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â„¢ Summer 2017




Ella & Dizzy: The Centennial Celebration Gregory Porter (above)

Chris Botti Wed, Nov 8 @ 7:30 PM

erykah badu sep 15

GRAMMY®-winning trumpet master Chris Botti returns to NJPAC!

John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring Fri, Nov 10 @ 8 PM

Guitar virtuosos from Mahavishnu Orchestra and Widespread Panic.

the temptations the four tops Fri, Oct 6 @ 8PM An evening of timeless soul and R&B with two of the music’s most enduring supergroups.

andré watts Sun, Oct 22 @ 3PM Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Cherubini: Overture Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 9 (“Jeunehomme”) Beethoven: Symphony No. 1

the price is right live!

daniel tiger’s neighborhood live!

Fri, Oct 13 @ 8PM This interactive show captures all the fun of the popular game show—along with a chance to win big-ticket prizes!

Sat, Oct 14 @ 2PM & 5:30PM An interactive musical adventure for young audiences, adapted from the beloved PBS KIDS series.

An all-star celebration of Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie featuring Gregory Porter, Lizz Wright, Valerie Simpson and more!

For full listing visit

arts training saturday programs

tango buenos aires Thu, Oct 26 @ 7:30PM The Spirit of Argentina A dance and music experience as sensual as it is spectacular.

Ella & Dizzy The Centennial Celebration Sun, Nov 12 @ 7 PM

Sat, Oct 28 @ 2PM & 7:30PM Full score performed live with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Sign up today for programs in jazz, dance, hip hop, film and musical theater!

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. J.K. ROWLING`S WIZARDING WORLD™ J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s17)

@NJPAC 1.888.GO.NJPAC• Groups of 9 or more 973.353.7561• One Center Street, Newark, NJ aug_NJPAC_ad_positive_community.indd 1

8/7/17 4:05 PM


Sounds of the City | 2017 July, August, September Newark First Fridays

July Horizon Foundation Sounds of the City Newark Pride, Annual Pride Festival Lincoln Park Music Festival Newark Museum’s Jazz in the Garden Newark Black Film Festival Afro Beat Fest Guard D’Avant

August Ivy Hill Park International Food Festival Latin Festival

September Brazil Day Newark Festival Newark International Film Festival Halsey Street Festival

October Dodge Poetry Festival: Biennial Open Doors Studio Tours New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

November TD James Moody Jazz Festival

December Trans-Siberian Orchestra Holiday Concert

P h oto : D r . Va s u D e V D i x i t

Hip Hop Nutcracker Hot for the Holidays Basilica Christmas Carol Sing

/sounds-of-the-city Photo: Harry Prott

Supported by a grant from New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.



Summer 2017


SECTIONS MONEY ...................................17 HEALTH...................................58 EDUCATION.............................60 CULTURE ................................66


21 37 51 SPECIAL SECTIONS: Harlem Moving Forward ............................ 21 HCCI: Building Positive Communities ..... 37 WHGA: A Vision for Harlem ........................ 51

&also inside Publisher’s Desk .................................. 8 My View ............................................. 12 Wealth Building ................................... 50 Gospel Train ....................................... 70 Fitness Doctor .................................... 83 The Way Ahead .................................. 85 The Last Word .................................... 86 4

The Positive Community Summer 2017

Harlem Restaurateur Fueled by Faith & Love ........... 17 Hire. Buy. Live. Newark ............................................ 20 Harlem Moving Forward ........................................... 21 Harlem’s Own Congressman Adriano Espaillat .......... 24 Harlem: Home of Immigrants .................................. 28 Raymond Lewis Has Everything Covered ................... 35 Building Positive Communities ................................. 37 Small Business Helping Harlem Businesses Thrive ... 40 Homeownership: Living the Dream .......................... 41 Creating Young Leaders After School ........................ 43 Independent Living Services for Seniors .................. 46 Scattered Site Housing Program .............................. 47 Restoral of Historic Randolph Houses ..................... 52 50th Anniversary Healthcare for All Gala .................. 58 Hooray for the Graduates ........................................ 60 Book Signing at NJ Historical Society ...................... 65 Convent Avenue B.C. 75th Anniversary ...................... 66 History on Edgecombe Avenue ................................. 68 Positive Music Matters ............................................ 71 NY United Missionary Baptists ................................. 72 Baptist Ministers of NYC and Philadelphia ............... 73 An Explicit Honor ..................................................... 74 Avoiding and Dealing with Ransomware Attacks ....... 84

Columbia Celebrates Harlem Week

A new place in Harlem for art, science, learning and community

The first buildings of Columbia’s Manhattanville campus are now open, providing New York with a new center for pioneering research, artistic creativity and community engagement. With a sustainable design of tree-lined sidewalks, open green spaces and public services that will continue to unfold in the years to come, Columbia Manhattanville is a city campus built to welcome people and ideas.

The Lenfest Center for the Arts houses new film and theater spaces at Columbia’s School of the Arts and the Wallach Art Gallery. Come to the Wallach’s summer exhibition “Uptown” featuring Harlem artists, open through Aug. 20.

The Jerome L. Greene Science Center is home to the Nobel Prize–winning brain scientists of the Zuckerman Institute. Learn about their cutting-edge research in the public main floor that includes a community Education Lab and Wellness Center.








he clergy organizations, churches, community businesses and institutions listed below have committed to the purchase of at least 50 magazines per month at $1.50 each or they support this publication through the purchase of advertising. Find out more by calling 973-233-9200 or email

Abyssinian B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, Pastor

Community Church of God, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Dr. Shirley B. Cathie., Pastor Emeritus

Messiah Baptist Church, Bridgeport, CT Rev. James Logan, Pastor

St. Albans, NY COGIC Rev. Dr. Ben Monroe, Pastor

Abyssinian B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, Pastor

Concord B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson, Pastor

Messiah Baptist Church, East Orange, NJ Rev. Dana Owens, Pastor

St. Anthony Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Duane E. Cooper, Pastor

Abundant Life Fellowship COGIC, Newark, NJ Supt. Edward Bohannon, Jr, Pastor

Convent Avenue Baptist Church, New York, NY Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Willams, Pastor

Metropolitan B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. David Jefferson, Pastor

St. John Baptist Church, Camden, NJ Rev. Dr. Silas M. Townsend, Pastor

Aenon Baptist Church, Vauxhall NJ Rev Alphonso Williams, Sr Pastor

Emmanuel Baptist Church, Brooklyn NY Rev. Anthony Trufant, Pastor

Mount Calvary United Methodist Church, New York, NY Rev. Francis Kairson, Pastor

St. John’s B.C., Scotch Plains, NJ Rev. Dr. Evans L. Spagner, Interim Senior Pastor

Agape Christian Ministries Worship Ctr. Rev. Craig R. Jackson. Pastor

Empire Missionary B.C., Convention NY Rev. Dr. Ronald Grant, President

Mt. Neboh Baptist Church, Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie Green Jr., Pastor

Antioch Baptist Church., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Robert M. Waterman, Pastor

Fellowship Missionary B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Elton T. Byrd Pastor/Founder

Mt. Pisgah B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, Pastor

Archdiocese of New York Brother Tyrone Davis, Office of Black Ministry

First B.C. of Lincoln Gardens, Somerset NJ Rev. Dr. DeForest (Buster) Soaries, Pastor

Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater NY & Vicinity Rev. James Morrison, Pastor

First Baptist Church, East Elmhurst, NY Rev Patrick Henry Young, Pastor

Mount Olive Baptist Church, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Gregory J. Jackson, Pastor

Berean B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Arlee Griffin Jr., Pastor Bethany B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. Dr. Adolphus C. Lacey, Sr. Pastor Bethany B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Timothy E. Jones, Pastor Beulah Bible Cathedral Church, Newark, NJ Gerald Lydell Dickson, Senior Pastor Calvary Baptist Church, Garfield, NJ Rev. Calvin McKinney, Pastor Calvary Baptist Church, Morristown, NJ Rev. Jerry M. Carter, Jr., Pastor Canaan B. C. of Christ, Harlem, NY Rev. Thomas D. Johnson, Pastor Canaan B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Barry L. Graham, Pastor Cathedral International., Perth Amboy, NJ Bishop Donald Hilliard, Pastor Charity Baptist Church, Bronx, NY Rev. Reginald Williams, Pastor Christian Cultural Center, Brooklyn, NY Rev. A.R. Barnard, Pastor Christian Love B.C., Irvington, NJ Rev. Dr. Ronald Christian, Pastor Clear View Baptist Church, Newark, NJ Rev. Eric M. Beckham, M.Div., MFT Community B.C., Englewood, NJ Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor, Pastor

