Tonya Lombard unites Manhattan and Washington around a noble commitment to cultural expansion.
By Adoria Doucette
As Assistant Vice President of Public Affairs at AT&T, Tanya Lombard sits at the pinnacle of power in Washington, D.C. From the White House to the boardroom, for the past 25 years she has been an influential operative in the complex union of politics, business, and culture. Ms. Lombard was recently honored alongside the most prominent members of African American culture in Manhattan at the National Action Network Keeper of the Dream Gala. It was at this gala where we witnessed a historic call to action that will make the rest of 2013 a fulcrum point in African American cultural history.
Wynton Marsalis left the ballroom in awe when he accepted his award and posed the question “how long?”
Marsalis’ message coalesced around Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s spirit of result-oriented action. With his remarks a purposeful spirit filled the ballroom, and a mandate was issued to the corporate, philanthropic, and cultural leaders present: The time for improvement in the community is now. The promise of our time will be realized by living in what is best about our culture, which requires competitive thought that eclipses the limitations often put upon us by those who may exploit idleness. Our ancestors set a precedent of excellence that must be respected and continued. The purpose of art and science is to fuel the spirit that accompanies the answers to life’s cognitive challenges. By completely valuing our culture, we cherish the privilege to renew the commitment to art, science and a society of excellence. Those of us with positions of influence are not only aware, but determined. By the end of the evening, an answer had developed to his question “how long?” The answer to Marsalis’ message, everyone seemed to understand, was however long it takes.
Power Source thanks Tanya Lombard for her consistent friendship and Wynton Marsalis for his authentic and exceptionally prescient remarks. The essence of our new frontier is embodied by the realization that all of us may not live to see the pinnacle of our culture, but we will take purposeful action to ensure that it develops properly.