Rosenwald Legacy Panelist Bios

Rosenwald Legacy Panelist Bios

The Rosenwald Legacy: Its Impact on the Lives of Its Recipients
Aviva Kempner, director, Rosenwald, and panelists Anne Hess, A’lelia Bundles, Anna Fierst, and Charlene Drew Jarvis

Panelists Biographies:

Aviva Kempner

Director, writer, producer of Rosenwald Kempner is the founder and executive director of The Ciesla Foundation, a non-profit organization that produces documentaries that investigate non-stereotypical images of Jews in history and celebrates the untold stories of Jewish heroes. Through insightful and revealing storytelling, interviews with key figures and wide distribution, Kempner’s films assure worthy individuals their rightful places in history. In 2015, Kempner released Rosenwald, an inspiring historical documentary about businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, who partnered with Booker T. Washington and African American communities to build over 5,000 schools in the Jim Crow South. Rosenwald also provided grants to support a who’s who of African American artists and intellectuals.

Anna Fierst, great-granddaughter of Eleanor Roosevelt

Anna Fierst is the immediate past president of the WNDC and is also the great granddaughter of Eleanor Roosevelt.  Through Mrs. Roosevelt’s status as First Lady and a trustee of the Rosenwald Fund, she broke through barriers to obtain funding for the Tuskegee Institute’s pilot training efforts.  Anna will speak on the subject of Eleanor Rossevelt’s role in this historic breakthrough for WWII African-American pilots.

A’lelia Bundles, great-granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker

Author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles writes biographies about the amazing women in her family: entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker and Harlem Renaissance icon A’Lelia Walker. She also speaks at conferences, colleges, corporations and other venues about entrepreneurship, philanthropy, financial literacy, women’s history and African American history. After a 30-year career as an executive and Emmy award winning producer with ABC News and NBC News, she now is historical advisor with Madam C. J. Walker Beauty Culture, a trustee of Columbia University and an advisor and ambassador with Walker’s Legacy. On Her Own Ground, her biography of Madam Walker, has been optioned by Zero Gravity Management for a television series featuring Oscar winner Octavia Spencer.

Anne Hess, granddaughter of Edith Stern

Anne Helen Hess is Edith Stern’s granddaughter. She served on the board of directors of  Edith Stern’s family foundation, The Stern Fund, along with her grandmother and other family members for 15 years. Anne is a philanthropist and social justice activist. She lives in New York City and currently is working to help get more Democrats elected to local, state and federal office.