Profile: Dennie Beach

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NYC Council Member, Inez Dickens District 9

Inez Dickens

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.

Ms. Dickens was first elected to office in 1974 as a County Committeewoman, County Judicial Committeewoman and State Committeewoman and eventually rose in party ranks to become the highest-ranking African American woman in the New York State Democratic party serving as the First Vice Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee.  Ms. Dickens stepped down as First Vice Chair when she took the oath of office on January 1, 2006, after winning a hotly contested City Council race.  She became the Council Member for the 9th Council District serving the communities of Central Harlem, Morningside Heights, part of the Upper West Side and East Side.  As a newly elected Council Member, Ms. Dickens hit the ground running after Speaker Christine Quinn appointed her to the leadership position of Majority Whip and Chair of the Standing Committee on Standards and Ethics.  During her tenure in office, Inez  E. Dickens has brought millions of dollars in services and resources to her community, the 9th Council District and to economically distressed communities throughout the City of New York.  She has also fought to make our great city a welcoming port-of-call to all and to build futures of promise for her constituents and all New Yorkers.

Ms. Dickens is a product of the New York City public school system, where she was educated at P.S. 133 and Julia Richmond High School. She did undergraduate studies in real estate and land economics at New York University and later at Howard University.

NY State Senator Adriano Espaillat ( Democratic candidate for New York’s 13th Congressional District)

Adriano Espaillat Headshot

New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat is the Democratic candidate for New York’s 13th Congressional District in the 2016 general election. He is currently the Ranking Member of the Senate Housing, Construction, and Community Development Committee, and Chair of the Senate Puerto Rican/Latino Caucus; he is also a member of the Environmental Conservation, Economic Development, Codes, Insurance, and Judiciary committees. Prior to becoming a state senator, he served in the New York State Assembly, and was the first Dominican-American elected to a state legislature when he first won his seat in 1996. In 2002, Espaillat was elected chair of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, and helped to reunite the group after years of division.

 

Throughout his tenure as a public servant, Espaillat has been a vocal advocate for protecting tenants, improving schools, and making serious, smart investments in economic development, job creation, and environmental protection. As state senator, he currently represents the neighborhoods of Marble Hill, Inwood, Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, West Harlem, the Upper West Side, Hell’s Kitchen, Clinton, and Chelsea.

 

Senator Espaillat has sponsored and helped to pass landmark laws encouraging the construction and preservation of affordable housing, developing free legal services for tenants, giving 35,000 low-income day care workers access to healthcare and the ability to join the UFT, providing workers’ compensation for 40,000 livery cab drivers, and improving hospital translation services. Espaillat has also worked to protect landmarks, taking legal action to protect the Palisades when the LG Tower threatened to permanently mar its natural beauty. After the July 1999 blackout in Upper Manhattan caused financial damage to restaurants, bodegas, and other small businesses, Espaillat helped to secure an agreement from Con Edison to invest an additional $100 million in Upper Manhattan’s electrical infrastructure at no cost to ratepayers—and when customers were billed for expenses related to an Indian Point Energy Center shutdown, Espaillat fought back and got their money refunded.

 

As congressman, Senator Espaillat will bring new energy to Washington and will be a steadfast champion for working- and middle-class New Yorkers. He will fight for a fair living wage, immediate and effective investments in affordable housing, meaningful criminal justice reform, infrastructure improvements, expanded youth programs, and better educational opportunities. Prior to entering public service, Adriano served as the Manhattan Court Services Coordinator for the NYC Criminal Justice Agency, a non-profit organization that provides indigent legal services and works to reduce unnecessary pretrial detention and post-sentence incarceration costs. He later worked as Director of the Washington Heights Victims Services Community Office, an organization offering counseling and other services to families of victims of homicides and other crimes, and as the Director of Project Right Start, a national initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to combat substance abuse by educating the parents of pre-school children.

 

NYS Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner – Assembly District 77

Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner – Assembly District 77

Assembly  represents the 77th Assembly District, which includes Claremont, Concourse, Highbridge, Mount Eden and Morris Heights sections of the Bronx.A prior member of Community Board 4 and the Neighborhood Advisory Board, Latoya is a Bronx resident. She is also a proud product of the public educational system. Latoya is a graduate of Richard R. Green High School for Teaching and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She participated in Stony Brook’s Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) and benefited from its dedication to grooming African-American and Latino students.

