‘Black history is Queens history’: Borough president announces virtual Black History Month celebration

Borough Hall's annual Back History Month celebration will be held virtually on February 25. (QNS/File)

New York State Attorney General Letitia James will be featured as the keynote speaker during Borough Hall’s annual Black History Month celebration.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and the African American Heritage Committee announced the event, honoring the countless contributions of the Black community to the growth and future of the borough, will be held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 25.

“Black history is Queens history,” Richards said. “This Black History Month, we are beyond proud to not only celebrate our heritage as Black New Yorkers, but honor some of the most selfless and influential members of the Black community serving our families in Queens and beyond.”

The virtual celebration will include community discussions and the presentation of awards to five exemplary community leaders including the following:

  • Joe’s Academy of Music President and CEO Joander Headley, who will receive the Arts & Culture Award;
  • NYC Health + Hospitals Chief Growth Officer Christopher Roker, who will be honored with the Business Award;
  • SCO Family of Services President and CEO Keith M. Little, who will take home the Community Service Award;
  • Longtime community leader Adoa Esinam Gzifa, who will receive the Civic Award;
  • and Kelly Johnson, principal of the Baccalaureate School for Global Education, who will be honored with the Education Award.

Richards and the African American Heritage Committee will also award scholarships worth $1,000 each to six distinguished Queens high school students from across the borough to help cover expenses related to their post-secondary studies.

“From the devastating impact of COVID-19 on communities of color to the long-overdue national reckoning with systemic injustice, this past year has been unspeakably trying for the Black community — highlighting the importance of this month’s commemoration,” Richards said. “As the first Black man to hold this office, it is my honor to bring together families from across our borough to uplift both out Black history and future.”

The Black History Month event will be held online beginning at 6 p.m. and will be live streamed at www.queensbp.org. Prospective participants interested in attending via Zoom must RSVP by Tuesday, Feb. 23, at www.queensbp.org/rsvp. Instructions will be emailed the day of the event to those who register.

The Black History Month celebration is co-sponsored by Atled, Inc., Community Meditation Services, ConEdison, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. — Queens Alumnae Chapter, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, the Jamaica YMCA and Resorts World Casino New York City.

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