He went even further, compellingly providing the audience and especially the young people in the room with four things they need to do to produce change:
- You need to be near something to change it – get proximate
- Change the narratives that maintain the status quo
- Commit to staying hopeful.
- Be willing to do uncomfortable and inconvenient things.
All of the awardees – Bryan Stevenson, Rudy Simons, Mama Shu and Sally Booth – shared inspiring words of wisdom along with their appreciation for receiving the Golden Apple Award. Mr. Stevenson was particularly thrilled to be dubbed by Ellie in her presentation as an honorary Roeperian.
Thank you to our talented students who participated in the event – MC: Charlie Sutton, Award Presenters: Leora Bernard, Jonathan Borja, Jaanaki Radhakrishnan and Ellie Moskowitz; The Forensics Multiple: Sydney Levy, Maya McEntyre and Kaili Osborne; the Middle and Upper School Vocal Ensemble; Stage IV Choir and the students who checked people in and sold merchandise celebrating the 75th anniversary.
Congratulations to Denita Banks-Sims and the Development Office crew who have been working for months on the event and on Bryan Stevenson’s visit.
Here are some photos taken by the staff at the Royal Oak Music Theater.