First Baptist B.C. of Teaneck, NJ Rev. Marilyn Monroe Harris, Pastor First Corinthian Baptist Church, NY Rev. Michael A. Walrond, Jr. Senior Pastor First Park Baptist Church, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Rufus McClendon, Jr., Pastor First Baptist Church, South Orange, NJ Rev. Dr. Terry Richardson, Pastor Friendship Baptist Church, Rahway, NJ Rev. Allen Thompson, Jr., Pastor

Mount Zion Baptist Church, Westwood, NJ Rev. Barry R. Miller, Pastor Mt. Olivet B.C, Newark, NJ Rev. André W. Milteer, Pastor Mt. Zion AME Church, Trenton, NJ Rev. J. Stanley Justice, Pastor New Hope Baptist Church, Metuchen, NJ Rev. Dr. Ronald L. Owens, Pastor New Hope Baptist Church of Hackensack, Hackensack, NJ Rev. Dr. Frances Manning-Fontaine Pastor Emeritus

General Baptist Convention, NJ Rev. Dr. Lester W. Taylor, Jr., President

New Jerusalem Worship Center, Jamaica, NY Rev. Dr. Calvin Rice, Senior Pastor

Good Neighbor Baptist Church Rev. Dr. George A. Blackwell, III, Pastor

New Life Cathedral, Mt. Holly, NJ Rev. Eric Wallace, Pastor

Grace B. C., Mt. Vernon, NY Rev. Dr. Franklyn W. Richardson, Pastor

New Zion B.C., Elizabeth, NJ Rev. Kevin James White, Pastor

Greater Abyssinian BC, Newark, NJ Rev. Allen Potts, Senior Pastor

Paradise B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Jethro James, Pastor

Greater Zion Hill B.C., Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Frank J. Blackshear, Pastor

Park Ave Christian Disciples of Christ, East Orange, NJ Rev. Harriet Wallace, Pastor

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI) Malcolm A. Punter, President & CEO

Pilgrim B. C., Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Glenn Wilson, Pastor

Imani Baptist Church, East Orange, NJ Rev.Chuch Chamberlayne, Pastor

Ruth Fellowship Ministries, Plainfield, NJ Rev. Tracey Brown, Pastor

It Is Well Living Ministries, Clark, NJ Rev. Kahlil Carmichael, Pastor

Shiloh AME Zion Church, Englewood, NJ Rev. John D. Givens, Pastor

Macedonia Baptist Church, Lakewood, NJ Dr. Edward D. Harper, Pastor

Shiloh B.C., Plainfield, NJ Rev. Hodari K. Hamilton, Sr., Senior Pastor

Mariners’ Temple B.C., New York, NY Rev. Dr. Henrietta Carter, Pastor

Shiloh B.C., Trenton, NJ Rev. Darell Armstrong, Pastor

St. Luke Baptist Church of Harlem, NY Rev. Dr. Johnnie McCann, Pastor St Luke B.C., Paterson, NJ Rev. Kenneth D.R. Clayton, Pastor St. James AME Church, Newark, NJ Rev. Ronald L. Slaughter, Pastor St. Paul Baptist, Red Bank, NJ Rev. Alexander Brown, Pastor St. Mark Missionary B.C., Jamaica, NY Rev. Owen E. Williams, Pastor St. Matthew AME Church, Orange, NJ Rev. Dr. Lanel D. Guyton, Pastor St. Paul's B.C., Montclair, NJ Rev. Dr. Bernadette Glover, Pastor St. Paul Community B.C., Brooklyn, NY Rev. David K. Brawley, Pastor The New Hope B.C., Newark, NJ Rev. Joe Carter, Senior Pastor Union Baptist Temple,, Bridgeton, NJ Rev. Albert L. Morgan, Pastor Walker Memorial B.C. Bronx, NY Rev. Dr. J. Albert Bush Sr., Pastor Welcome Baptist Church, Newark, NJ Rev. Dr. Elijah C.Williams, Pastor World Gospel Music Assoc., Newark, NJ Dr. Albert Lewis, Founder

Businesses & Organizations 125th St. BID City National Bank Essex County College, NJ Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Marion P. Thomas Charter School Mildred Crump, Newark City Council Muslim American Chamber of Commerce NAACP New Jersey* NAACP, NY State Conference* New Brunswick Theological Seminary New Jersey Performing Arts Center New York Theological Seminary NobleNNJ Nubian Conservatory of Music Razac Products Co., Newark, NJ Schomburg Center for Research The College of New Rochelle United Way of Essex and West Hudson WBGO-88.3FM West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc.

“The Positive Community magazine does outstanding work in promoting the good works of the Black Church. All churches and businesses should subscribe to and advertise in The Positive Community. Please support this magazine, the only one that features good news about the black community.”—Rev. Buster Soaries, General Baptist Revival, May 20, 2010

A parade of stars—dressed to the nines, performing the latest rise, the band begins playing . . . and it’s “Showtime!” balcony seats. We’d watch the b-movie . . . and then, curtains waiting on the ticket line to walking through the lobby to our excitement of attending a show at the Apollo Theater—from ADRIAN Very few A. of ADRIAN ADRIAN A. childhood experiences could ever rival the COUNCIL, SR. COUNCIL, COUNCIL, SR. SR. Apollo Theater. PUBLISHER’S PUBLISHER’S PUBLISHER’S to visit relatives or take in a show at The World Famous DESK DESK DESK Sundays, after church, my mother would drive us to Harlem and social clubs throughout Suffolk County. On most tion, went on to open a chain of billiard parlors, restaurants ful, self-taught entrepreneur, with a sixth grade educaeight brothers born to my parents. My father, a successWe moved to Long Island when I was a toddler; one of Carolina met, married, and began a family in Harlem. was born in Harlem. My parents, natives of North


Congressman, Adriano Espaillat, (pg.25). this issue, we are also pleased to introduce freshman Harlem HARLEM WEEK for 43 years of cultural leadership, (pg.21). In Chamber of Commerce on their 120th anniversary and Williams, Voza Rivers and the good folks at the Greater Harlem vision of a Harlem Moving Forward. Very special thanks to Lloyd their support and this opportunity to share their story, and Development Corporation (ADC), (pg. 10). We appreciate Assistance, Inc. (WHGA), (pg. 51); and, the Abyssinian Improvement, Inc. (HCCI), (pg. 37); West Harlem Group institutions: Harlem Congregations for Community great economic development engines and community-building Rather, we are addressing an evolving Harlem. Thanks to three not speaking of a romantic “renaissance,” or a “new” Harlem. and good news. The theme: Harlem, Moving Forward! We’re


