The National CARES Mentoring Movement Second Annual Gala

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(ENSPIRE COMMUNITY ) The National CARES Mentoring Movement Second Annual Gala

The National CARES Mentoring Movement, an organization founded by Susan L. Taylor, recently celebrated its second annual For the Love of Our Children Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street. The event was hosted by Tamron Hall of MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall; and Georgetown University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and prolific best-selling author of Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, Michael Eric Dyson. The event raised funds to support critical training and replication of the organization’s transformational in-school program, The Rising, which provides holistic large-scale, trauma-informed mentoring support to entire schools where nation’s most unprotected and harmed population—Black children living in poverty—are struggling to achieve their education despite extreme social and economic disruption.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Hosts, author and academic Michael Eric Dyson (L) and news anchor Tamron Hall speak onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Hosts, author and academic Michael Eric Dyson (L) and news anchor Tamron Hall speak onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

In addition to celebrating the creativity and achievement of African-American as a whole, the star-studded gala also honored three trailblazing Black men with the National CARES North Star Award.  The evening’s first honoree was Charles D. King—executive producer of the critically acclaimed film Fences, and Founder and CEO of the firm, MACRO.  King was introduced by filmmaker and gala co-chair Crystal McCrary and praised by living legend Cicely Tyson for his dedication to supporting and presenting content that explores the complexity and beauty of African-American, Latino and multicultural lives.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: (L-R) Cicely Tyson, Charles D. King, and Crystal McCrary pose onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: (L-R) Cicely Tyson, Charles D. King, and Crystal McCrary pose onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

Honoree Russell Simmons—an entrepreneur and hip-hop icon who has dedicated over 20 years of his life to helping dismantle punitive drug policy laws—was introduced in true hip-hop fashion with freestyle rhymes by Renée Elise Goldsberry, the Tony Award-winning Broadway show Hamilton.  Goldsberry was joined in introducing Simmons by activist and author Kemba Smith who spoke about her personal experience of being a first-time, non-violent offender sentenced to 24.5 years in prison for conspiracy to participate in her boyfriend’s drug activities, and writing a letter to Simmons about the critical need to call attention to the issue.  Finally, CARES Board Chair Reginald Van Lee presented the North Star Award to honoree Lonnie G. Bunch III—the driving force and founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch was unable to attend due to illness but gave remarks via video address.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Russell Simmons attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Russell Simmons attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

Since 2006, National CARES has recruited, trained and connected more than 200,000 caring mentors to local youth-serving programs in 58 U.S. cities from Seattle to San Diego, Boston to Chicago and New York to Atlanta.  Funds raised at this year’s gala will directly support these efforts and other programs, including The Rising: Elevating Education, Expectations and Self-Esteem, University for Parents and HBCU Rising, a program that mentors middle-school children in STEM and literacy and prepares college students for career success.

The Rising saves lives,” said student ambassador, Teonte Miller who three years ago was in a gang and aspired to be a drug seller when The Rising program was started in his school on Chicago’s South side.  “It saved my life,” the 21-year-old said, before sharing that in March he will have achieved his associate’s degree and he has plans to complete his bachelor’s immediately thereafter.

Also, shared Chivonne Williams, the organization’s executive director, “National CARES recognizes that parents are children’s first mentors and there are particular and difficult stressors associated with extreme poverty, which is why last year we launched the University for Parents, which provides holistic life-management support and work development training for impoverished parents.”  Support from Monday night’s gala, then, will also help to facilitate the continued expansion of the University for Parents. National CARES has local affiliates serving children and families in 58 U.S. cities.  “We are looking to create a web of support in communities that have otherwise been abandoned,” concluded Williams.

Related Article: NATIONAL CARES MENTORING & VERIZON RAISE 1 MILLION

Special guests at the National CARES gala event included: Rev. Jesse Jackson; Rev. Al Sharpton; Danny Glover; Essence Editor in Chief, Vanessa DeLuca; Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem; Bethann Hardison; Hill Harper; Debra Lee and Stephen Hill of BET; Omari Hardwick, Maxwell, Bevy Smith, artist, Kehinde Wiley; author, Terry McMillan; journalist, Suzanne Malveaux; Attallah Shabazz, Diplomat and eldest daughter of Malcolm X; Jonelle Procope, President & CEO, the Apollo Theater, and many more.  The program featured a rousing performance of Nina Simone’s Everything Must Change by 15-year old jazz singer Mae-Ya CarterIn addition, Jon Batiste—pianist and musical director for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert—led a “love riot” in honor of Susan L. Taylor’s birthday to close the evening.

