Big Night Out! is Manhattan Country School’s annual spring benefit. Revenue raised supports unrestricted operating expenses and the school’s steadfast commitment to sliding-scale tuition. The evening features a cocktail reception, the Living the Dream Mentor Award ceremony, Fund-a-Need, an online auction, dinner and dancing.
This year, we are pleased to honor Jelani Cobb for his exemplary work as a scholar, journalist, and activist and Yoruba Richen for her outstanding work as a storyteller and filmmaker.
2023 LIVING THE DREAM MENTOR AWARD HONOREES
Jelani Cobb Dean, Columbia Journalism School
Jelani Cobb joined the Columbia Journalism School faculty in 2016 and became Dean in 2022. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2015. He received a Peabody Award for his 2020 PBS Frontline film Whose Vote Counts? and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary in 2018. He has also been a political analyst for MSNBC since 2019. He is the author of The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress and To the Break of Dawn: A Freestyle on the Hip Hop Aesthetic. He is the editor or co-editor of several volumes including The Matter of Black Lives, a collection of The New Yorker’s writings on race and The Essential Kerner Commission Report. He is producer or co-producer on a number of documentaries including Lincoln’s Dilemma, Obama: A More Perfect Union and Policing the Police.
Yoruba Richen Film Director, Screenwriter, Producer
Yoruba Richen is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured on multiple outlets including Netflix, MSNBC, FX, HBO, Frontline, The Atlantic and Field of Vision. Her most recent work, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks was released in 2022. Prior films include the Emmy nominated How It Feels to Be Free and the Peabody and Emmy nominated The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show. Her film The New York Times Presents: The Killing of Breonna Taylor won an NAACP Image Award. Yoruba’s film The Green Book: Guide to Freedom was broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel and was also nominated for an Emmy. She is the Director of the Documentary Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at The City University of New York.
Manhattan Country School was founded in 1966 on the belief that an intentionally diverse school/community of educators, students and parents could make a difference in the world. Today MCS is a diverse community and model for K-8 progressive education with a strong academic program that centers history, equity, identity, sustainability and social justice. MCS envisions its students as future leaders who champion excellence and justice, compassion and peace, and the rights of all people to racial, economic, environmental, and educational equity.