Organizations

Individuals

Micheal Blake

NY State Assemblyman

When describing the path his life has taken, Michael Blake humbly refers to the words of his mother who remarked that the family had gone “from no house to the White House.” Blake has committed himself to public service and to the empowerment of others like him, who may not have direct access to opportunities to participate in the policy and political debates that shape this nation.
Blake’s family story is a testament to his achievement. His family emigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica seeking new opportunities, but facing many new challenges.Michael Alexander Blake was born on Christmas Day at North Central Bronx Hospital with a heart murmur. Despite his initial health challenges, the namesake of two historic Jamaican public servants, Michael Manley and Alexander Bustamante, Blake was raised in the Bronx and continues to live a life rooted in the foundation of faith, politics and putting his heart and soul into all opportunities.

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Gale Brewer

Manhattan Borough President

  • Gale A. Brewer is the 27th Manhattan Borough President, responsible for advising the Mayor and City Council on borough concerns, commenting on all land-use matters in the borough, advocating for the borough in the municipal budget process, and appointing members of Manhattan’s 12 Community Boards.
  • The Borough President also chairs the Borough Board, made up of City Council Members and Chairs from the Community Boards, and the Borough Services Cabinet, composed of senior officials from City agencies delivering services in the borough.

Ms. Brewer previously served on the City Council for 12 years, from 2002 through 2013, representing the 6th Council District which includes most of the Upper West Side and northern Clinton.

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Ruben Diaz Jr.

Bronx Borough President

Ruben Diaz Jr. first entered public office as a member of the New York State Assembly in 1997, and is currently serving his second full term as Bronx Borough President, having been reelected in November 2013 with more than 89 percent of the vote.

As borough president, Ruben Diaz Jr. has led the implementation of a robust agenda—on economic development, housing, education, and public safety—in every corner of the borough. The Bronx has seen over $7 billion in new development of all kinds since Borough President Diaz took office in 2009. This includes more than $600 million in housing, building nearly 13,000 new units, and the creation of more than 15,000 new jobs.

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Inez Dickens

NYC Council Member, District 9

A lifelong resident of the 9th Council District that includes Central Harlem, Morningside Heights, parts of the Upper West Side and part of East Harlem, Inez Dickens is highly respected as a tireless fighter for basic civil and human rights, justice, equity, inclusion and diversity.   She is committed to improving the quality of life for everyone in her community and in the City of New York.  Moreover, for over 30 years beginning as a student activist at the side of her father and mentor, the late Harlem businessman and NYS Assemblyman, Lloyd E. Dickens, Council Member Inez E. Dickens has taken an active role in economic development, small business with a focus on minority and women owned business enterprise, and political landscape of New York’s celebrated village of Harlem.

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The Hon. Professor Michael John Downie

Chairman, Arts & Culture Committee, Manhattan Community Board 10

The Honorable Professor Michael John Downie is an Education Consultant specializing in performance improvement and growth strategy through curriculum development and global educational programs.  He served as Assistant Professor of English at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he instituted CAL 103, “The Freshmen Experience”, and was Assistant Professor of English & African American Literature at SUNY Westchester Community College.

In 2003, Prof. Downie founded Renaissance in Motion, a non-profit cultural organization that provides access to Harlem’s diverse artistic and intellectual scene through salons, lectures and concerts held in Harlem.

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Adriano Espaillat

NY State Senator

State Senator Adriano Espaillat’s career in public service has been marked by historic accomplishments and an unwavering commitment to integrity, justice, and equal representation for all.

Following a successful tenure in the New York State Assembly, Espaillat was elected to the Senate in November 2010, where he represents the 31st district. This uniquely diverse and dynamic district stretches from Manhattan’s Upper West Side through Washington Heights and includes Riverdale, Marble Hill, and Hamilton Heights.

A trailblazing community activist, Senator Espaillat made history in 1996 when he became the first Dominican-American elected to a state legislature.

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Athena B. Moore

Director, Northern Manhattan Office

  • Ms. Athena B. Moore’s office manages a broad portfolio which includes the work of the MBPO African Immigrant Task Force.
  • Ms. Athena Moore brings a wealth of expertise in policy advocacy, health and human services, and strategic planning – as well as a deep commitment to public service and broad experience working collaboratively – and I’m very pleased that she is joining our team,” Brewer said. “Our goal is to strengthen our community partnerships, ramp up constituent services, and do all we can to improve the quality of life in Northern Manhattan.”
  • Ms. Moore brings over 18 years experience to her position. Before joining the Borough President’s Office, Moore was Director of Public Policy at the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS Inc.

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Elhadji Amadou Ndao

Consul General of the Republic of Senegal

His Excellency Mr. Elhadji Amadou Ndao was born and raised in Senegal, West Africa, where he attended primary and secondary school. After graduating high school, he went to the University of Dakar where he, along with other thirty two elite students in the literary track, had the privilege to be of the class that would be the first promotion of the Sociology Department newly opened at the renowned “Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines” at the University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar.

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Mamadi Touré

Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea

  • Mr. Touré previously has held several high-ranking positions within the United Nations. Such as:
  • the Permanent Representative of Guinea to the United Nations;
  • Senior Political Affairs Officer in charge of the Horn of Africa Team in the Department of Political Affairs;
  • Chief of Staff at the United Nations Operations in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI);
  • Senior Political Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa;
  • Acting Chief of Staff at the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa.

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Pastor Michael A. Walrond, JR.

Senior Pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church

  • Rev. Walrond, who is also affectionately known by the congregation as Pastor Mike, serves as the leader, pastor and teacher to the “ever evolving community of visionaries & dreamers” at First Corinthian Baptist Church.
  • Within two years of his leadership at FCBC, the church experienced a tremendous amount of growth, inevitably necessitating the addition of a second service. Over the past eight years, membership at FCBC has grown from three hundred and fifty disciples to over seven thousand, and has led to the creation of several new ministries and initiatives.

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