was was was born born born in in in Harlem. Harlem. Harlem. My My My parents, parents, parents, natives natives natives of ofof North North North Carolina Carolina Carolinamet, met, met,married, married, married,and and andbegan began beganaaafamily family familyin ininHarlem. Harlem. Harlem. We We Wemoved moved movedto to toLong Long LongIsland Island Islandwhen when whenIIIwas was wasaaatoddler; toddler; toddler;one one oneof ofof eight eight eightbrothers brothers brothersborn born bornto to tomy my myparents. parents. parents.My My Myfather, father, father,aaasuccesssuccesssuccessful, ful, ful,self-taught self-taught self-taughtentrepreneur, entrepreneur, entrepreneur,with with withaaasixth sixth sixthgrade grade gradeeducaeducaeducation, tion, tion,went went wenton on onto to toopen open openaaachain chain chainof of ofbilliard billiard billiardparlors, parlors, parlors,restaurants restaurants restaurants and and and social social social clubs clubs clubs throughout throughout throughout Suffolk Suffolk Suffolk County. County. County. On On On most most most Sundays, Sundays, Sundays,after after afterchurch, church, church,my my mymother mother motherwould would woulddrive drive driveus us usto totoHarlem Harlem Harlem DESK toto visit toPUBLISHER’S visit visitrelatives relatives relativesor or ortake take takein in inaaashow show showat atatThe The TheWorld World WorldFamous Famous Famous Apollo Theater. Apollo Apollo Theater. Theater.SR. COUNCIL, Very my ADRIAN A. Very Veryfew few fewof of of my mychildhood childhood childhoodexperiences experiences experiencescould could couldever ever everrival rival rivalthe the the excitement excitement excitementof of ofattending attending attendingaaashow show showat atatthe the theApollo Apollo ApolloTheater—from Theater—from Theater—from waiting waiting waitingon on onthe the theticket ticket ticketline line lineto to towalking walking walkingthrough through throughthe the thelobby lobby lobbyto totoour our our balcony balcony balconyseats. seats. seats.We’d We’d We’dwatch watch watchthe the theb-movie b-movie b-movie.. .. .. and .and andthen, then, then,curtains curtains curtains rise, rise, rise, the the the band band band begins begins begins playing playing playing .. . .. . .. . and and and it’s it’s it’s “Showtime!” “Showtime!” “Showtime!” AAAparade parade paradeofof ofstars—dressed stars—dressed stars—dressedtototothe the thenines, nines, nines,performing performing performingthe the thelatest latest latest hits, hits, hits,takes takes takestoto tostage. stage. stage.We We Wehad had hadlistened listened listenedto to totheir their theirsongs songs songson on onthe the the radio, radio, radio,purchased purchased purchasedtheir their theirrecords, records, records,and and andplayed played playedtheir their theirmusic music musicat atat parties parties partiesand and andon on onthe the thejukebox. jukebox. jukebox.And And Andnow, now, now,here here herethey they theyare—live are—live are—liveat atat the the theApollo! Apollo! Apollo! IIIjust just justloved loved lovedthe the thestories stories storiesabout about aboutHarlem Harlem Harlemlife. life. life.My My Mydad dad dadwould would would boast boast boastthat that thatwhen when whenhe he helived lived livedin in inHarlem, Harlem, Harlem,only only onlyhe he heand and andboxing boxing boxinglegleglegend end endSugar Sugar SugarRay Ray RayRobinson, Robinson, Robinson,owned owned ownedpink, pink, pink,convertible convertible convertibleCadillacs! Cadillacs! Cadillacs! My My Mywife wife wifeLynda’s Lynda’s Lynda’sparents—mother parents—mother parents—motherfrom from fromVirginia Virginia Virginiaand and andfather, father, father,aaa merchant merchant merchantmarine marine marinefrom from fromBelize—met Belize—met Belize—metand and andmarried married marriedin ininHarlem. Harlem. Harlem. Two Two Twoofof ofmy my mythree three threechildren children childrenwere were wereborn born bornin in inHarlem. Harlem. Harlem.Yes, Yes, Yes,Harlem Harlem Harlem isisisforever forever foreverinin inmy my mysoul—and soul—and soul—andmy my mysoul soul soulisisisforever forever foreverin ininHarlem—it’s Harlem—it’s Harlem—it’s who who whoIIIam! am! am! An An AnEvolving Evolving EvolvingHarlem Harlem Harlem Lynda Lynda Lyndaand and andIIIare are arebig big bigfans fans fansof of ofthe the theHBO HBO HBOdrama drama dramaseries series seriesGame Game Gameof ofof Thrones. Thrones. Thrones.One One Oneday, day, day,while while whilediscussing discussing discussingthe the theshow, show, show,she she sheobserved observed observed that that thatthe the theseries, series, series,set set setin in inaaaMedieval, Medieval, Medieval,fictitious fictitious fictitiousland, land, land,was was was“all “all “allabout about about the the thepast.” past.” past.”Indeed, Indeed, Indeed,the the themajor major majorcharacters characters characterscompeted competed competedfor for forthe the the “throne” “throne” “throne”because because becausethey they theyperceived perceived perceiveditititwas was wastheir their theirbirthright birthright birthrightto totorule rule rule the the the“Seven “Seven “SevenKingdoms.” Kingdoms.” Kingdoms.”Be Be Beitititgood good goodor or orevil, evil, evil,the the thecharacters characters charactersjusjusjustified tified tifiedtheir their theiractions actions actionsbecause because becauseof of oflegacy legacy legacyand and andheritage, heritage, heritage,their their their father, father, father,and and andtheir their theirfather’s father’s father’sfathers, fathers, fathers,affirmed affirmed affirmedtheir their theirclaim claim claimto totothe the the kingdom. kingdom. kingdom.They They Theydemonstrated demonstrated demonstratedkeen keen keenmemories memories memoriesof ofofthe the thestrugstrugstruggles, gles, gles,sacrifices sacrifices sacrificesand and andvictories victories victoriesof of ofthose those thosewho who whocame came camebefore before beforethem. them. them. In In Inother other otherwords, words, words,they they theypulled pulled pulledfrom from fromthe the thepast past pastin ininorder order orderto totopropel propel propel themselves themselves themselvesand and andtheir their theirpeople people peopleforward! forward! forward! This This ThisisisisThe The ThePositive Positive PositiveCommunity’s Community’s Community’sAnnual Annual AnnualHarlem Harlem HarlemSummer Summer Summer Issue! Issue! Issue!What What Whataaablessing blessing blessingitititisisisto to tobring bring bringto to toour our ourreaders readers readersgood good goodtimes times times

40 The Positive Community Summer 2017 40 40The The The Positive Positive Community CommunitySummer Summer Summer2017 2017 2017 8 Positive Community

and Forward! We’re andgood goodnews. news.The Thetheme: theme:Harlem, Harlem,Moving MovingForward! Forward!We’re We’re not “new” Harlem. notspeaking speakingofofa aromantic romantic“renaissance,” “renaissance,”orora a“new” “new”Harlem. Harlem. Rather, Thanks totothree three Rather,we weare areaddressing addressingananevolving evolvingHarlem. Harlem.Thanks Thanksto three great community-building greateconomic economicdevelopment developmentengines enginesand andcommunity-building community-building institutions: Community institutions: Harlem Harlem Congregations Congregations for for Community Community Improvement, Harlem Group Improvement,Inc. Inc.(HCCI), (HCCI),(pg. (pg.37); 37);West WestHarlem HarlemGroup Group Assistance, the Abyssinian Assistance, Inc. Inc. (WHGA), (WHGA), (pg. (pg. 51); 51); and, and,the theAbyssinian Abyssinian Development We appreciate DevelopmentCorporation Corporation(ADC), (ADC),(pg. (pg.10). 10).We Weappreciate appreciate their their story, and theirsupport supportand andthis thisopportunity opportunitytotoshare sharetheir theirstory, story,and and vision thanks totoLloyd Lloyd visionofofa aHarlem HarlemMoving MovingForward. Forward.Very Veryspecial specialthanks thanksto Lloyd Williams, Greater Harlem Williams,Voza VozaRivers Riversand andthe thegood goodfolks folksatatthe theGreater GreaterHarlem Harlem Chamber anniversary and Chamber ofof Commerce Commerce on on their their 120th 120thanniversary anniversaryand and HARLEM leadership, (pg.21). InIn HARLEMWEEK WEEKfor for4343years yearsofofcultural culturalleadership, leadership,(pg.21). (pg.21).In this freshman Harlem thisissue, issue,we weare arealso alsopleased pleasedtotointroduce introducefreshman freshmanHarlem Harlem Congressman, Congressman,Adriano AdrianoEspaillat, Espaillat,(pg.25). (pg.25).

