West Harlem Group Assistance celebrates 40 years

Len Burnett.

Harlem luminaries will shine on Thursday, Sept. 22, when West Harlem Group Assistance (WHGA), one of Harlem’s first community development corporations, celebrates its 40th anniversary at Aaron Davis Hall.

Hosted by broadcaster Dyana Williams, the event celebrates WHGA’s four decades of housing development and neighborhood preservation efforts in West and Central Harlem.

The fundraiser, which will include a performance by Ray, Goodman & Brown, is being sponsored by The Phipps Houses Group, BNY Mellon, Capital One Bank, Citi, Columbia University and TMA Contracting Corp.

The honorees will include Len Burnett, CEO and group publisher of Uptown Media and Vibe Lifestyle Network; NYC Comptroller John C. Liu; actress-director-philanthropist Tamara Tunie; jazz vocalist and community activist Gregory Generet; and Capital One Bank.

Accepting for Capital One will be Vice President and Bank Manager Marlon March. The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, senior pastor of Abyssinian Baptist Church and founder and chair of Abyssinian Development Corporation and Maurice Coleman, senior vice president of Bank of America, will serve as Honorary Chair and Event Chair respectively.

Rev. Dr. Calvine O. Butts III.

Since its founding in 1971, WHGA has developed more than 1,200 units of affordable housing, created approximately 325 units of home ownership opportunities and moved more than 3,000 families from transitional to permanent housing. By leveraging partnerships with the community-at-large, elected officials as well as private and public supporters, WHGA has become a leading affordable housing community development corporation (CDC).

“We could not have contributed to the metamorphosis of Harlem and positively impacted so many lives over 40 years had we not been inspired by community business people like Len Burnett; enjoyed the support of government leaders like John Liu; worked hand-in-hand with Harlem-based artist-activists like Tamara Tunie and Gregory Generet; and forged strong partnerships with committed financial institutions like Capital One,” said Donald C. Notice, executive director of WHGA. “And, so, we are extremely proud that they will be accepting our awards at this year’s celebration.”

The WHGA 40th Anniversary Celebration begins at 6:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction and continues at 7:00 p.m. with dinner and an awards presentation.

Aaron Davis Hall, City College of New York, is located at 135th Street and Convent Avenue.

John C. Liu.

More from Around NYC