State Senator Kevin Parker and NYC Council Member Farah Louis, collaborated for an evening filled with praise, to celebrate the exceptional contributions of five community leaders, who were honored with Proclamations and Citations at a SheRoes presentation on March 31, to end Women’s History Month.
A shimmering backdrop in the event space of the newly million dollar renovated Rugby Library in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, was befitting the elegantly dressed, women of substance.
Bernice Kingberry a retired NICHA employee, who made a commitment to complete her education at New York University, was applauded for her resilience, kind words, community outreach and her dedication to her church family.
Guyanese-born June Persaud, founder/CEO of JAP Marketing LLC, past chair of Community Board 17, Brooklyn Commerce Committee, who has over 20 years of multi-industry experience in project management, a marketing representative for Bartenura Wine, and the creator of Int. Food and Wine tasting event, received resounding applause for her energetic and impactful work in her East Flatbush community, that earned her many commendations.
For 45 years Marietta Smalls, played an active role in her community. She was the President of Tenants Association of Flatbush Garden, and Co-founder of the Husain Institute. She also worked for the NYS court system and was the first female African American to hold the position of Public Administratrix (Commissioner) for King’s County.
She serves as the assistant correspondence secretary of the 67th Precinct Council. She is also a member of the Triumphant Full Gospel Assembly in Brooklyn.
Senior Assoc. Vice President of Finance at SUNY Downstate, Bernadette Selby, is charged with oversight of the Financial Division, and reporting directly to the campus chief financial officer. Her role includes the management of Accounts Payable, Banking, Bursar, Card Services and Payroll; her leadership includes the review of critical protocols and operations to promote enhanced efficiencies.
A Trinidad-born, with 30 years of medical work experience, is a past assistant to former Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz where she coordinated the Wingate MLK celebration.
Johanne Brierre is the proprietor of NY Beauty Suites that provides flexible spaces designed for licensed beauty professionals who wish to work in a professional setting, have access to business resources, and grow awareness of their brand.
She was recognized for the entrepreneur spirit, that drove her to open the business during the pandemic when one of her family members told her just how negatively the beauty industry was being affected by COVID regulations.
The elected officials said the “Honoring SheRoes” event was a noble way to close out the Women’s History Month. “We are honoring our amazing trailblazers who are making a big impact in our community,” said the reading, that also acknowledged the effective ways woman are building their communities.
Council Member Farah Louis thanked the women for their unwavering commitment to the community, noting it was an honor to recognize the phenomenal five.
“Keep on going, it hasn’t easy, during the COVID pandemic,” she said, adding that the women inspire her, and thanked aides, Sabrina Dieujuste, and Esther Debbie Louis, who helped her to plan the event.
She said the library space in the 45th Council District, was specifically chosen as the venue to host the event to show its usefulness, while thanking her predecessors for their input in the million dollars refurbishment of the library that she helped to bring to competition.
Host, Esther Debbie Louis, brought grace and poise to the event as emcee, and reminded the audience of the impactful work, the honorees are doing to empower their communities.
Unfortunately, though, the technical help, was unable to connect Senator Kevin Parker, in-transit from Albany, to join the live streaming for him to express his gratitude to the SheRoes.
The event opened with an impassioned prayer by Antonee Lewis, owner of Sheba Consults LLC, a motivational speaker, who later wowed the women with her definition of “Legacy,” which she said is earned, deliberate, hard work, and strategic.
She reminded the women, that “not only is your mind a terrible thing to waste, but your opinion is a terrible thing to waste,” while encouraging the ladies to be fearless, to build character, and to be mindful.
Haitian-born verse-maker Schency Augustin of Ede Youthful, Inc. in turn, honored the ladies with poem; Ode to Women, that reads, “I look across this room at multi-colored SheRoes. I am reminded of my mother; your laughter soothes my grateful heart. You are a gift. All of you here have touch so many lives and all I want you to see, is what I see when I look at you.”
Eleven-year-old Iyana Padmore of the 67th Precinct Dancers, put on a wonderful tribute performance, despite technical difficulty, staying on que to the music from the movie “Aladdin.” Hercules Read, of Jamaican descent, an employee of the Mayor’s Office, paid tribute to the group by saying women, like his mother, have paved the way “for many who are now coming behind you.”
“I have your back, I am excited that I can stand and verbalize, the sacrifices you made. Without you we would not be here, thanks for your commitment,” he added.
Alicia Goodridge, assistant VP Office of the Government & Community Relations, Sciences University, Office at Downstate Health, congratulated the honorees, and thanked Council Member Louis for her work in honoring the SheRoes, adding that Downstate was ready to serve, and educate young people at the teaching hospital in Brooklyn.
And finally, Community Board 17 District Manager, Sherif Barker, acknowledged the exceptional work women are doing to uplift their communities, while outlining the critical work her office is doing to educate, and inform the East Flatbush community.
She went further to thank Caribbean Life, and this reporter for keeping the community up to date with much needed information, showcasing the outstanding work of residents. She extended her contact information and ways to reach her office at 4112 Farragut Rd., Brooklyn, NY 11210, stating, all concern will be addressed.