Our OurCollective CollectiveSoul Soul InIn2009, fascinating trilogy 2009,author, author,Will WillHaygood Haygoodcompleted completeda afascinating fascinatingtrilogy trilogy about featured three iconic aboutHarlem Harlemlife lifeand andculture. culture.His Hisbooks booksfeatured featuredthree threeiconic iconic 20th entertainment and 20thcentury centuryAmerican Americanlegends legendsininsports, sports,entertainment entertainmentand and religion/politics: Times ofofAdam Adam religion/politics:King Kingofofthe theCats: Cats:The TheLife Lifeand andTimes Timesof Adam Clayton ofofSammy Sammy Davis, ClaytonPowell, Powell,Jr.; Jr.;InInBlack Blackand andWhite: White:The TheLife Lifeof SammyDavis, Davis, Jr.; Sugar Ray Robinson. Jr.;and andSweet SweetThunder: Thunder:The TheLife Lifeand andTimes TimesofofSugar SugarRay RayRobinson. Robinson. I Ihighly also serve asastestitestihighlyrecommend recommendthese thesebooks bookswhich whichwill willalso alsoserve serveas testimony community on monytotothe theenormous enormousimpact impactofofthe theHarlem Harlemcommunity communityon on America Americaand andworld worldpopular popularculture. culture. InInspirit bebeours! ours! Only spiritand andinintruth, truth,Harlem Harlemwill willalways alwaysbe ours!Only Only through wisdom from the throughknowledge knowledgeofofpast pastsituations situationsand andwisdom wisdomfrom fromthe the experiences with teamwork, experiencesofofthose thosewho whocame camebefore beforeususalong alongwith withteamwork, teamwork, will individuals and asas willwe wesustain sustainprogress progressand andgrowth. growth.AsAsindividuals individualsand andas a agroup, totopropel propel ourgroup,we wemust mustpull pullfrom fromthe thepast pastininorder orderto propelourourselves selvesforward! forward! Always ofofour our children Alwaysremember rememberthis thistruth: truth:the theprogress progressof ourchildren children and culture, values and andthe theintegrity integrityofofour ourAfrican AfricanAmerican Americanculture, culture,values valuesand and traditions—our politics ofofthe the traditions—ourcollective collectivesoul—mean soul—meaneverything; everything;politics politicsof the day popular demand, dayand andmarket marketforces forcesnot notwithstanding. withstanding.ByBypopular populardemand, demand, reprints now available. reprintsofofthe theObama Obamacommemorative commemorativeissue issueare arenow nowavailable. available. Never presidency Neverforget; forget;teach teachthe thechildren! children!The TheObama Obamapresidency presidencyisisisaa a great our American greatcultural culturalmilestone milestoneand andachievement achievementininour ourAmerican American freedom Obama keepsake freedomjourney. journey.Show Showsome somelove. love.Own Ownthis thisObama Obamakeepsake keepsake issue issuetoday! today! Harlem Black America. Harlemisisthe thespiritual spiritualand andcultural culturalcapital capitalofofBlack BlackAmerica. America. Let birthright and divine Letususnever neverdeny denyourselves ourselvesour ourown ownbirthright birthrightand anddivine divine inheritance; Dream—our destiny! inheritance;our ourclaim claimon onthe theAmerican AmericanDream—our Dream—ourdestiny! destiny! Summer The Positive Community 88 Summer2017 2017 The Positive PositiveCommunity Community8

Masterpiece, Collector’s Edition


Winter 2017



Barack Obama

A Presidential Journey | 2009–2017

A special thank you to all who have purchased and patiently waited for the arrival of this reprinted Obama commemorative issue, the response has been overwhelming. The issue overflows with admiration and love for America's first black president and shows how he and his family served our country well. Proudly display it in your home, office, and classroom or with the family archives for the edification of future generations—our children’s children. We must never forget our collective sacrifices and achievements—our claim on the American Dream!

Own this proud moment in American history. No home, school or church should be without one! TPC’s Obama Issue makes for a great fundraiser! Show your love! Order this priceless commemorative issue today. Only $13.99 per copy, includes shipping and handling. Call TPC at 973-233-9200 or order online

ONE OVE  IIS   S  HHERE   ERE  TTO   O  SSTAY   TAY   ONE  BBILLION   ILLION  RREASONS   EASONS  O OUR   UR  LLOVE   ONE  BILLION   REASONS   OUR  LOVE   IS  HERE  TO  STAY   The   D orpora=on   The  AAbyssinian   byssinian   Development   evelopment   CCorpora=on  

The Abyssinian  Development   orpora=on     You  C see   the   fruits   of   ADC’s   labor   to   improve   the     You   see   the   fruits   of   ADC’s   labor   to   improve   the  