The program focuses on providing students with the necessary tools to succeed in competitive college academic environments. Striving to take the greatest possible advantage of the opportunities EOP made available, Latoya studied abroad in Ghana and participated in various internships. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology, graduated with honors and became a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa.Changing her life forever, Latoya interned with the office of then-state Assemblywoman Aurelia Greene, a legendary fixture in Bronx governmental circles who currently serves as Bronx Deputy Borough President. During her internship, Latoya excelled and was recognized for excellence by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Following her internship in the State Capitol, she returned to her roots in the Bronx and was promoted to serve as a community liaison in Mrs. Greene’s district office.

In this capacity, Latoya handled day-to-day constituent concerns, researched legislation, and met with lobbyist groups and community organizations.Latoya went on to study law at the University at Buffalo Law School, where she was an associate editor for the Buffalo Journal of Gender, Law and Social Policy. During her time in law school, Latoya interned with the New York State Division of Human Rights in the Bronx and her responsibilities included investigating housing discrimination claims. She saw firsthand the hardships that many persons with disabilities – particularly those with mental and psychosocial disabilities – face in securing permanent housing. Her extensive experience in protecting the rights of tenants puts Latoya in a unique position when it comes to developing legislation and housing policies that are more equitable for the families living in the 77th Assembly District.A member of the New York State Bar, Latoya will use her legal degree to serve the needs of families throughout the Bronx.

She served as a court attorney for a New York City Civil Court judge. In what has been called the “people’s court”, Latoya used her problem-solving skills to help those appearing in court – many of whom are unrepresented – to reach settlements. She dealt with matters concerning commercial landlord and tenant, premises liability, personal injury, consumer debt, no-fault cases and small claims.Latoya will focus on affordable housing, seniors and education in the 77th Assembly District.

The Honorable Professor Michael John Downie, Chairman, Arts & Culture Committee, Manhattan Community Board 10

Michael Downie

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 with performers as varied as the inimitable Eartha Kitt, Grammy Award Winner Gordon Chambers, Violinist Asmera Woodward Page, and Novelist Brian Keith Jackson.  In 2006, he moderated a discussion for the freshly minted book, “The African Game”, by Nigerian photographer, director and filmmaker, Andrew Dosunmu, and journalist, Knox Robinson, which looks to soccer to explore modern African life, culture, and, most importantly, identity.

In 2007, Prof. Downie was appointed to Manhattan Community Board 10; he is Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee, and serves the Education, Libraries and Youth Committee and the Executive Committee.  While serving the Education Committee, he was one of the first proponents to back the New York French American Charter School – the country’s first.  60% of the students are from Francophone West Africa.  Through the New York City Department of Education, he serves on the Advisory Board for the West End Secondary School for Urban Studies.

Professor Downie was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and has done research in Ghana and at the Royal Archives in London on slavery, in general, and the “razzia”, in particular.  He recently completed a novel about modern day slavery, “Slaves, Moors & me”, and wrote a play entitled “The Merry Wives of Harlem”, a drawing room comedy built on pun and stereotype, and a misunderstanding about identity.

Professor Downie holds a B.S. in Psychology from Tufts University, a M.A. in English & American Literature from New York University, and a Graduate Certificate in African Studies from Yale University.

Professor Downie is the proud father of Sophia.

Pastor Michael A. Walrond, JR. Senior Pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church

