Several elected officials were recognized with congressional citations at the 4th Annual Shirley Chisholm Women’s Empowerment Conference at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College on Saturday, March 21, 2015.
Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke honored State Assemblyman Nick Perry, State Assemblywoman Annette Robinson, Public Advocate Letitia James, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray and Executive Vice President of 1199 SEIU Estela Vasquez at the day-long, extraordinary event, organized by Medgar Evers College.
Clarke also recognized local legislators as “Guest of Merit.” They were: Jumaane Williams, Mathieu Eugene, Laurie Cumbo, Kevin Parker and Robinson.
Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, and Parker, representative for the 21st Senatorial District, also in Brooklyn, were on hand to receive the award at the end of the event. The other officials were not present.
“There are a number of elected officials who have committed themselves,” said Clarke, representative for the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn. “We’re very proud these people have engaged our community.
“Central Brooklyn has the largest concentration of people of African descent outside of the South (southern United States),” she added. “So, let’s come together in unity.”
Before accepting his award, Williams, who is deputy leader and chair of the City Council’s Housing Committee, said, “2015 is too difficult to be Black in America.
“The same problem we have with the police department (New York Police Department) with race, we have in education,” he said.
Clarke said she was “extremely, very proud of the work of Councilman Jumaane Williams has been doing in our community.”
Parker commended Clarke’s mother, former New York City Councilwoman Una S.T. Clarke, for paving the way for his political involvement.
“I was politically born from this woman’s work,” he said after greeting the elder Clarke with a warm embrace.
Then, he added: “We need a criminal justice system that’ll protect us. We need to open up the jury process. We want to give incentives so police officers can live in our district.”
The conference featured several distinguished speakers and panelists on wide-ranging topics, such as Sustainable Development, Economic Development and Affordable Housing; Immigration Reform and Civic Engagement; Criminal Justice, Domestic Violence, Health and Mental Health; and the UPK to College Pipeline: Employment and Economic Empowerment.
“On behalf of the members of Women for Fairness, Equity and Justice, and the Caribbean Research Center at Medgar Evers College, we express our profound gratitude for your participation at the 4th Annual Shirley Chisholm Women’s Empowerment Conference,” said the elder Clarke, who heads Women for Fairness, Equity and Justice, and is chair of the Caribbean Research Center’s Advisory Board, in her remarks.
“As women working together to improve the quality of life for other women, we extend our thanks to you, and we encourage you to continue to be the anchor for our girls and young women,” she added.