Thirty   years   ago,   Ronald   Reagan   was   president,     Thirty   years   ago,   Ronald   Reagan   was   president,   divestment   in   urban   neighborhoods,   social   services,   and   divestment   in   urban   social   services,   and     Thirty   years  neighborhoods,   ago,   Ronald   Reagan   was   president,   public   educa9on   was   rampant.   The   government   and   public   educa9on   was   rampant.   The  social   government   divestment   in   urban   neighborhoods,   services,   and   police   declared   a  a  one   sided   war   on   urban   Blacks   and   police   declared   one   sided   war  The   on   urban   Blacks   and   public   educa9on   was   rampant.   government   La9nos   u nder   t he   fl ag   o f   t he   “ War   o n   D rugs.”   H arlem   U SA   La9nos  declared   under  the  a  flone   ag  of  sided   the  “War   n  Drugs.”   arlem  Uand   SA   police   war  oon   urban  HBlacks   was   a   place   riddled   with   burned   out   and   abandoned   was   a   place   and  Habandoned   La9nos   under  riddled   the  flag  owith   f  the  burned   “War  on  out   Drugs.”   arlem  USA   buildings,   vacant   in-­‐fill   lots   as   heaps   buildings,   vacant   in-­‐fill  with   lots  doubling   doubling  out   as  trash   trash   heaps   and   and   was   a   place   riddled   burned   and   abandoned   junkyards,   and   public   parks   you   dared   not   enter.   junkyards,   and   public   parks   you   as   dared   enter.   buildings,   vacant   in-­‐fill   lots   doubling   trash  not   heaps   and   Redlining  by  financial  ins9tu9ons,  slumlords,  and  owners   Redlining  by  financial  ins9tu9ons,  slumlords,  and  owners   junkyards,   and   public   parks   you   dared   not   enter.   with   no   interest   with   no   interest  in  in  fixing   fixing  up   up  the   the  neighborhood   neighborhood  leL   leL  parts   parts   Redlining  by  financial  ins9tu9ons,  slumlords,  and  owners   of  of   Harlem   looking   like   the   taMered   ruins   of   a   war-­‐torn   Harlem   looking   the   ruins   of   a  leL   war-­‐torn   with   no   interest   in   like   fixing   up  taMered   the   neighborhood   parts   territory.   And   the   yellow   abs   that   zzip   uup   territory.   And   the   yellow   cabs   that  ttoday   oday   ip  of   p  a  aand   nd  ddown   own   of   Harlem   looking   like   cthe   taMered   ruins   war-­‐torn   th th    S the   streets   ond   f  oH arlem,   refused   aabove   10 the   streets   f  H arlem,   refused   o  ddrive   rive   bove   10 Street.   treet.   territory.   A the   yellow   cabs  tto  hat   today   zip  u11p   and   d own    T  here   ere   spots   There   ere  bbright   right   spots   nd  sstreets   the  streets   of  w Hw arlem,   refused   to  adand   rive   atreets   bove  iinterspersed   1nterspersed   10th  Street.   between   the   blighted   that   richness   between   blighted   blocks   that  apreserved   preserved   richness    Tthe   here   were  bblocks   right   spots   nd   streets  the   ithe   nterspersed   and  culture  of  Harlem.  There  were  blocks  and  houses  of   and  culture  of  Harlem.  There  were  blocks  and  houses  of   between   the   blighted   blocks   that   preserved   the   richness   worship   that   worship   that  fought   fought  back   back  and   and  maintained   maintained  the   the  standard,   standard,   and  culture  of  Harlem.  There  were  blocks  and  houses  of   but   the   strongest   neighbors   went,  the   the  neighborhood   neighborhood   but   as  as  the   strongest   went,   worship   that   fought  neighbors   back   and   maintained   the   standard,   followed.   was  against   against   this  bleak   bleak   backdrop   that  one   one   of   followed.   It  It  was   this   backdrop   that   but   as   the   strongest   neighbors   went,   the   neighborhood   Harlem’s  most   historic  neighbors  once  again  moved  into   Harlem’s  most  historic  neighbors  once  again  moved   into   followed.   It   was   against   this   bleak   backdrop   that   one   of   ac9on,   The   Abyssinian   ap9st  CChurch.   hurch.       Harlem’s  most   historic  neighbors  once  again  moved  into   ac9on,   The   Abyssinian   BBap9st   ac9on,    In  1989,  the  church,  under  the  direc9on  of  then   T  In  1989,  the  church,  under  the  direc9on  of  then   he  Abyssinian  Bap9st  Church.     Senior   Pastor,   Rev.  DDr.  r.  Samuel   Samuel  DDewiM   ewiM  PProctor,   roctor,  tthe   he  eenergy   nergy    In  1989,  the  church,  under  the  direc9on  of  then   Senior   Pastor,   Rev.   of   t he   E xecu9ve   M inister,   R ev.   D r.   C alvin   O .   B uMs,   I II,   nd   Senior   P astor,   R ev.   D r.   S amuel   D ewiM   P roctor,   t he   e nergy   of   the   Execu9ve   Minister,   Rev.   Dr.   Calvin   O.   BuMs,   III,   aand   Ms.   K aren   P hillips   a t   t he   h elm,   b egan   w ork   o n   a   h omeless   of   t he   E xecu9ve   M inister,   R ev.   D r.   C alvin   O .   B uMs,   I II,   a nd   Ms.  Karen  Phillips  at  the  helm,  began  work  on  a  homeless   shelter,   Abyssinian   House,   with   one   simple   mission,   to   Ms.   K aren   P hillips   a t   t he   h elm,   b egan   w ork   o n   a   h omeless   shelter,   Abyssinian   House,   with   one   simple   mission,   to   keep   families   together.   That   mission   was   birthed   and   shelter,   Abyssinian   House,   with   one   simple   mission,   to   keep   families   together.   That   mission   was   birthed   and   incorporated   in   1989   as   the   Abyssinian   Development   keep   families   together.   That   mission   was   birthed   and   incorporated   in   1989   as   the   Abyssinian   Development   Corpora9on   (ADC).   incorporated   in   1989   as   the   Abyssinian   Development   Corpora9on   (ADC).        ADC  from  its  meager  beginnings  in  a  window  sill   Corpora9on   ( ADC).      ADC  from  its  meager  beginnings  in  a  window  sill   stepped   onto   the  scene   scene  to   to  mmake   ake  aa   d   difference.   ifference.  W When   hen  N New   ew   stepped   o  ADC  from  its  meager  beginnings  in  a  window  sill   nto   the   York   City   didn’t   have   a   plan   for   the   revitaliza9on   of   stepped   o nto   t he   s cene   t o   m ake   a   d ifference.   W hen   N York   City   didn’t   have   a   plan   for   the   revitaliza9on  ew   of   Harlem,   ADC   did:  have   Faith   a   Based   Community   Development.   York   City   didn’t   plan   for   the   revitaliza9on   of   Harlem,   ADC   did:   Faith   Based   Community   Development.   Standing   on   the   white   marble   of   the   Abyssinian   pulpit,   Harlem,   ADC   did:   Faith   Based   Community   Development.   Standing   on   the   white   marble   of   the   Abyssinian   pulpit,   the   voice  on   of   Dr.   out  of   with   clarity   of   Standing   the  BuMs   white  rang   marble   the  prophe9c   Abyssinian   pulpit,   the   voice   of   Dr.   BuMs   rang   out   with   prophe9c   clarity   of   what   was   tof   o  cDr.   ome.   He   prang   assionately   urged   the   community   the   voice   BuMs   out   with   prophe9c   clarity   of   what  was  to  come.  He  passionately  urged  the  community   to   buy   and   property   because   the   what   was  brownstones   to  come.   He   passionately   urged   the   community   to  neighborhood   buy   brownstones   and   property   because   the   was   coming   He   because   painted   over   to   buy   brownstones   and   back!   property   the   neighborhood   coming   He   painted   billboards   to  was   protest   the   back!   oversatura9on   of   over   self-­‐ neighborhood   was   coming   back!   He   painted   over   billboards   protest   the   of  against   self-­‐ destruc9ve  to   ato   dver9sement   in  Hoversatura9on   arlem.   He  stood  up   billboards   protest   the   oversatura9on   of   self-­‐ destruc9ve   a dver9sement   i n   H arlem.   H e   s tood   u p   a gainst   police   brutality   and   injus9ce.   He   stormed   destruc9ve   adver9sement   in  Harlem.   He  stood  into   up  apublic   gainst   police   and   He   stormed   schools   demanding   binjus9ce.   eMer   for   our   children.   He  into   was  public   apublic     man   police  brutality   brutality   and   injus9ce.   He   stormed   into   schools   demanding   bbeMer   for   e   aa    ADC,   m of   ac9on.   That   ac9on   translated   into   the  HH work   of   schools   demanding   eMer   for  oour   ur  cchildren.   hildren.   e  w was   as   man   an   of  of   ac9on.   That   ac9on   translated   into   the   work   of   ADC,   undoubtedly   a   driving   force   in   Harlem   moving   ac9on.   That   ac9on   translated   into   the   work   forward   of   ADC,   undoubtedly   a  a  driving   then   and  now.   undoubtedly   driving  force   force  in   in  Harlem   Harlem  moving   moving   forward   forward   then   a nd   n ow.   then  and    Onver   ow.  the  past  thirty  years,  ADC  has  had  a  hand  in    O  O ver   the   pp ast   AADC   as   aa    hhand   genera9ng   over   $1   Billion   of   faith   ver   the   ast  thirty   thirty  yyears,   ears,   DC  hhbased   as  hhad   ad  economic   and  iin   n   genera9ng   Billion   of   based   economic   s9mula9on   in   the  $1   H$1   arlem   community   and   beyond.       genera9ng  over   over   Billion   of   faith   faith   based   economic   s9mula9on   in  in   the   HH arlem   s9mula9on   the   arlem  community   community  aand   nd  bbeyond.   eyond.          


