The National Association of University Women (NAUW)-Brooklyn Branch on Saturday celebrated its 65th anniversary with a “very lively and inspiring” Scholarship and Awards Brunch at Top Civic Center, 1098 Utica Ave., Brooklyn.
According to Adele Flateau, corresponding secretary and event co-chair, one of the key highlights was the presentation to Dr. Una S. T. Clarke, the Jamaican-born former New York City Council Member and member of the City University of New York (CUNY) Board of Trustees, by NAUW officials, as well as by Clarke’s daughter, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.
The younger Clarke, representative for the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, praised NAUW for its hard work and sounded the “clarion call for civic engagement, the historic imperative for voting, and the urgency of Census 2020 participation,” Flateau said.
“Dr. Clarke, the first Caribbean-born female member of the NYC (New York City) Council, was escorted to receive the Harriet Tubman Distinguished Service Award by Aiden Pursoo, the Honorary Consul General Designee for Grenada,” Flateau said.
“I’m working harder for you now than I did before retirement,” Flateau quoted Dr. Clarke as saying. “I am proud to receive this award in Harriet Tubman’s name, because she was a dreamer and a woman of action.”
Using the theme, “Honoring Our Pioneers and Celebrating Today’s Activists,” Flateau said the NAUW honored four “Legacy” Honorees, who have devoted more than 50 years of service to the organization.
They were: Doris Alexander, the only surviving founding member from 1954; and Doris Douglas, Wimberly Edwards and Fannie Porter (posthumous).
Flateau said the four “activist” honorees represented leaders and innovators in the fields of politics, education, civil rights and health care.
She said she presented the honorees presented with their awards, along with Joann Griffin, NAUW Brooklyn Branch president, and Elva Brooks, NAUW Northeast sectional director. Dr. Lisa Clark, member, presented the scholarship awards
Travelling from her home state of Delaware, Brooks was delighted with the Brooklyn Branch’s “extraordinary vibrancy and great spirit,” according to Flateau.
She said the fundraiser provided four new college scholarships and two continuing scholarships for students already matriculating. The six recipients were: Zeinabou Abdou, Nia Beasley, Amanda Bent, Kiera May, Kiara Perry and Gianni Tucker.
Flateau said many elected officials sent letters of support, proclamations and citations.
They comprised: Congresswoman Clarke; New York State (NYS) Attorney General Letitia James; NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray; NYS Senator Roxanne Persaud; Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams; Councilman Robert Cornegy, Jr.; and NYS Assemblyman Tremaine S. Wright;
Flateau said NYS Senators Kevin Parker and Roxanne Persaud passed resolutions in the Senate.
Newly-elected NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams presented citations in person, Flateau said.
She said NAUW Brooklyn Branch paid a special tribute to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education decision that “separate but equal” services are unconstitutional.
The ruling, which took place in 1954, coincided with the founding year for NAUW Brooklyn Branch, Flateau said.
She said special recognition was extended to NAUW members who organized the event: Flateau; Alice Blair, Juanita Saldivar and Samantha Joseph-Corrian.