A crowd of 970 gathered at the Fairmont Hotel on Tuesday, October 24, for the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center For Education and Tolerance‘s 2017 Hope For Humanity dinner. The guests, including Lynn and Allan McBee, Bobby Lyle, Thear Suzuki, Frank Risch, and Carol and Don Glendenning, were there to celebrate the evening’s honoree, philanthropist Lauren Embrey. But they were also there to raise some money, revel in the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum (it broke ground in October), and enjoy a wonderful kosher meal.
The dinner—Lolla Rosa and Frisee Salad, Seared Scottish Salmon, and Lemon-scented Kosher Cheesecake—had everyone in a convivial mood, especially after the gracious welcome by event Co-chairs Sarah Losinger and Trea C. Yip. Sarah and Trea pointed out that the new museum— which will take the facility’s square footage from 6,000 square feet to nearly nine times that, and more than double the number of annual visitors, to 200,000—will help the nonprofit impact attitudes in a positive way and change behaviors through education. The new museum is scheduled to open in 2019.
Florence Shapiro, the group’s board chair, gave a brief talk, suggesting that “there must never be a time that we fail to fight injustice”—to thunderous applause. Flo gave way to Mary Pat Higgins, the nonprofit’s president and CEO, who preceded a nicely produced video tribute to Lauren. In it, Larry James noted how Embrey has “grappled with her privilege,” and Dr. Rick Halperin said, “If there was something called human cloning, she should be cloned.”
Then it was time to present the 2017 Hope for Humanity Award to Lauren, a nationally known philanthropist and advocate for gender and racial equality. The President and Philanthropic Visionary of the Embrey Family Foundation, Embrey put belief into action in 2006 when she and her sister, Gayle, founded the Embrey Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University. It offers the only bachelor’s degree in human rights education in the South. The evening’s honoree also supports organizations with people-centered missions, as well as a variety of artistic projects tackling social injustices that often go unnoticed or undiscussed. Summed up Lauren: “Each one of us can be part of the solution.”