The Positive Community Summer 2017

th Streets   and   physical   space   of   Harlem   from   114thth   to   148 th   Streets   physical     space   of   the   Harlem   114  labor   to   148 You   see   fruits  from   of   ADC’s   to   improve   and   the   extending   east   and   west   from   Lexington   to   St.   Nicholas   th   to   148 th   St.   extending   east  of   and   west   from   from   114 Lexington   to   Nicholas   physical   space   Harlem   Streets   and   Avenues:   over   over   1   1   million   square   square   feet   feet  of   of  real   real  estate   estate   Avenues:   extending   east   and  million   west   from   Lexington   to   St.   Nicholas   development   made   up   of   almost   1600   units   of   low-­‐to-­‐ development   made   up   of   almost   of   low-­‐to-­‐ Avenues:   over   1   million   square  1600   feet   units   of   real   estate   moderate   income   income   and   and   senior   senior   housing   housing   units,  with   with  over   over   moderate   development   made   up   of   almost   1600   units,   units   of   low-­‐to-­‐ 600,000  square  feet  of  commercial  real  estate  and  over  460   600,000  square  feet  of  commercial  real  estate  and  over  460   moderate   income   and   senior   housing   units,   with   over   new   homeowners   homeowners  through   through  ADC’s   ADC’s  Harlem   Harlem  Economic   Economic  Literacy   Literacy   new   600,000  square  feet  of  commercial  real  estate  and  over  460   Program   ( HELP).     Program   (HELP).     through   ADC’s   Harlem   Economic   Literacy   new   homeowners   ADC’s   work   extends  beyond   beyond  real   real  estate   estate  to  to  robust   robust   extends   Program      (ADC’s   HELP).  work     programs   hat  hhave   ave  kkept   ept   he  fabric   fabric   arlem   strong:   programs   tthat   tthe   oof  f  HHarlem   strong:     ADC’s   work   extends   beyond   real   estate   to   robust   •  Providing  an  economic  s9mulus  package  for  Harlem  with   Providing  an  economic  s9mulus  package  for  Harlem  with   • programs   that  have  kept  the  fabric  of  Harlem  strong:   retail   development,   micro   micro   lending,   lending,  helping   helping  start   start  and   and   development,   •  retail   Providing  an  economic  s9mulus  package  for  Harlem  with   increase  capacity  of  businesses  in  Harlem  (Londel’s,  IHOP   increase  capacity  of  businesses  in  Harlem  (Londel’s,  IHOP   retail   development,   micro   lending,   helping   start   and   thers),  w which   hich  ggenerated   enerated  thousands   thousands   ojf  obs.   jobs.   and   oothers),   of       increase  capacity  of  businesses  in  Harlem  (Londel’s,  IHOP   Managing   four   public   schools   and  construc9ng   construc9ng   Harlem’s   •  and   Managing   four   public   schools   and   others),   which   generated   thousands   of  jobs.     Harlem’s   first  state  of  the  art  public  high  school  in  over  sixty  years,   •  first  state  of  the  art  public  high  school  in  over  sixty  years,   Managing   four   public   schools   and   construc9ng   Harlem’s   The   Thurgood   Social   Thurgood  Marshall   Marshall  Academy   Academy  for   for  Learning   Learning  and   and   Social   first  state  of  the  art  public  high  school  in  over  sixty  years,   Change.       Change.   The   Thurgood   Marshall   Academy   for   Learning   and   Social   •  Change.   Partnering   Partnering   with   New   New   Visions   Visions  for   for  Public   Public  Educa9on   Educa9on  to  to     with   aa    llower,   m school   and   sEduca9on   tar9ng   three   •  launch   Partnering   with   New   for   Public   to   launch   ower,   middle,   iddle,  aVisions   and   nd  hhigh   igh   school   and   star9ng   three   head   start   programs   to   create   the   pipeline   that   launch   a   l ower,   m iddle,   a nd   h igh   s chool   a nd   s tar9ng   t hree   head   start   programs   to   create   the   pipeline   that   collec9vely   22,100   cchildren   aand   families   annually.   head   start  ssupport   programs   to   create   the   pipeline   that   collec9vely   upport   ,100   hildren   nd   families   annually.   • •  collec9vely   Delivering   suppor9ve   services,   case   management,   s upport   2 ,100   c hildren   a nd   f amilies   a nnually.   Delivering   suppor9ve   services,   case   management,  and   and   programming   to   our   •  enrichment   Delivering   services,   case   management,   and   enrichment  suppor9ve   programming   to  seniors,   seniors,   our  most   most  sacred   sacred   popula9on.   enrichment   popula9on.   programming   to   seniors,   our   most   sacred   • •  popula9on.   Providing   Providing  job   job  training,   training,  life   life  skills,   skills,  and   and  college   college  and   and  career   career   opportuni9es   to   thousands   of   youth   •  readiness   Providing   job   training,   life   skills,   and   college   and   career   readiness   opportuni9es   to   thousands   of   youth  through   through   GED   workforce   development   opportuni9es,   readiness   opportuni9es   to   thousands   of   youth   through   GED   aMainment,   aMainment,   workforce   development   opportuni9es,   mentorship   p rograms,   a Ler-­‐school   e nrichment,   a nd   STEM   GED   aMainment,   workforce   development   opportuni9es,   mentorship  programs,  aLer-­‐school  enrichment,  and   STEM   programs.   mentorship   p rograms,   a Ler-­‐school   e nrichment,   a nd   STEM   programs.   The  programs.   work   of   ADC   has   been   celebrated   in   the   regal   halls   of   The   work   of   ADC   has   been   celebrated   in   the   regal   halls   of   Harvard  Business  School  and  modeled  in  urban  communi9es   The   work   of   ADC   has   been   celebrated   in   the   regal   halls   of   Harvard  Business  School  and  modeled  in  urban  communi9es   across  the  country.  It  is  without  ques9on  that  ADC  has  made   Harvard  Business  School  and  modeled  in  urban  communi9es   across  the  country.  It  is  without  ques9on  that  ADC  has  made   a   difference.   across  the  country.  It  is  without  ques9on  that  ADC  has  made   a  difference.     Of   course,   this   community   development   experiment   a  difference.     Of   course,   this   community   development   experiment   was   not     Owithout   pains   and   hard   lessons   learned   f   course,  growing   this   community   development   experiment   was   not   without   growing   pains   and   hard   lessons   learned   along  the  way.  But  by  keeping  the  faith  and  believing  in  our   was   not   without   growing   pains   and   hard   lessons   learned   along  the  way.  But  by  keeping  the  faith  and  believing  in  our   mission,  we  made  it  through.  We  sincerely  appreciate  those   along  the  way.  But  by  keeping  the  faith  and  believing  in  our   mission,  we  made  it  through.  We  sincerely  appreciate  those   who   stood   by   us,   our   board   of   directors,   and   the   dedicated   mission,  we  made  it  through.  We  sincerely  appreciate  those   who   stood   stood   by  us,   us,   our  Abyssinian   board  of   of  directors,   directors,   and  the   the   dedicated   team   at   ADC.   The   Development   Corpora9on   who   by   our   board   and   dedicated   team   at   ADC.   The   Abyssinian   Development   Corpora9on   remains   the  same  mDevelopment   ission  we  started   with  over   team   at  commiMed   ADC.   The  to  Abyssinian   Corpora9on   remains  ccommiMed   ommiMed  tto  o  tthe   he  ssame   ame  mmission   ission  ww started   ith   over   a  quarter  century  ago,  to  keep  families  together,  the  Harlem   remains   e  e   started   ww ith   over   a  quarter  century  ago,  to  keep  families  together,  the  Harlem   family.   It’s   now   full   speed   ahead   -­‐   Harlem   needs   ADC   to   be   a  quarter  century  ago,  to  keep  families  together,  the  Harlem   family.   It’s   now   full   speed   ahead   Harlem   needs   ADC   be   our   best,   so   that  full   we  speed   can   give   Harlem   our   best,   because   the   family.   It’s   now   ahead   -­‐  -­‐  Harlem   needs   ADC   to  to   be   our   best,   best,   so   that  dwe   we   can  give   give   Harlem   best,  because   because   the   Village   of  H arlem   eserves   nothing   less!  our    our  best,   our   so   that   can   Harlem   the   Village  oof  f  HHarlem   arlem  ddeserves   eserves  nnothing   othing  less!   less!       Village  

Reverend Reginald  Lee  Bachus   Reverend   eginald   ee  BBachus   achus   Chief   Execu9ve   Officer   Reverend   RReginald   LLee   Chief   xecu9ve  DOOevelopment   fficer   The   Abyssinian   Corpora9on   Chief   EExecu9ve   fficer   The  Abyssinian   byssinian  DDevelopment   evelopment  CCorpora9on   orpora9on

PUBLIC EDUCATION:   Ensure   that   the   13,000   hungry   minds   in   School   District   5   are   cul9vated   and   given   every   chance   to   succeed   and   have   their   dreams   realized,   on   a   level   playing   field,   through   greater   c o l l a b o r a 9 o n   w i t h   p a r e n t s   a n d   community  stakeholders.   REAL   ESTATE:   Ensure   that   seniors,   the   poor,   working   poor,   and   moderate   income   earners   have   opportuni9es   to   stay   in   Harlem,   through   advocacy   and   access   to   r e s o u r c e s   f o r   r e n t e r s   a n d   homeowners.  

SCALE SUCCESS:   Share   our   lessons   learned,   exper9se,   and   resources   to   support   local   businesses   serving   the   Harlem   community,   to   help   them   scale   success,   and   expand   service   popula9ons  and  market  share.  

H O M E O W N E R S H I P : C r e a t e   homeowners   and   homeownership   opportuni9es,   through   advocacy,   financial   management   workshops   and   case   management,   transi9oning   r e n te r s   to   h o m e o w n e r s ,   an d   facilita9ng  the  acquisi9on  of  loans  to   first   9me   homebuyers   at   diverse   income   levels,   thereby   ensuring   the   American   dream   is   accessible   to   more  people.

Summer 2017 The Positive Community


Grow Grow&&Expand Expandby by...... Engaging Corporations Engaging Grow &Corporations Expand by ... Building Capacity & Sustainability

Delivering Value Delivering Value Maintaining Competitiveness… Building Capacity & Sustainability Maintaining Competitiveness… Creating Strategic Alliances Emphasizing profitability! Engaging Delivering Value Creating Corporations Strategic Alliances Emphasizing profitability! Building Capacity & Sustainability Maintaining Competitiveness… Attend the AACCNJ’s Creating Strategic Alliances Attend the AACCNJ’s Emphasizing profitability!

