Bichotte honors five ‘Women of Distinction’

Brooklyn Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte on March 8 honored five outstanding women at her third annual event, bestowing on them the “Women of Distinction” Award.

The honorees were: Dorensa Emanuel-Roberts, Cassandra Piton-Dorcely, Bazah Roohi, Lori Maslow and Bishop Sylveta Hamilton-Gonzales.

Bichotte, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn, said the theme of this year’s event was “Honoring Our Sheroes.”

“For me to stand here as an elected official, many others before me had to pave the way,” said Bichotte, the daughter of Haitian immigrants. “A big influence on my life has been the great Shirley Chisolm, and one of my mentors has been the Hon. Dr. Una Clarke.

“These two women, amongst others, have directly and indirectly played a role in where I am today,” added Bichotte, the first Haitian American from New York City to be elected to the State Assembly. “I wanted to make sure that I took time to honor not just the notable ‘Sheroes’ from the past but the everyday ‘Sheroes’ who are making a difference today.”

She described this year’s honorees as “an amazing group of women.”

“We are honoring educators, financial experts, community leaders, women of faith and outstanding performers — all women who are strong, empowering and contributing to every fabric of our community,” Bichotte said. “These are the type of women that the young girls and young women of the community can see every day, that they can emulate and receive mentorship from.

“Dorensa Emanuel-Roberts, Cassandra Piton-Dorcely, Bazah Roohi, Lori Maslow and Bishop Sylveta Hamilton-Gonzales are truly ‘Women of Distinction,’ are our ‘Sheroes’ of today,” she added.

Emanuel-Roberts is a New York Life insurance agent and “the ambassador” of the $50 billion empowerment plan.

During the last seven years, she continued her focus to educate and empower individuals, families and business owners in her community, as she guided them through the process of protecting their life assets in order to preserve a legacy of wealth for the next generation.

Her work embodies the belief that by strengthening community through collective goals that include personal empowerment plans, people can be given choices to optimize their lives, her biography says.

Piton-Dorcely is a singer, songwriter, musician and music educator, who is often be seen on Sundays leading Praise & Worship at Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn.

She has spent the past 12 years educating New York City public school students in vocal music, instrumental music, and musical theatre, and is committed to introducing students to the limitless opportunities music can afford.

Roohi is the president and founder of American Council of Minority Women (ACMW), which was established by the women of Minority Community of the USA for the empowerment, development, protection and promotion of human rights of women, particularly in the State of New York.

Maslow, who is presently the Democratic Female District Leader for the 41st Assembly District in Brooklyn, has been an educator of science for 37 years.

Bishop Hamilton-Gonzales is the founder, chief executive officer and bishop of QKingdom Ministries, Inc., an interfaith, community-based organization in Brooklyn.

She is also the founder and principal of M.A.C.A.D.E.M.Y. School of Science & Technology, “where students are educated, inspired and advanced.”

Bishop Hamilton-Gonzales said her school has been recognized as a “top- ranked school in New York State” due to her leadership.

In addition, she said her school has been recognized as “one of the 500 Greatest Geniuses of the 21st Century” and a Millennium Hall of Fame inductee.

Brooklyn College Prof. Mojúbàolú Olufúnké Okome, an international political economist, co-hosted the event. His most recent publications are two edited books, published in 2013, by Palgrave-Macmillan: State Fragility, State Formation, and Human Security in Nigeria; and Contesting the Nigerian State: Civil Society and the Contradictions of Self-Organization.

Another of Okeme’s books was co-edited with Afia Serwaa Zakiya, published by Bookbuilders, Ibadan, Nigeria: Women’s Political and Legislative Participation in Nigeria: Perspectives From the 2007 Elections.

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