NEW YORK, NY
The NYC mayor is billed as the second hardest job in America. In less than two weeks, New Yorkers will decide who replaces Hizzoner de Blasio and who can most efficiently manage post-Covid 19 Gotham. Eight contenders, four of whom are African American, have been relatively pleasant towards each other in debates and public sound bites. As we move into the final lap of the race and polls show new favorites, things are getting NY nasty and negative. Maya Wiley got a bump from a nod by Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio Cortez. Haven’t seen a Wiley, Ray McGuire, or Dianne Morales campaign office in Harlem. Brooklyn Boro President Eric Adams, a former cop, leads most polls by 10%. Yes, we know candidates’ positions on education, public safety, health, and small businesses. However, media headlines influence votes. New Yorkers are concerned about public safety and homelessness. The most cogent deliverer of those concerns will get the 6/22 vote.
The NY Times editorial nod to African American prosecutor Alvin Braggs for Manhattan District Attorney, was a blessing. bringing his impressive CV to the attention of voters hungry for knowledge. If Braggs wins, he will be the first Black to head the Manhattan DA’s office, which is the nation’s largest re: budget and personnel.
The NY City Council races are hard to poll with more than 300 candidates for 51 seats. Like races for Public Advocate and Comptroller, the Council competition is eclipsed by the mayoral race Add to those numbers RANKED CHOICE VOTING, a system that requires more than 50% of the vote. Perhaps, candidates in the 51 districts should ally themselves in groups of five to insure that they make top finalists.
CLASS OF 2021
The Harlem-based Wadleigh Scholars Program, WSP, celebrates its 57th Anniversary. Founded by educator Edouard Plummer, the Program provides rigorous enrichment courses in English and Math to NYC Department of Education middle school students to prepare them for admission with scholarships to the nation’s most prestigious private schools. The WSP boasts more than 600 alumni. The 2021 WSP graduation ceremony will be held on June 19.
The following lists the Class of 2021 and their HS destination. Driseth Anderson, Hotchkiss; Diallo Burgin, Taft School, Aaron Burgos, Fordham Prep; Diana Calle , Miss Hall’s School; Taze’ Champagne, Peddie School; Christopher Denson, Peddie School; Belerith Leal, Aviation Career & Technical Education HS; Kaysan Marinez, Groton School; Ari Mathieu, Cardinal Hayes, HS; Sabah Reina, Kent School; Ethan Rivera, Avenues World School; Layla Rodriguez, Bishop Loughlin Memorial HS, and Saige Sinclair, Eleanor Roosevelt HS.
WANTED: NYC will pay $1200 to NYC youngsters to take online courses for six weeks this summer. NeON Summer is open to young people, ages 14-24, who live in seven Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NEON) communities – BedStuy, East New York, Jamaica, Harlem, Northern Staten Island, and the South Bronx – the 17 hardest-hit COVID-19 NYC zip codes or are on probation. Application deadline is June 15. Visit NYC.gov/site/neon/index.page.
Two Black women CEOs made history as they ascended to the 2021 FORTUNE 500 List. Both were named CEO this year and covered in this column. They are Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance and Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of TIAA. They are two out of five African Americans CEOs who made the list of 500 companies which generate close to $14 trillion in annual revenues, approximately 70% of the nation’s economy. Ursula Burns, former Xerox Corporation CEO/Chair, was first Black woman to make the coveted list.
Join Black Enterprise Conversations, a webinar on Black Financial Empowerment Today, on June 10, 7-8 pm EST and learn about BE Economic Equity and Racial Justice Town Hall series.The inaugural session “ONE YEAR AFTER GEORGE FLOYD: Has Corporate America Made Good On Its Economic Equity Pledges?” Prominent Black and White business and nonprofit titans are among the panelists, people such as Earl “Butch” Graves, Black Enterprise; Ben Crump, civil rights attorney; Kakari Sellers, Political consultant; Tara John, Manulife; Jerri Devard, Black Executive CMO Alliance; Charles Phillips, Infor Chairman; Roy Gori, Manulife President/CEO; and Michael Hyter, Executive Leadership Council. Visit Blackenterprise.com/BETownHall
AFRICA/CARIBBEAN: The 2020 Remittances to Sub Sahara African countries increased over the 2019 figures, COVID economic stagnation notwithstanding. Sub Saharan countries were beneficiaries of $42 billion in recipients, from its Diasporans. Nigeria, continent’s largest economy, $16.8 billion; Ghana $3.6 billion; and Kenya, $3.1 billion; Senegal $2.6 billion. Remittances to Caribbean nations from US based Diasporans, totaled $15 billion. Dominican Republic, $8.3 billion; Haiti, 3.1 billion; and Jamaica $3 billion.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research branch of the NY Public Library names Joy Bivens executive director. Current Schomburg Associate Director of Collections and Research Services, Bivens vision for the Center is “to add more items reflecting the African Diaspora” as the Schomburg begins its 95th Anniversary. She earned a BA from the University of Michigan and an MA from Cornell, and her professional credits include work at the International African American Museum in Charleston, SC and at the Chicago History Museum.
The Schomburg Center hosts its Third Annual Literary Festival, a virtual conversation, from June 14-19 with best-seller and highly- acclaimed authors such as Carol Anderson, Mahogany L. Browne, “Chlorine Sky,” Ellis Cose “The Rage of a Privileged Class,” Honoree Fanonne Jeffers “The Age Of Phyllis (Wheatley), Kiese Laymon, HEAVY a memoir; Yusef Komunyakaa; Ben Okri “The Famished Road,” and others. Visit: Email.nypl.org/schomburg to register.
The National Urban League hosts its 18th Legislative Policy Conference June 15-16, from 10 am to 2:30 pm, which will be streamed on the NUL’s FB, Twitter and NUL.org. Some Conference Speakers include Congresswoman Karen Bass; US Senator Corey Booker; Latosha Brown; Madam Secretary Marcia Fudge; Janet Mugvia; Becky Pringle, NEA; Kerika Richardson; Cedric Richmond, Sr Advisor to President Biden; and April Ryan, White House correspondent. For calendar of events, visit NUL.org.
JUNETEENTH, is “our nation’s true independence, the day when all members of the newly reunited nation were finally declared free after the end of the American Civil War.”
On June 14 at 2 pm join “Women In Government Talk Series: Juneteenth Forum” webinar whose participants are Tamika Mallory, civil rights activist; Hazel Dukes, NAACP NYS, Crystal D. People-Stokes, NYS Assembly Majority Leader; Pam Hunter; Camille Joseph-Goldman, Charter Communications; Sheryl Huggins Salomon, NYU Mc Silver Institute for Poverty Policy & Research; and NYS Assembly members Latice Walker and Alicia Hyndman. Visit cityandstateny.com
Join the Healing of the Nations Foundation in association with Carnegie Hall for a Live Juneteenth Celebration on 6/27 at 7:30 pm EDT. Hosted by Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Martin Luther King III will speak. A stellar cast with Wayne Brady, Ebony Ecumenical Ensemble, Joseph Joubert, Aeolian Choir and Tiny Starr Ensemble will perform. The Juneteenth Spirit Alive honorees include Robert Smith, Carnegie Hall Chairman, Ryan Stevenson, Equal Justice Initiative, and Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee. Visit Carnegie Hall’s Facebook or YouTube pages. Visit carnegiehall.org.
A Harlem-based branding/media consultant, Victoria is reachable at email@example.com