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The Priscilla E. Pemberton Society

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  • Priscilla E. Pemberton Society Steering Committee Members

40 Years Later: Now Can We Talk?

The Pemberton Society and Staff Council's Diversity Committee hosted a screening and panel discussion of the documentary “40 Years Later: Now Can We Talk?” This film project explores the impact of racial integration in the Mississippi Delta through powerful and moving dialogue with black and white alumni from the class of 1969 as they recall and comment on memories of that time, from their very different racial positions and experiences. The film provides a contemporary way to examine the impact of desegregation on those who participated in the first integration projects and to reflect on our progress as a society and the challenges that remain for reaching the goals put forth in the 1955 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Panelists were: Lee Ann Bell, producer of 40 Years Later, Barbara Silver Horowitz Director of Education at Barnard College; Fern Khan, Former Dean of Continuing Education at Bank Street College, current Board Chair at Partnership for After School Education (PASE); documentary filmmaker Markie Hancock, Hancock Productions. 

Stephanie Penceal '92, a founding member of the Pemberton Society, opened the evening by sharing the mission of the Pemberton Society and the impact of its fundraising efforts. Since 2005, the Pemberton Society has raised funds to fully endow two diversity scholarships in the Bank Street Graduate School, the Priscilla E. Pemberton Memorial Scholarship and the Joyce and David Dinkins Tribute Scholarship. Through its Lucia Henley Jack Student Support Fund, the Society has also supported a writing assistance program for students. Read Stephanie's full remarks here


The Priscilla E. Pemberton Society is key to Bank Street’s College-wide strategic plan to increase diversity among its student body, and in the field of education itself.

The Society’s mission is two-fold:

  1. to raise funds for scholarships for students of color at Bank Street College
  2. to support a diverse community of students and alumni of color by providing mentoring and other services.

Since 2005 the Pemberton Society has raised $3.3 million for endowed diversity scholarships. Recently, the Pemberton Society launched the Lucia Henley Jack Student Support Fund to raise money for programs and/or services which will enhance the academic experience of students of color at Bank Street College. The Lucia Henley Jack Student Support Fund is named for the Pemberton Society’s founding President, Lucia Henley Jack.


Bank Street’s founder, Lucy Sprague Mitchell, knew that effective education demands classrooms that reflect the diversity of their community. The College has always aspired to this ideal, and we have been fortunate to receive over $3.3 million from generous donors who share our commitment to increasing diversity in all our classrooms. The Pemberton Society salutes those endowment donors who continue to help us live and learn together:

  • The Altman Foundation Minority Scholarship Endowment
  • The Alumni Opportunity Fund
  • The Augusta Kappner Scholarship
  • The Charina Endowment Fund
  • The C.V. Starr Scholarship Fund
  • The Diversity Fund
  • The Hearst Endowment Minority Scholarship
  • The Iscol Scholarship Fund
  • The Joyce and David Dinkins Tribute Scholarship
  • The Louis-Dreyfus Scholarship Fund
  • The Mark Family Fund
  • The Minority Fellows Program
  • The Minority Scholarship Fund
  • The Priscilla E. Pemberton Scholarship Fund
  • The Rudy Jordan Fund
  • The Teachers Resource for Equality in Education (TREE) Fund
  • The Waisman Family Scholarship for Leadership in Museum Education
  • The William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship Fund