The Brooklyn-based Progressive Democrats Political Association (PDPA) on Sunday, April 7 honored 19 outstanding women during its 27th Annual Women Celebrating Women (WCW) gala at Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn.
The event — headed by the trailblazing former New York City Council Member, Jamaican Dr. Una S.T. Clarke — bestowed the honor on the remarkable women, whose professions range from nursing to entrepreneurship and business to law to child and family advocacy to community activism.
The honorees were: Irma Gibb, Naeemah Senghor, Danielle Jones, Rhonda Binda, Gisselle Rice, Cynthia Smith, Dionne Bailey, Vaughan Danvers, Elka E. Roberts-Riley, Julia James and Pamela Roberts-Griffin.
The others were: Coleen Babb, Annmarie Adamson, Jennifer Jones Austin, Michelle Randall Williams, Stephanie Myers, Dorensa Roberts, Joan Alexander-Bakiriddin and Ella Frederick.
“For the women honored for their contributions, they come with many gifts and many talents that are benefiting us,” Dr. Clarke told Caribbean Life afterwards. “We should keep on forefront of our minds that we, too, are contributors.”
Clarke’s daughter, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, representative for the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, said each honoree “earned” the PDPA recognition.
“As representative of the community, I am honored to join you in celebration of this important milestone,” she said in her remarks in the souvenir journal.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also said in his remarks in the journal that the honorees are “committed to serving our city and, through their leadership, have inspired others to do the same.”
Roberts-Griffin, a Vincentian-born registered nurse, told Caribbean Life afterwards that she “felt very honored” to receive the award among so many other great women doing amazing things in their community.
“In this political climate, where women’s voices are finally being heard, it makes me proud that this organization has been ahead of the curve for many years recognizing and celebrating woman,” said the president of the Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester Chapter of the New York Caribbean American Nurses Association, Inc. (MMW-CANA).
“It brings me great joy to help others and to be recognized for doing what I love to do,” Roberts-Griffin added. “It is humbling, and it encourages me to do more.”
Her compatriot and nursing colleague, Registered Nurse Dionne Crichton-Bailey, president of the Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Nurses Association of New York, Inc., said, when she was approached about being honored at the WCW event, she was “a bit taken aback.
“I asked what it was all about, and was told it was for women who have made outstanding contributions in various ways to their communities, etc.,” Crichton-Bailey told Caribbean Life. “I questioned myself, ‘what have I done to deserve this?’ I then reflected on the various community and other activities in which I had been involved as a nurse, and thought I was just doing what I loved doing, which is helping others.
“Little did I know that I would be honored for this,” she added. “It is, indeed, a great feeling and an honor to know that what I do is appreciated and has an impact on other people’s lives in one way or another.
“So, in a nut shell, I must say I feel very honored to be honored,” Crichton-Bailey added.