Five Yale Affiliates To Be Honored at Annual ‘Tribute to Black Women’

The Yale Black Men’s Union (BMU), a student-run organization, will hold its annual “Tribute to Black Women” on Friday, Jan. 29, at 6:30 p.m. in the Omni Hotel at Yale, 155 Temple St.

The annual event honors “the impact that black women make in our lives and society,” say the organizers, noting that the five individuals being feted this year “are a beacon of hope on this campus and abroad.”

Emilie Townes, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale Divinity School, has been named BMU’s “Woman of the Year.” Townes’ research focuses on Christian ethics, womanist ethics and critical social theory. She is president of the American Academy of Religion.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, who graduated from the Yale School of Drama in 1989, is being honored as “Distinguished Alumna.” Nottage, who won the Pulitzer in 2009 for her play “Ruined,” has also received fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations.

Three Yale college seniors will be honored as “Emerging Trailblazers” for their efforts, which “have already greatly impacted their communities and show promise for the future.” They are Faith Briggs of Ezra Stiles College, Tiffany Mason of Trumbull College and Cara McClellan of Jonathan Edwards College.

Tickets for the dinner — which will include an address by Townes and a four-course dinner — are $40 per person ($320 for a table). For information, contact Rodney Reynolds at

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