Seventeen phenomenal Caribbean and other women on Sunday, Palm Sunday, received the “Women Celebrating Women Award” at a gala ceremony in commemoration of Women’s History Month.
The illustrious women were honored by the Brooklyn-based Progressive Democrats Political Association (PDPA), a prominent political group headed by the trail-blazing, former New York City Councilwoman, Dr. Una Clarke. They also received Congressional Citations and proclamations from New York City Council.
The event, which took place at Tropical Paradise Ballroom, on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, marked PDPA’s 22nd annual gala.
According to Dr. Clarke, the first Caribbean-born woman to ever hold elective office in New York City, the honorees were selected from a wide range of fields, including education, healthcare and non-profit.
Dr. Clarke’s daughter, Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, representative for the 9th Congressional District, a PDPA executive member and honorary chairperson of the event, delivered the feature address at the over four-hour-long ceremony.
The honorees were: Andrea Daley; Arit Fuller-Harris; Barbara Moody; Daneel Howe; Denise Francis; Diana Richardson; Drs. Regine Bruny-Olawaiye, Kim Best and Miriam Vincent; Ermin Elliot; Hon. Roberta Nyong; Janice Jenkins; Karen Marks; Mildred Gonsalves Wright; Olivia Buery; Tammie Williams; and Vonette Pierre.
The following is a synopsis of the biography of the honorees: Daley- Jamaican-born entrepreneur, educator, life underwriter, media consultant, social media strategist, event planner and public relations professional. Daley is the chief executive officer and founder of Caribbean Media Marketing Inc (CMM), a Brooklyn-based advertising, marketing and public relations firm.
Moody was born in Belize City, Belize. She has been an active member of Fenimore Street United Methodist Church in Brooklyn for many years, serving as chair of several committees. Currently, she serves as a Lay Speaker and chair of the Anniversary and Archives Committee. She also serves as District Governor for her district in the Brooklyn Lions Club.
Francis was born in Brooklyn and grew up in the Fort Greene neighborhood. After completing her Masters of Engineering degree, she now works in real estate and property management but still uses her engineering skills to recommend energy management solutions and energy efficiency systems to building owners and facility managers.
Richardson, a native of Crown Heights, Brooklyn, is an experienced public sector administrator. A proud second generation graduate of Medgar Evers College, Richardson obtained her Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in policy analysis and evaluation from the School of Public Affairs at Baruch College.
Elliot hails from West Bank Demerara in Guyana. She taught herself as a child, to crochet, and soon became popular for knitting baby booties and bonnets for christenings. She worked as a ward maid in the Georgetown, Guyana hospital for 18 years. She is now retired, and continues to crochet.
Marks, who hails from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, represented her country on the national netball team at the tender age of 12. Currently, she coaches netball and is primarily focused on developing young netballers, as well as providing a “safe haven: for young adults in her community.
Dr. Best has been involved in the community for more than 34 years, beginning her community service with the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. She worked in the community outreach centers, where she conducted blood pressure and audio screenings, housing assistance, employed referrals and outreach projects.
Guyanese native Gonsalves-Wright’s first profession was nursing, but she left the nursing profession and became a successful business person specializing in the shoe business. She is the owner and chief executive officer of Verdun Home Care Agency for the last 20years.
Buery was born and raised in Panama. She is the mother of Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policies and Initiatives in New York City. She has a bachelor’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language and in English Literature from the University of Panama, a Master’s degree in teaching English as a Second Language from Hunter College, and an Advanced Certificate in Supervision and Administration of Schools from Brooklyn College.
Dr. Bruny-Olawaiye is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and the director of one of the busiest emergency rooms in the United States. She served her residency in psychiatry, as well as a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry, a t Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Currently, she is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.
Hon. Nyong is an integrity-proven, respected, dignified leader and an indigene of Ekpene Ukim, Uruan local government area, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Nyong was elected the first woman chairman and mayor of Uruan Local Government Council, serving until 2007. Currently, she is a Titled Chief in Akwa Ibom State and serves as a distinguished member of the Governing Board of Council for Arts and Culture in Akwa Ibom State.
Williams is a community organizer, who advocates for our most vulnerable populations through legislation and policy. As a community organizer, she works to bring people together through education, understanding, awareness, and acceptance in order to further the well-being of individuals and communities.
Pierre was born in Gonaives, Haiti. She is the assistant pastor of the New Jerusalem Church of the Nazarene in Brooklyn, which was founded in 1978
Fuller-Harris, who is Nigerian-born, is the co-founder of the Voice of Children Foundation, where she has been the voice of the street children in Africa. She has rescued more than 150 children off the street.
Vincent has served the Brooklyn community for the past three decades as a physician, educator, medical researcher and medical center administrator. She has been on the faculty of SUNY Downstate Medical Center since 1988 and has served as chair of the Department of Family Medicine since 1996.
Jenkins, a Jamaican, founded C & J’s Jamaican Restaurant and Bakery in Brooklyn in 2006. In the past eight years, C & J’s has grown to two sites in Brooklyn and one in Rosedale, Queens.
Howe, another Jamaican, began her training in education at MACADEMY School of Science and Technology in Brooklyn. She’s currently the principal of the Junior School at MACADEMY.