Harlem-based youth development and social justice organization The Brotherhood Sister Sol (BroSis) honored legendary fashion designer Dapper Dan at its signature Voices gala Thursday night, where the organization raised $1.5 million.
Returning for its 18th year, Voices served as the organization’s annual benefit celebrating its youth members and enriching programming. Taking place at New York City’s Ziegfeld Ballroom, this year’s event recognized Dapper Dan’s work within fashion, music, and culture, which aligns with the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop.
“I am truly humbled and honored to be recognized at The Brotherhood Sister Sol’s annual Voices Gala,” said Dapper Dan. “As a son of Harlem, it means the world to me to give back to the community that has given me so much. The work that BroSis does to uplift young people is truly inspiring, and I am proud to support their efforts. I look forward to celebrating with them and continuing to work together to make a positive impact in the lives of young people in Harlem and beyond.”
Dapper Dan pioneered streetwear in the early 1980s, co-opting luxury branding to design original garments with high-end detail. With an impressive client roster of celebrities and entertainers, Dapper Dan changed fashion and design through his bold take on styling. Following BroSis’ recent partnership with Dapper Dan for the DAP GAP collection, the organization was pleased to recognize his deep impact across fashion, music, and culture.
BroSis Co-Founder and Executive Director Khary Lazarre-White told the AmNews it was appropriate to honor Dapper Dan not only for his contributions to the Harlem community, but also for breaking barriers in the fashion world.
“We’re celebrating his innovation, his cultural dexterity, and what he means as an inspiration as an entrepreneur to our young people,” Lazarre-White said. “We’re also celebrating the voices of young people. A commentary on the world of social change makers and their vision for a better, more equitable future.”
For over 25 years, BroSis has been at the forefront of social justice, educating, training, and organizing to challenge inequality and champion opportunity for all, with a focus on Black and Latinx youth. By training educators across the nation and around the world and organizing a community of change agents, BroSis builds on its legacy of youth-led activism to realize a more just and equitable future.
In 2022, BroSis moved into its current home, a brand new 20,000-square-foot community center made entirely for community and educational use.
Thursday night’s gala highlighted BroSis’ inspiring young people, many of whom are attending college this fall. Putting a spotlight on their personal journeys through spoken word performances and speeches, the event provided an opportunity for supporters to celebrate BroSis’ commitment to helping youth. This year’s gala included special appearances from supporters of the organization.
“It is very exciting to celebrate the endeavors of an organization dedicated to empowering the lives of Black and Brown youth,” said Detavio Samuels, CEO of REVOLT and BroSis Board Member. “The Voices Gala is a tribute to the unwavering spirit of Black excellence and honors trailblazers who are paving the way for future generations. I’m excited to honor and amplify Black voices of all ages, from those who led the way to those who will be doing so in the future.”
MediaCo Holding Inc. CEO and BroSis chair Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay echoed those thoughts. “BroSis continues to pave the way for our next generation of leaders, that leaves an impact not only on the youth members but also the communities they represent,” he said. “Voices speaks to the organization’s accomplishments and sheds light on how important our community’s resources are in making a difference.”