9th Annual Bell Center
Lecture Series Luncheon

DeMaurice Smith speaks at Bell Center Luncheon

The 9th Annual Todd A. Bell Luncheon Series was held on April, 7, 2014. On hand to keep the event going smoothly was ABC6 and FOX28 anchor and reporter, Yolanda Harris, who served as Mistress of Ceremonies.

First up on the agenda was Dr. James Moore III, associate provost and director of the BNRC, who presented the Mac A. Stewart Distinguished Award for Service to Rhonda T. Bryant. Ms. Bryant, the Interim Director of Youth Policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, D.C., leads the work on education and employment issues impacting youth aged 12 through 24. In 2013, she was appointed to serve as a senior policy analyst for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, providing leadership on early learning education issues.

Next to the podium was William Crawford III, an Ohio State senior majoring in Public Affairs, who spoke about the many connections he’s made over the past four years through the Bell National Resource Center (BNRC). He attended the BNRC Early Arrival Program and serves as a mentor and ambassador for the Bell Center. William’s connection to the BNRC is so strong that he told Archie Griffin, President and CEO of the Ohio State Alumni Association, who attended the luncheon, “The first check I write to become a member of the Ohio State Alumni Association will be to the BNRC.”

Keynote speaker DeMaurice Smith continued the inspirational message. As the Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association, in 2011, Mr. Smith was integral to the successful negotiation a historic ten-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Nation Football League. His talk inspired the crowd of over 300 with this motivational message: “Everyone must have the courage to care and the courage to do more.” In order to make a positive change for African American males, he continued, there is an obligation to do more. “Even though we don’t know how the story of every young man will turn out, we must still invest in him,” Mr. Smith added. “We must stand up for people we don’t know and will never meet.”

Additionally, Mayor Michael B. Coleman also spoke about the work that the BNRC does and its importance to the city of Columbus, and musical selections were provided by Lawrence Lemon, founder and Artistic Director of the Nomel Inspirational Dance Theatre.

ABC6 sportscaster Clay Hall’s video about the 2014 Bell Luncheon.


The luncheon serves as the BNRC’s major fundraiser, with proceeds helping to provide African American male students the opportunity to follow their dreams at The Ohio State University in an atmosphere that celebrates education excellence. If you would like to donate to the BNRC, please click here.

Photos courtesy of Jay LaPrete.