“This house is your house,” is the continuing mantra of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. His celebration recognizing women in Brooklyn, wrapped up Women’s History Month, clearly supporting this theme.
The three-part event started in the community room on the first floor where 28 local women-owned enterprises–products, services or organizations–participated in an expo.
The women entrepreneurs displayed items, gave samples or spoke about their business. Businesses ranged from travel and legal services, to book and general stores, event planning and balloons, to the production of beauty and health oriented goods.
The founders of a young women’s empowerment organization as well as an organization of moms against gun violence provided information about their work.
Visitors munched on popcorn, ate samples of mini-cupcakes, or adventurously sipped health smoothies.
At 6:00 p.m. the program began with the introduction of keynote speaker Ricky Klieman, American criminal defense lawyer, legal television personality, and wife of Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
Keliman is a contributing legal analyst for CBS Morning Show and the author of “Fairy Tales Can Come True – How a Driven Woman Changed Her Destiny.”
“I wanted my book to be an inspiration to women,” she said.
She shared her favorite quote from Maya Angelo, “Being a woman is hard work. Not without joy and even ecstasy, but still relentless, unending work.”
She spoke about how her parents always encouraged her to believe that there were no limits to what she could achieve.
“I had to be fierce,” she shared, on the effort in creating a career that wasn’t a typical trajectory for young women of her generation –law school.
She spoke to the younger generation in the audience, “Go forth with energy and courage but without having to be so fierce (as the way has been paved a bit).
She closed, “A life of significance is what’s s important. People will remember you by the services you provide and the contributions you made.” And continuing she said, “I wish you long lives ever with ecstasy through the unending work.”
Kleinman posed for a group photo with the awardees before dashing off for another event. Then the award recipients– community volunteers, program directors, and others making significant contributions to the community from the many Brooklyn neighborhoods–received citations.
Borough President Adams recognized Guyanese heritage Joylyn Hodge and her work as service coordinator at BHAP Housing; Rev. Ann Kansfield, 1st FDNY female chaplain; Felicia Scott, AHRC employee and cancer survivor; Dalia Shusterman and Perl Wolfe, musicians in a woman’s Chasidic rap band; and Teresa C. Younger, CEO & president of the MS Foundation Women as well as the other 11 recipients.
A reception followed in the rotunda to a backdrop of jazz music.