Michael A. Walrond, JR

  • 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.
  • Pastor Mike’s vision for discipleship, wholeness, and community wellness has launched vision teams including- HEALED HIV/AIDS Ministry, Social Justice, DTV Drama, Clothing, Celebrate Life Recovery Ministries, and Business and Culinary Arts Vision Teams.
  • The dynamic preaching, teaching and discipleship of Pastor Mike led to the need for additional services: a third worship service on Sundays, and Freestyle Fridays, a service that celebrates the art of improvisation and creativity.
  • Pastor Mike’s foresight and passion for the Harlem community shaped the vision for the FCBC Dream Center, a transformative space designed to awaken the dreams of the community through leadership development, arts enrichment, and economic empowerment.
  • Rev. Walrond currently serves as a board member of the National Action Network, and in 2012, was appointed as the first National Director of the Minister’s Division of the National Action Network by Rev. Al Sharpton.
  • Rev. Walrond also has a strong commitment to public, private, and higher education and currently serves as a Trustee and adjunct faculty member of Chicago Theological Seminary, in Chicago, Illinois.
  • In June 2015, just last month, Rev. Walrond was chosen to spearhead the New York City Clergy Advisory Council by mayor, Bill de Blasio, where he is responsible for maintaining a direct line of communication between religious leaders and City Hall.
  • A native of Freeport, New York, Rev. Walrond did his undergraduate studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Religion.
  • Rev. Walrond has a Master of Divinity degree with a focus in Theology from Duke University School of Divinity where he was the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar.
  • Rev. Walrond served Duke University as the University Minister and Director of the African American Campus Ministry for eight years and as the Senior Pastor of Zion Temple United Church of Christ in Durham, North Carolina for seven years.
  • He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Morehouse College Alumni Association. In addition to his religious affiliations and community involvement, Rev. Walrond also serves as weekly columnist for the New York Amsterdam News.
  • Rev. Walrond is married to the Rev. Dr. LaKeesha N. Walrond, who serves as the Executive Pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church. They are the proud parents of two beautiful children, Michael III and Jasmyn Dominique.Michael A. Walrond, JR

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.
  • From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Touré has served many roles including be not limited to:
  • Political Adviser to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea;
  • Head of the Regional Office at the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH);

Special Assistant and Head of the Political Unit at the United Nations Political Office for Somalia;

  •  Senior Political Affairs Officer in charge of the West Africa Team in the Department of Political Affairs.

 

Throughout the 1990s, Mr. Touré served as Political Affairs Officer in such areas as disarmament affairs and Africa.

Additionally, he was Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.

Mr. Touré obtained Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degrees from the City University of New York.

Born on 11 December 1952 in Kankan, Guinea, Mr. Touré is married, with three children.

Consul General of the Republic of Senegal Elhadji Amadou Ndao

Elhadji Amadou Ndao

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.

A year into it, he had the opportunity to travel to the United States of America in the pursuit of a higher learning. A higher leaning indeed, for beyond obtaining his B.A. in International Relations at the City College of the City University of New York, he had the pleasure to experience the American culture in its fullest sense: The New York City experience.

After graduating from City College Mr. Ndao served for various NGO’s, Action Against Hunger –USA and The Humanist Center for Cultures, in their communications  department before joining the United Nations Secretariat in 2011. At the UN, Mr. Ndao worked in the Department of Management  for two years and then joined the Executive Office of the Secretary General, Every Woman Every Child team in the Strategic Planning Unit.

His Excellency Mr. Elhadji Amadou was appointed Consul General of the Republic of Senegal by Executive Order of His Excellency President Macky Sall on January 7th 2015 and took office on January 30th 2015.

NYS Senator Bill Perkins

(02-05-09) Perkins-HS-004_0

Senator Bill Perkins, a Democrat was Elected to the New York State Senate in November 2006. Senator Perkins dealer to the 30th Senate District Which is part of New York County and encompasses Harlem, the Upper West Side and Washington Heights. A life long resident of Harlem, Bill Perkins His political career started as a community activist and is Known For His commitment to serving the community. The young, elderly and The most vulnerable New Yorkers Have Always Been Bill’s legislative Priorities. Prior to the election, Senator Perkins served on the New York City Council. During His eight year tenure, I was the third highest ranking member of the Council serving as the Deputy Majority Leader.

As Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Perkins was the prime sponsor of the Childhood Lead Paint Poisoning Prevention Act of 2004 Which Protects children from the deadly effects of lead paint in Their Homes.Thanks to His Efforts New York has the best lead paint prevention law in the country.A strong advocate of public education, Bill Perkins has Fought to Provide every child equal access to a quality education. I’ve Advocated for and Allocated funding for computer technology, public libraries and the rehabilitation of school playgrounds. I Helped fight for and won Increased funding for the City University of New York (CUNY) scholarships, full-time staffing and college preparatory courses.

