Sharing Our Stories Benefit





An evening to benefit Community Impact



Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President

Robert W. Hanning, Columbia University Professor

Hosted by comedian Kerry Coddett


Thank you to everyone who joined us for Sharing Our Stories, our first ever virtual fundraising event! Our community gathered from all over for an hour of moving stories and testimonies that engaged and inspired our audience. Many spoke so beautifully of our work, and about what community means to us now.


If you missed the event or want to rewatch it, view it on YouTube.


Please consider making a gift now to support our ongoing work in meeting the needs of the communities surrounding Columbia University, which have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. 





Gale A. Brewer

Gale A. Brewer is the 27th Borough President of Manhattan.

Since she took office in 2014, she has successfully passed legislation to reform the deed restriction process, add 'caregivers' to the city's anti-discrimination law, remove criminal history questions from initial employment applications (the "Fair Chance Act"), and enforce requirements for street numbers on buildings in Manhattan (to aid emergency workers). She has also spearheaded community planning initiatives at the South Street Seaport, in East Midtown, and in other neighborhoods to address development and zoning issues. 

In 2018, Brewer served as Chair of the Large Cities Council of the National League of Cities, and has been named a member of their 2019 Human Development federal advocacy committee, which advocates NLC policy positions on issues involving social services, children and learning, poverty and income support, employment and workforce development, equal opportunity, Social Security and seniors, individuals with disabilities, public health care, mental health parity, and immigration reform. 

Brewer previously served on the City Council for 12 years, serving as the founding chair of the Technology Committee and leading the Government Operations Committee. There, the Council passed her legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for most hourly employees, requiring all City data be published online, and protecting domestic workers from abusive practices. 

Prior to that, she served as Chief of Staff to Council Member Ruth Messinger, NYC Deputy Public Advocate, Director of the city's Federal Office, and Executive Director of the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women. 

Brewer has an MPA from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and did her undergraduate work at Columbia University and Bennington College. 


Robert W. Hanning

B.A., Columbia (1958); B.A., Oxford (1960); M.A., Oxford (1964); Ph.D., Coumbia (1964)

Professor Hanning began teaching at Columbia in 1963. He also taught at Bread Loaf (Middlebury College), Yale, Johns Hopkins, NYU, and Princeton. He was director and professor at the Bread Load School at Lincoln College, Oxford in 1980, 1984, 1986, and directed NEH Summer Seminars for College Teachers in 1982, 1985, and 1989. He received ACLS, Guggenheim, and NEH Fellowships and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to the Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio. He was elected a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America (1986) and a Trustee of the New Chaucer Society (1998-2002). He was the Biennial Chaucer Lecturer at the 1998 NCS Congress, at the Sorbonne in Paris.

His areas of expertise include medieval English literature, Chaucer, medieval French romance, medieval historiography, the Ovidian tradition in medieval European literature, and the works of the Italian masters Boccaccio, Ariosto, and Castiglione. At the undergraduate level, he taught courses on the constructions of "race" and ethnicity and the fortunes of immigrant groups in America, and for nearly three decades, co-taught (with David Rosand of Art History) a seminar on the art and literature of the Renaissance. 

His major publications include: The Vision of History in Early Britain (1966), The Individual in Twelfth-Century Romance (1977), The Lais of Marie de France, co-translated with Joan M. Ferrante (1978), Castiglione: The Real and the Ideal in Renaissance Culture, co-edited with David Rosand (1983), Serious Play. Desire and Authority in the Poetry of Ovid, Chauncer, and Ariosto (2010; based on the Leonard Hastings Schoff Memorial Lectures, 2005), The Romance of Thebes, co-translated with Joan M. Ferrante (2018). Reading Medieval Culture. Essays in Honor of Robert W. Hanning, edited by Robert M. Stein and Sandra Pierson Prior., was published in 2005. 

2005-2006 was Professor Hanning's last year of teaching. He retired June 30, 2006 after 45 years of offering instruction at Columbia.