Brooklyn Council Member and Deputy Leader Jumaane D. Williams on Monday hosted the third annual Shirley Chisholm Women of Distinction Celebration.
Hundreds of Brooklynites joined the celebration to honor six prominent women from diverse fields, including activism, media, business and community development.
Council Member Laurie Cumbo co-hosted the celebration and Public Advocate Letitia Jamesdeliverd a keynote speech.
Additionally, Council Member Darlene Mealy, Assembly Members Rodneyse Bichotte and Latrice Walker, and District Leader Olanike Alabi joined in celebrating the honorees and Women’s History Month.
“I’ve been surrounded by strong women my entire life – especially my mother and sister – and am well aware that, while it might be 2016, society still has a long way to go before we achieve real gender equality. Too often, women’s contributions are ignored simply because they were accomplished by women,” said Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.
“In honor of women’s history month, I’m excited to celebrate six distinguished women who have made great contributions both in their respective fields and in our communities,” he added.
Monday’s celebration honored Lisa Evers, hosts of Fox 5’s “Good Day Street Talk” and Hot 97FM’s “Street Soldiers;” Opal Tometi, activist and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Movement and executive director at Black Alliance for Just Immigration; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, chief executive officer of Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network and Head of Black Community Engagement at Google; Tamika Mallory, nationally recognized civil rights leader, anti-violence advocate and New York City co-chair for the Gun Violence Awareness Month Initiative; Robin Redmond, advocate and executive director of Flatbush Development Corporation; and Chaka Pilgrim, veteran music business executive and current president of Roc Nation Records.
“For nearly 30 years, Women’s History Month has been a national celebration of women – past and present – whose invaluable contributions have made a positive, lasting impact within our community,” Cumbo said.
“As chair of the Committee on Women’s Issues and co-Chair of Women’s Caucus, I am proud to co-host the Shirley Chisholm Women of Distinction Celebration with Council Member Jumaane D. Williams,” she added. “Through their exemplary leadership and unwavering commitment to community empowerment, each honoree has played a tremendous role in the growth and development of Brooklyn and the City of New York.
“As we pay tribute to our trailblazers, let us also work towards the continued advancement of women within our society,” Cumbo continued.
The event is named for the late Shirley Chisholm, the first Black Congresswoman and first major-party black candidate for President, of Barbadian and Guyanese parentage.
Chisholm, who was born and raised in Brooklyn, broke barriers as a community advocate and legislator.
“It’s a privilege to celebrate the Shirley Chisholm Women of Distinction Awards, in honor of the woman who was famously ‘unbought and unbossed’ and an inspiration to generations of women and black leaders,” James said. “Today, her legacy continues through the strong women leading our communities, including this year’s honorees.”
The Women of Distinction Celebration featured performances by the Brooklyn United Marching Band Dancers and Alexis Marie with a “spoken word” poetry.