Outstanding community members and talented college scholarship winners were recognized

QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz hosted a celebration of Black History Month last night (Monday, February 23) in the Faculty Dining Room of York College, located at 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Boulevard in Jamaica.

“Black History Month gives us an opportunity to learn about and reflect upon the many achievements African Americans have made in a diverse array of important fields, including science and technology, arts and culture and politics and government” Borough President Katz said. “The celebration of Black History Month helps ensure that these achievements are appropriately recognized and celebrated and reminds us all about the importance of respecting people of all races and ethnicities, because all of us have dignity as human beings and deserve the right to be able to pursue our dreams and contribute to society to the best of our abilities.”

Several distinguished African Americans were presented with Citations of Honor during the event, including Ramon Cameron of Project Hope – New Direction, Karen Clements of Clements Communications Inc., Diamond Craig of Purposely Pretty, Andrew Jackson of the Langston Hughes Library, Dr. Selena Rodgers of York College and artist and teacher Charles Tilly.

A number of exceptional organizations also received honors during the celebration, including The Door Restaurant, The Order of the Feather Fraternity, K.E.Y.A. Dance Company and the Rosedale Jets.

“I am very proud to honor these distinguished individuals and organizations who have done so much to make The World’s Borough such a wonderful place to live, work and visit,” the Borough President said.

In addition to presenting the Citations of Honor, Borough President Katz also presented eight high school seniors with college scholarships of $1,000 each. The scholarship winners are Queens residents who entered and won Borough President Katz’s African American Heritage Scholarship Competition. Students in the competition were judged on their academic and civic achievement and on the quality of their written submissions as to what Black History Month means to them.

The winning students are Anu Alalade of Queens Gateway H.S., Keli Almonte of Hillcrest H.S., Asoromchukwu Animalu of Francis Lewis H.S., Matthew Loyd of Thomas Edison CTE H.S., Asia Matthews of York College Academy, Diamond Moody of Townsend Harris H.S., Azana Newman of Hillcrest H.S. and Mekai Ruddock of York College Academy.

The scholarships are being funded by Citibank, JetBlue, Con Edison, Cricket Wireless and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Additional financial support for last night’s event was provided by the Jamaica YMCA and the Queens Youth & Senior Funding Corp.

Borough President Katz commended her African American Heritage Committee for coordinating the planning of last night’s celebration. The committee is comprised of community leaders who feel strongly about the importance of honoring the past, while also looking to the future.

The Borough President’s African American Heritage Committee includes committee chair Andrew Jackson along with Pastor John Boyd of New Greater Bethel Ministries, Bill Briggs of the Youth & Tennis Academy, Cedric Dew of the Jamaica YMCA, Marc A. Haken of Community Board 8, Khaair Morrisono of V.O.Y.C.E., Harbachan Singh of Community Board 8 & the Queens General Assembly, Roslin V. Spigner of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Tiffany Williams of Y Roads.