In every role she held, Vendryes advocated for marginalized people and celebrated the cultural contributions of the Black and queer communities.
Betty not only opened doors, she built new doors — doors that, nearly 50 years later, remain permanently open in her students’ own backyard.
When I first made contact with Willie Cole it was to request that he submit a piece for an exhibition I curated, Art Enology. Here I was, a novice curator, reaching out to a living legend for an exhibition that was launching in a mere three months. I never expected him to say yes. I just wanted him to know that I existed, admired his work, and would hound him until he gave in to being part of one of my exhibitions.