National CARES Mentoring Movement gratefully acknowledges the generous support of its sponsors for helping to make this year’s gala event possible, including: American Express, AARP, KeyBank, Merck, AT&T, BET Networks/Viacom, BNY Mellon, Campaign For Black Male Achievement, Colgate-Palmolive, Delta Air Lines, Fannie Mae, American Urban Radio Networks, FedEx, Morgan Stanley, TW Capital, Nielsen, General Mills Foundation, Nationwide, Northrop Grumman Corporation and Reggie Van Lee. 

For more information about the National CARES Mentoring Movement, please visit:www.caresmentoring.org.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL CARES MENTORING MOVEMENT

The National CARES Mentoring Movement was founded in 2006 and is a pioneering community-mobilization initiative established to propel impoverished Black children to succeed in school, in careers and in life. It is the only organization dedicated to holistically securing and transforming the lives of Black children nationally through culturally grounded, trauma-informed and curriculum-based group-mentoring. National CARES envisions a world in which African American children and families are deeply rooted in mutual love and the history of Black people; and where they are respected for all that their foreparents withstood and contributed to enrich the nation and the world. While National CARES focuses on African American children and mentors, we turn away no child in need, nor any qualified adult, and our programs are easily adaptable to other cultural contexts.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Stylist June Ambrose (L) and singer Maxwell attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Stylist June Ambrose (L) and singer Maxwell attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Author Kemba Smith speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Author Kemba Smith speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Russell Simmons speaks during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Russell Simmons speaks during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Actress Renee Elise Goldsberry waits speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Actress Renee Elise Goldsberry waits speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Bevy Smith (L) and founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement Susan L. Taylor attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Bevy Smith (L) and founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement Susan L. Taylor attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: (L-R) Michael Eric Dyson, Crystal McCrary, June Ambrose, Jesse Jackson, and Charles D. King attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: (L-R) Michael Eric Dyson, Crystal McCrary, June Ambrose, Jesse Jackson, and Charles D. King attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Actress Cicely Tyson (C) attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Actress Cicely Tyson (C) attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Musician Jon Batiste performs onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Musician Jon Batiste performs onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: News anchor Tamron Hall speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: News anchor Tamron Hall speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Author and academic Michael Eric Dyson speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Author and academic Michael Eric Dyson speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Poet Jessica Care Moore attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Poet Jessica Care Moore attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: News anchor Tamron Hall attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: News anchor Tamron Hall attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Debra L. Lee attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Debra L. Lee attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Actor Danny Glover attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Actor Danny Glover attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Author Terrie Williams (L) and Russell Simmons attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Author Terrie Williams (L) and Russell Simmons attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Actor Hill Harper attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Actor Hill Harper attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement Susan L. Taylor (L) and Russell Simmons attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement Susan L. Taylor (L) and Russell Simmons attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Chief Dream Director, Detroit at The Future Project Pat Murray attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Chief Dream Director, Detroit at The Future Project Pat Murray attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Al Sharpton (L) and Jesse Jackson attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Al Sharpton (L) and Jesse Jackson attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: (L-R) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Debra L. Lee, National CARES Mentoring Movement Executive Director Chivonne J. Williams, and Founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement Susan L. Taylor attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: (L-R) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BET Debra L. Lee, National CARES Mentoring Movement Executive Director Chivonne J. Williams, and Founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement Susan L. Taylor attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement Susan L. Taylor speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Founder of the National CARES Mentoring Movement Susan L. Taylor speaks onstage during the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: (L-R) Terrie Williams, Adriane Gaines, and Rachel Noerdlinger attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: (L-R) Terrie Williams, Adriane Gaines, and Rachel Noerdlinger attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: (L-R) Armani Smith, Kemba Smith, and Patrick Pradia attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: (L-R) Armani Smith, Kemba Smith, and Patrick Pradia attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Actress Renee Elise Goldsberry attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Actress Renee Elise Goldsberry attends the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: Actress Cicely Tyson (L) and Al Sharpton attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual 'For the Love of Our Children' Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 30: Actress Cicely Tyson (L) and Al Sharpton attend the National CARES Mentoring Movements 2nd Annual ‘For the Love of Our Children’ Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 30, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for National CARES Mentoring Movement)

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