Annual Leadership Conference Attend the AACCNJ’s AnnualBusiness Business Leadership Conference and and Annual Leadership Conference 10th Business Anniversary Awards Luncheon 10th Anniversary andAwards Luncheon 10th Awards Luncheon “AAnniversary Journey Of Commitment” “ASharing Journey Of Commitment” . Building . Fostering Sharing . Building . Fostering “A Journey Of Commitment” Sharing . Building . Fostering

Conference Conference 7:30 a.m.— President’s Club Breakfast (Invitation Only) Conference 7:30—a.m.— President’s Club Breakfast Breakfast (Invitation Only) 9 a.m. Check-in, Networking

9 a.m. — Check-in, Networking Breakfast 107:30 a.m.3 p.m. — Conference a.m.— Club Breakfast (Invitation Only) 10 a.m.3 President’s p.m. — Conference 9 a.m. — Check-in, Networking Breakfast • Welcome & Opening Remarks • a.m.Welcome Remarks 3Discussion p.m. & —Opening Conference • 10 Panel • Panel Discussion • • Awards Luncheon & Opening Remarks • Welcome Awards Luncheon • • Break-out Session—Financing: Panel Discussion • Break-out Session—Financing: & Commercial Development • Residential Awards Luncheon Residential & Commercial Development • • Business Matchmaking Break-out • BusinessSession—Financing: Matchmaking • Vendors • Residential Vendors & Commercial Development • Business Matchmaking Panelists: • Panelists: Vendors Ruby McCleary, Director, Supplier Diversity, United Airlines Ruby McCleary, Director, Supplier Diversity, United Airlines Panelists: Lawrence B. Wooten, Supplier Diversity Leader, American Water Lawrence B. Wooten, Leader, Ruby McCleary, Director,Supplier SupplierDiversity Diversity, UnitedAmerican Airlines Water Jacquin Merricks, Manager, External Manufacturing Strategic Jacquin Merricks, Manager, Strategic Lawrence B. Wooten, SupplierExternal DiversityManufacturing Leader, American Water Sourcing, Johnson & Johnson Sourcing, Johnson & Johnson Jacquin Merricks, Manager, External Manufacturing Strategic Susan Hogan, Supplier Diversity Manager, PSEG Susan Hogan, Supplier Diversity Manager, PSEG Sourcing, Johnson & Johnson Jersey Central Power & Light (TBA) Jersey Central Power Diversity & Light (TBA) Susan Hogan, Supplier Manager, PSEG Wyndham Worldwide (Invited) Wyndham Worldwide (Invited) Jersey Central Power & Light (TBA)

Wyndham Worldwide (Invited)

Awards AwardsLuncheon Luncheon Noon—2 p.m. Noon—2 p.m. Awards Luncheon Honorees: Honorees:

Noon—2 p.m. Hosea Johnson, Chairman of the Board, AACCNJ, Hosea Johnson, Chairman of the Board, AACCNJ, President, Johnson Associates Systems


President, Johnson Associates Systems

Hosea Johnson,Sr., Chairman of the Board, AACCNJ, John E. Harmon, IOM, Founder, President & John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM, Founder, President & President, CEO, AACCNJJohnson Associates Systems CEO, AACCNJ

John E.Warrington, Harmon, Sr., IOMPresident, , Founder, President & Robert Esq., Robert Warrington, Esq., President, CEO, AACCNJ The Waring Group The Waring Group

Robert Warrington, Esq., President, Jacqueline Baptiste, Executive Assistant to Jacqueline Baptiste, Executive Assistant to The Waring Group Founder, President & CEO, AACCNJ Founder, President & CEO, AACCNJ

Jacqueline Baptiste, Executive to Desmond Blaine, Retired, MunichAssistant Reinsurance Desmond Blaine,& Retired, Munich Reinsurance Founder, President CEO, AACCNJ Neil Williams, Retired, Mitchell &Titus Neil Williams, Desmond Blaine,Retired, Retired,Mitchell Munich&Titus Reinsurance Pamela Y. McMellon-Wells, Procurement Pamela Y. McMellon-Wells, Procurement Neil Williams, Retired, Mitchell &Titus Specialist, The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Specialist, The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Pamela Y. McMellon-Wells, Procurement

Specialist, The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

On-line Registration OPEN On-line Registration OPEN On-line Registration OPEN Full Conference: Full Conference: Members—$80 —$80 FullMembers Conference: General Admission—$100 General Admission—$100 Members—$80 Matchmaker Only: $100 Matchmaker Only : $100 General Admission —$100

609.571.1620 609.571.1620 Only: $100 609.571.1620

The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey is a non-profit corporation founded in 2007. A member of the National Black The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey is a non-profit corporation founded in 2007. A member of the National Black AACCNJ Mailing Address: 379 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey, 08618 AACCNJ Mailing Address: 379 West State Trenton, Jersey, 08618 The African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey is a non-profit corporation founded in Street, 2007. A memberNew of the National Black AACCNJ Mailing Address: 379 West State Street, Trenton, New Jersey, 08618

“Come experience our African Adventure at Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. See giraffes, lions and hyenas in exhibits designed to resemble their natural habitats. Learn about these magnificent animals, their importance to the wild and what we are doing at Turtle Back to strengthen their population and preserve the species.” Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Executive And The Board of Chosen Freeholders Invite you to Visit

The African Adventure

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo’s Newest Exhibit

Featuring Masai Giraffes Lions Hyenas Ostrich Whistling Ducks Eland

Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex Essex County Turtle Back Zoo 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ ~ 973-731-5800

Open Sunday to Saturday, 10AM to 4:30PM $12 for children ages 2-12 and senior citizens; $15 for adults; free for children under 2


September 24, 2017 September 24, 2017 September September 24, 24, 2017 2017 ──── September 24, 2017 September 24, 2017 ──── ──── ──── Riverbank State Park ──── ──── Riverbank State Park Riverbank State Park Riverbank State 12:00-4:00 pmPark for the 12:00-4:00 pm for the Riverbank State Park 12:00-4:00 pm for the Riverbank State Park 12:00-4:00 pm for activitiesthe activities 12:00-4:00 pm activities 12:00-4:00 pm for for the the activities activities ──── activities ──── ──── ──── th ──── Meet at 126 Street th ──── th Street Meet at 126 th Street Meet at 126 Meet at 126 Street th th th th Between 7 and thth th 8 thand Between 7 8 Street Meet at 126 th th Between 7 and 8 Meet at 126 Street Between 7 and 8 Avenue at 12:30 th th pm Avenue at 12:30 pm th Between 7 and 8 Avenue at Between and pm 8th Avenue at712:30 12:30 pm to join walk step to join the walk step Avenue atthe 12:30 pm to join walk step Avenue at 12:30 pm to join the the walk step off is 1:00 at 1:00 pm off isthe at pm to off join walk step is at pm to join walk step off isthe at 1:00 1:00 pm off is is at at 1:00 1:00 pm off ────pm ──── ──── ──── ──── ──── Health Screenings, Health Screenings, Health Health Screenings, Screenings, Vendors Vendors Health Screenings, Vendors Health Screenings, Vendors Entertainment Entertainment Vendors Entertainment Vendors Entertainment Entertainment Entertainment Special Guest at Special Guest Special Guest at Special Guest at at Special Guest Guest at at Special Riverbank State Park Riverbank State Park Riverbank State Park Riverbank State Park Riverbank State State Park Park Riverbank Dr. Oz Dr. Oz Dr.Dr. Oz Oz Dr. Oz Oz Dr.

