Brooklyn Assemblymember Nick Perry recently honored 12 outstanding individuals and groups at his annual awards event at Tropical Paradise Ballroom in Brooklyn.
The list included: Alliance of South Asian American Labor (Champions of Labor Award), Jason Carballo and Earl Phillips (Distinguished Labor Leader Award), Roderick “Ruddie” Daley (Outstanding Educator Award), the Rev. Dr. Hermon L. Darden (Distinguished Ecumenical Leader Award), and Mohammed Shah Jahan and Sherley Lamother, RN (Outstanding Community Leader and Service Award).
The other honorees were: Velda Jeffrey (Outstanding Labor Organizer Award), Beryl Major (Outstanding Labor and Community Service Award), Salvatore Mirra (Outstanding Entrepreneur Award) and registered nurses Claudette Powell and Eulin Robin (Distinguished Health Service and Community Leadership Award).
“Tonight’s honorees exemplify the words of W.E.B. DuBois, who so eloquently stated that ,‘Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season,” said Perry, the Jamaican-born representative for the 58th Assembly District. “It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year…’”
Like his co-honorees, Rev. Darden, the senior pastor at Vanderveer Park United Methodist Church in the East Flatbush, said he was grateful for the award. He also thanked his congregation, stating that without them he “would not be able to do God’s work.”
Rev. Darden, a native New Yorker who attended the New York City public, has served as an instructor at NYC Technical College, and as an adjunct professor at New York Theological Seminary. He has served as pastor of churches in Harlem, southeast Queens, the Hudson Valley, lower Manhattan, Westchester County and Brooklyn.
Rev. Darden has traveled for missional and ecumenical healing to South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya, Korea, and Nicaragua, Israel and Palestine.
The Alliance of South Asian American Labor (ASAAL) is a community-based labor organization that provides an independent voice for South Asian workers, irrespective of their trade and place of work.
Carballo is the chief operating officer of Castle Financial Services, a second generation neighborhood financial services provider to the under and unbanked residents of New York City.
Along with operating his family business, Carballo served four years as President of the Financial Service Centers of New York (FSCNY), the leading New York trade association for licensed check cashers.
While representing FSCNY and the 850,000 New Yorkers that the industry services, Caraballo worked with both New York City and Albany legislators in reaffirming the need and value of basic financial services for everyday New Yorkers provided by FSCNY members.
Jamaican-born Daley is currently a Spanish teacher with the New York City Department of Education.
He began his teaching career in the mid 1990’s at Nazareth Regional High School then on to South Shore High School in Brooklyn, New York.
He currently is a dean at Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment at Prospect Heights Campus. Jahan said he is deeply committed to his community.
Jahan serves as chairman of the Bangladeshi American Advocacy Group and is a member of Community Board 5 in Brooklyn.
He also works closely with the New York Police Department (NYPD), elected officials and community leaders as a community activist.
Jahan also serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on American Islamic Relations.
Jeffrey is a 34-year-old Brooklyn resident who has been an active member of local union 1199SEIU for the past 25 years.
She has worked in the nursing field for 15 years at Maimonides Medical Center and is now a political organizer of 1199 Political Action Department for the past 10 years.
During these years, Jeffrey has devoted her career to enhancing the quality of life by fighting for workers’ rights at the polls.
As a political organizer, Jeffrey has had the privilege to help elect many progressive candidates and win on issues focused on healthcare and working families.
Lamothe was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti until 16, when she moved back to her hometown.
On her return to the United States, she settled in Brooklyn and attended Prospect Heights High School, where she received an Outstanding Achievement Award from the NY Senate for dedication at academic excellence. After her high school graduation, she attended New York Technical College to study accounting.
Restless and unhappy in her choice of career, she decided to attend Middlesex County Tech-Vocational School in New Jersey and became a nurse.
Major is currently the director of membership development for Local 420, a director on the Municipal Credit Union Board, and the treasurer of the Frederick Douglas Democratic club.
Major has spent over three decades advocating and working in the labor movement and the political campaign field.
Prior to joining Local 420, Major was appointed to the position of labor educator for DC 37 Education Department, the youngest person to ever serve in that position.
She serviced all of the 56 locals, from highway repairers to architects and clerical support staff, teaching them various aspects in collective bargaining, contract compliance, organizing and labor.
Mirra was born and raised in Brooklyn into a second generation Italian-American family.
He is a member and honoree of the NYPD honor legion, Safari Club International, and the public relations chair of the East Church Avenue Business Association. He has always worked closely with fellow merchants in the East Church Avenue Business Assoc.
Mirra runs a retail meat market on Church Ave. in Brooklyn, serving the community for over 37years.
Phillips is secretary-treasurer of the Transport Workers Union Local 100. A native of Barbados, Phillips came to America in 1987 and owned a successful auto repair shop in Brooklyn.
He also served as TWU Local 100’s safety director, challenging management to better protect members from assaults, occupational hazards, and industrial accidents.
Jamaican-born Powell is a home healthcare consultant with more than 30 years as a registered nurse.
Her career and experience span over 20 years in home healthcare administration, encompassing hospitals and community-based programs.
Powell is integrally involved in promoting healthcare in Jamaica, led the United States delegation at the International Healthcare Fact Finding Mission in Jamaica October 2011.
Antigua-born Robin is a member of the American Nurses Association, NY, State Nurses Association and an honors member of the Nightingale Society.
She is currently employed at the Brookdale Hospital Medical Center as Assistant Director of Nursing Staff Development and Nurse Recruitment. She has been instrumental in coordinating Brookdale Hospital Annual Community Health/Street Fair for the past 10 years.