15 receive ‘Women Celebrating Women’ awards

Former NYC Councilmember Dr. Una S.T. Clarke.
Photo by Nelson A. King

Fifteen outstanding women on Sunday received the “Women Celebrating Women” Awards at an elegant ceremony at Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn-based political group, Progressive Democrats Political Association (PDPA), headed by Jamaican-born, former New York City Council Member Dr. Una S.T. Clarke, bestowed the honors at the sell-out event.

Several New York legislators — including Clarke’s daughter, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke; Mayor Bill de Blasio; New York Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul; Public Advocate Latitia James; Assemblywoman Diana Richardson; and Councilman Jumaane Williams — were among patrons at the gala ceremony, marking PDPA’s 26th anniversary.

The honorees were: Patricia Dennis Abrams, Barbara Blackman-Betegon, Betty Campbell-Adams; Karen Crawford, Judith Destin, Alishia Goodridge; Fay A. Lawrence, Tonya Ores, Jodie Patterson; Eugennie Plummer-Edwards, Juana Smith, Adrienne M. Spencer, Rosita Thompson, Alize Utteryn, and Clare Watson.

Congresswoman Clarke, representative for the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, commend the “distinguished individuals,” stating that “each of you has earned our recognition as well as our best wishes.

“As the representative of the community, I am honored to join you in celebration of this important milestone,” she said. “I wish you many continued years of success.”

Mayor de Blasio noted that, this month, New Yorkers are “coming together to reflect and celebrate the enduring legacies of women throughout history, who have made an indelible impact on our city and world.

“Women’s History Month is always a wonderful opportunity to renew our commitment to forge a brighter and more equitable tomorrow, and the Progressive Democrats Political Association is a vital partner in these efforts, thanks to the ways it has strengthened the Brooklyn community and worked to build an inclusive New York that benefits all people,” the mayor said.

Guyanese Dennis Abrams started her nursing career as a Community Mental Health worker at St. Vincent’s Hospital working full-time and went to school at the Borough of Manhattan Community College on a part-time basis while caring for her three daughters as a single parent.

She is currently an Assistant Director of Nursing at Kings County Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Blackman Betegon is a native of Colon, Panama. She and her mother migrated to the United States when she was a little girl. Barbara entered the New York City Police Department in 1977 where she attained many medals and recognition for her work.

She is the recipient of the Miss Panama US 2016 “Cancer Survivor of the Year” award and the 2016 P.AJ.A.C.A.M. “Mother of the Year” award.

Lloyd’s Carrot Cake is the venerable boutique bakery that was started 35 years ago by the now deceased, Lloyd Adams. The company is now run by Adams’s widow, Campbell-Adams.

Campbell-Adams has developed a network of new outlets for the Lloyd’s products, including supermarkets and specialty shops.

Trinidadian Crawford is has thrived in her role as community liaison officer in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. Her work covers the areas of Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Garden, Wingate and North Flatbush.

Goodridge is an entrepreneur, business and community leader with a serious passion for assisting others to discover and develop their personal path to success. She is a woman of faith and is actively involved in the Church community, this has prompted her to attain her chaplaincy certification with the Worldwide Association of Small Churches.

Destin is a Public Engagement Associate at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, in the Office of Public Engagement. She is a resident of East Flatbush and is bilingual; she speaks fluent Haitian Creole. At the Kings County District Attorney’s office, Destin also serves as a liaison to the Haitian American and Immigrant communities.

Lawrence is an internationally-recognized transformational master trainer, executive coach and HR/leadership strategist. She has authored her soon to be released book, “From Flawed to Flourishing: How to Transform Your Weaknesses into Your Greatest Strengths.” She has also co-authored “The Facilitator’s Toolkit: A guide for Decision Making.”

Ores is currently the Executive Director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Brooklyn CDC, Inc. (NHS Brooklyn). Tonya was born and raised in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and is a current resident of Bergen Beach.Ores also serves on New York State Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte’s Vital Brooklyn Advisory Committee.

Patterson is a mother of five and an active LGBTQI advocate, who has been recognized for her activism by Hillary Clinton, GLAAD, Family Circle magazine, among other. She is a regular participant and speaker at transgender and LGBTQI conferences nation-wide.

Registered Nurse Jamaican Plummer-Edwards is a doctoral student in nursing practice (DNP) at the Chamberlain College of Nursing. Since 1997, she has accumulated more than 20 years of nursing experience and education in various areas of patient and relationship based care.

Smith, who was born in Bocas Del Toro, Panama, is the president of Tashia’s L.I.F.E, Inc., a non-profit group founded to honor of the memory of her eldest daughter, Tashia, after she lost her battle with lupus.

Spencer has worked in NYC public schools for more than 33 years – 18 years on the high school level and for the past 15 years at the middle school level.

Thompson was born in Brooklyn to parents who migrated from Puerto Rico during the 1950s. She works for the United States Postal Service. Her passion for helping those in need led her to become a chaplain in the NY State Chaplain Task Force in 2016.

Utteryn is a multitalented female entrepreneur, who was born in Ceyenne (French Guiana) and raised in Paris. She is an artist, an internationally-traveled dancer, and a human resources and payroll specialist.

Jamaican Watson joined the United States Army Nurse Corp / ANC in December of 1990 as a first lieutenant. She also worked at Coney Island Hospital as a staff nurse and visiting nurse / case manager in the Assertive Community Program.

Special dance performance by Yamilka Salazar of the Panamanian dance group, Conjunto Nuevo Milenio.
Photo by Nelson A. King

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