Bill is one of the leading voices on Maintaining the public university’s mission of access and excellence. Senator Perkins knows the Importance of early cancer detection. He has-been successful in early detection programs Establishing Increasing awareness of colon and other cancers in city hospitals so stand to colon cancer patients have a better chance at survival. I Helped safeguard the health of children and adults by fighting against conditions like asthma trigger That pesticide use, diesel buses and rats. In response to a myriad of health Concerns in our community, Bill was the leader in the fight to combat the high rates of infant and maternal mortality, and HIV / AIDS and make quality care more accessible to all New Yorkers. A strong voice in the fight for civil rights and civil liberties, Bill Perkins Introduced the Patriot Act in the City Council Resolution mandates That Which anti-terrorism laws and policies be Implemented in New York City That do not infringe on the basic rights and liberties of New Yorkers.Also I Opposed racial, ethnic and religious profiling. He sponsored landmark legislation to protect the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender Communities.

 

I was instrumental in leading the fight for the Living Wage to Provide a minimum wage That was Also a living wage. As a youth, Senator Perkins Recognized The Importance of a quality education. I worked hard and was Awarded a scholarship to Collegiate Preparatory School in Manhattan and later a scholarship to Brown University. After graduating from Brown in 1972 with a BA in Political Science Perkins returned to New York and dedicated himself to giving back to His community through activism and public service.

Bill Perkins That mission has continued on ever since and remains Committed Until This very day to fight for fairness, justice, equity and Improving the Lives of Those I Represents. Standing Committee Assignments 2009: Corporations, Authorities & Commissions (Chair); Cities; Civil Service; Codes; Environmental Conservation;Finance; Judiciary; Labor; Transportation Biography of Bill Perkins, Senator Bill Perkins, the Democrat was elected to the Senate in New York in November 2006. Senator Perkins represents the 30th Senate District which is part of New York County and covers Harlem and the Upper West Side Washington Heights. A lifetime resident of Harlem, Bill Perkins began his political career as a community activist and is known for its commitment to serve the community. Young people age, and the most vulnerable New Yorkers have always been Bill’s legislative priorities. Before the election, Senator Perkins had served in the City of New York. During his eight years, he was the third highest ranking member of the Council acting as Deputy Leader of the majority. As deputy majority leader, Senator Perkins was the main sponsor of the Childhood Lead Paint Poisoning Prevention Act of 2004 which protects children from the lethal effects of lead paint in their homes. Thanks to their efforts New York has the best painting lead prevention law in the country. A strong advocate for public education, Bill Perkins has struggled to provide every child equal access to quality education. He favored the funds and information technology, public libraries and rehabilitation of playgrounds school.He helped fight and win more funding for the City University of New York (CUNY), scholarships, training courses for full-time staff and the university.

 

Bill is one of the leading voices in maintaining the mission of the public university of access and excellence. Senator Perkins knows the importance of early detection of cancer. He has been successful in establishing screening programs increased awareness of colon and other cancers in the city hospitals for patients of colon cancer may have a better chance of survival. He helped protect the health of children and adults by combating conditions that cause asthma and the use of pesticides, diesel buses and rats. In response to a myriad of health problems in our community, Bill was the leader in the fight to combat the high rates of infant and maternal mortality and HIV / AIDS and to make quality care accessible to all New Yorkers. A strong voice in the fight for civil rights and civil liberties, Bill Perkins introduced the resolution in the City Patriot Act which provides that anti-terrorism laws and policies held in New York, which does not infringe the fundamental rights and freedoms of New Yorkers. He also objected to the characterization by racial, ethnic and religious profiling. He sponsored landmark legislation to protect the rights of gays, lesbians and transsexuals. He was instrumental in leading the struggle for a living wage to provide a minimum wage that was also a living wage. In his youth, Senator Perkins recognized the importance of quality education. He worked hard and was awarded a scholarship to Collegiate High School in Manhattan and later a scholarship to Brown University. After graduating from Brown in 1972 with a BA in Political Science Perkins he returned to New York and went on to return to your knowledge community through activism and public service.Bill Perkins has continued in that mission and since then remains committed to this day to fight for equality, justice and improving the lives of those he represents.

Athena B. Moore, Director, Northern Manhattan Office

Athena-Moore

  • 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.
  • She was previously Associate Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers-NYC and a consultant at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services.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.
  • She was previously Associate Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers-NYC and a consultant at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services.She also served as Executive Director of the Black Equity Alliance at the United Way of New York City and as a senior manager for the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.She holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.S. in Urban Policy and Management from the New School for Social Research.

Additionally, Ms. Moore with serve a one of the Judges for the InnovateHER  2015 competition to be held at the conclusion of the Expo