CHHR CHHR CHHR CHHR September 24, 2017 P.O. Box 141 CHHR September 24, 2017 P.O. Box 141 CHHR September P.O. Box 141 P.O. Box 141 September24, 24,2017 2017 2241 Frederick Douglass 2241 Frederick Douglass Join with your friends, neighbors and community members in our September 24, 2017 P.O. Box 141 2241 Frederick Douglass 2241 Frederick Join your friends, neighbors and members in our September 24, 2017 P.O. Box 141 Douglass Blvd Join with with your friends, neighbors and community members in in ourour with yourWalk friends, neighbors andcommunity community members Blvd th Between annual Health and Health Fair. Meet at 126 th Street 2241 Frederick Frederick Douglass Blvd Street Between annual Health Walk and Health Fair. Meet at 126 Blvd 2241 Douglass th Join with your friends, neighbors and community members in our th Street New York, New York 10026 annual Health Walk and Health Fair. Meet atat 126 Street Between Join with your friends, neighbors and community members in our annual Health Walk and Health Fair. Meet 126 Between New York, New York 10026 th th 7 and 8 Avenue at 12:30 PM to join the walk. Step off is at 1:00 th th Blvd New York, New York 10026 7th and 8 Avenue at 12:30 PM to join the walk. Step off is at 1:00 Blvd th New York, New York 10026 th Street Between annual Health Walk and Health Fair. Meet at 126 th th th 7 and 8 Avenue at 12:30 PM to join the walk. Step off is at 1:00 Street Between annual Health Walk and Health Fair. Meet at 126 7 and 8 Avenue at 12:30 PM to join the walk. Step off is at 1:00 PM. The Walk ends at Riverbank State Park in Harlem where New York, New York 10026 PM. The Walk ends at Riverbank State Park in Harlem where New York, New York 10026 th th Facebook: 7 8 Avenue at 12:30 PM join the walk. Step off is at th and Facebook: PM. The ends State Park inin Harlem 7 and 8thWalk Avenue atat 12:30 PM to toand join the walk. Step offwhere iswhere at 1:00 1:00 PM. The Walk ends atRiverbank Riverbank State Park Harlem Facebook: there will be screenings, vendors free entertainment. Facebook: there will be screenings, vendors and free entertainment. PM. The Walk ends at Riverbank State Park in Harlem where there will be screenings, vendors and free entertainment. PM. The Walk ends at Riverbank State Park in Harlem where Facebook: there will be screenings, vendors and free entertainment. Facebook: HarlemCHHR/ HarlemCHHR/ there screenings, vendors there will will be be screenings, vendors and and free free entertainment. entertainment. HarlemCHHR/ HarlemCHHR/ HarlemCHHR/ HarlemCHHR/ On the Web: On the Web: On On the the Web: SEPTEMBER 24, 2017 WELLNESS Web: SEPTEMBER 24, 2017 WELLNESS On the Web: On the Web: SEPTEMBER 24, 2017 WELLNESS SEPTEMBER 24,HEALTH 2017 WELLNESS WALK AND FAIR WALK AND HEALTH FAIR WALK AND HEALTH FAIR WALK AND HEALTH FAIR


Wednesday, September 20, 2017 8:00AM - 3:00PM

The Interchurch Center 475 Riverside Drive @ 120th Street New York, NY 10115

Co-Convening Partners

• Bard Prison Ini�a�ve • The Redemp�on Center, Inc. • Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solu�ons • Greenhope Services for Women, Inc. • The Osborne Associa�on • College & Community Fellowship • Providence House, Inc. • Hour Children, Inc. • The Riverside Church in the City of New York • Women’s Prison Associa�on • New York Theological Seminary • The Fortune Society

For further informa�on, Email: or Call: 212-870-2945

Sheila Oliver Chosen as Phil Murpy’s Running Mate

Photo: Karen Waters


romising to be “very different,” Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver said she is excited to have been chosen by Phil Murphy as his running mate in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race. Murphy, Democratic candidate for governor of New Jersey, made the announcement on July 25, 2017 in front of a packed audience at his campaign headquarters in Newark. Oliver, the first and only African American woman to serve as Assembly speaker in the New Jersey Legislature, has been a prominent figure in New Jersey politics for over two decades including 12 years in the Assembly.

As lieutenant governor… “I will spend every minute of my time working to make this state better — for women, for children, for families, and for every single constituency group up and down the state of New Jersey,” she declared. “I will not be a lieutenant governor who handles and provides big tax breaks to our corporations, literally at the expense of middle class families.” “Sheila is the perfect person to help create an economy that is stronger and fairer for all New Jerseyans,” said Murphy. “ In the Assembly, Sheila has been a strong leader in standing up for working people against powerful interests. Most of all, she knows the hard work New Jerseyans do every day to put food on their tables and make ends meet. Sheila will stand up for your right to affordable healthcare, your children’s right to quality education, and a better economy for our future. I’m proud to know she’ll be fighting right alongside me.” The slogan for the campaign revealed at the press conference is, “Phil Murphy, Sheila Oliver: They have your back.” —TPC Staff

“Leadership Newark In Action Week”

L–R: Reinaldo Santiago, Aspira; Michelle Abel, PNC Bank; Kelly Brennan, Genova Burns; Marie-Jouvelle Faubourg, NYC Dept. of Education; April Virhuez, Prudential; Celia King, Leadership Newark; Kareem Willis, Yendor Productions; Use Dyer, La Casa de Don Pedro; Michelle Brown, Attorney-at-Law; Terri Seeney, Panasonic; Sharon Stroye, Rutgers University-Newark; Garvey Ince, Marion P. Thomas Charter School


eadership Newark, Inc. (LN) hosted its 2nd Newark in Action Week and 19th Anniversary Gala in May 2017, celebrating the accomplishments of four community bridge builders who have made an impact on the City of Newark through their dedication


The Positive Community Summer 2017

to strengthening the civic fiber of the city. The awards were presented to: La Casa de Don Pedro; Panasonic Corporation of North America; Leadership Newark Alumni Daniel A. McNeal, class of 2013 of Prudential; and Alle Ries, class of 2001 of M & T Bank.

Money M M Money

buiness, ďŹ nance + work buiness, ďŹ nance + work

Leon Leon Ellis Ellis Faith Faith &&Love Love Fuel FuelHis His Vision Vision By Glenda Cadogan By Glenda Cadogan

Summer 2017 The Positive Community 17 Summer 2017 Summer 2017 The ThePositive PositiveCommunity Community 17 17


rowing rowing rowing up up up on on on aaa farm farm farm in in in Clarendon Clarendon Clarendon Parish Parish Parish Jamaica, Leon Ellis had a lifetime of Jamaica, Jamaica, Leon Leon Ellis had hadinaa Clarendon lifetime lifetime worth worth worth of of rowing up on Ellis a farm Parish hands-on education about food. For most of hands-on hands-on education education abouta food. food. For Forworth mostofof Jamaica, Leon Ellis about had lifetime his life grew hands-on education about food. Forand mostgrew of his his life lifehis his hisfamily family familyate ate atewhat what whatthey they they grew grew and and grew grew what they ate. “Ours was a very traditional two-parent his life his family ate what they grew and grew what what they they ate. ate. “Ours “Ours was was aa very very traditional traditional two-parent two-parent what theyhome ate. “Ours very traditional Jamaican with 12 said Ellis, Jamaican Jamaican home home with withwas 12 12achildren,” children,” children,” said saidtwo-parent Ellis, Ellis, the the the Jamaican home with 12 children,” said Ellis, youngest son of the family. “Whether it was milking the youngest youngest son son of of the the family. family. “Whether “Whether itit was was milking milkingthe the youngest son ofwater, the family. “Whether the cows oror country life way of cows cows orfetching fetching fetching water, water, country country life lifehas has hasitaaawas way waymilking of ofteaching teaching teaching cows or fetching water, country life has a way of teaching you from an early age what it means to be responsible.” you you from from an an early early age what it means to be responsible.” responsible.” you an earlythen age what ithim means to Alabama be responsible.” His life’s toto where His Hisfrom life’s life’sjourney journey journey then thentook took tookhim him torural rural rural Alabama Alabama where wherehe he he His Tuskegee life’s journey then took There, him to rural Alabama wherepeohe attended University. he attended attended Tuskegee Tuskegee University. University. There, There, he helearned learned learned about about about peopeoattended Tuskegee University. There, learned aboutWith peo-aaa ple, ple, inparticular, particular, particular, the the empowerment empowerment of ofhe black black people. people. With With ple, inin the empowerment of black people. ple, in particular, the empowerment of black people. With a degree degreeinin infood food foodscience science scienceand and andnutrition nutrition nutritioncombined combined combinedwith with withhis his hisprior prior prior degree degree in food science and nutrition combined with his prior life lifeexperiences, experiences, experiences,itititwas was wasnot not notsurprising surprising surprisingthat that thatEllis Ellis Elliswent went wentinto into intothe the the life life experiences, it was not surprising that Ellis went into the food foodservice service servicebusiness, business, business,becoming becoming becomingone one oneof of ofthe the the most most most respected respected respected food food service business, becoming one of the most respected restaurant restaurantowners owners owners in Harlem. With With three well-established well-established restaurant restaurant ownersininHarlem. Harlem. With three three well-established businesses businesses to to his his credit credit and and a a fourth fourth on on the the way, way,Ellis Ellis Ellishas has has businesses to his credit and a fourth on the way, Ellis has businesses to his credit and a fourth on the way, proudly proudly trained trained upwards upwards of of 112 112 employees, employees, providing providing them them proudly trained upwards of 112 employees, providing them proudly trained upwards of 112 employees, providing them with with the the skill skill and and experience experience tobe be beproductive productive productivecitizens. citizens. citizens. with the skill and citizens. with the skill andexperience experiencetoto to be productive However, However, Ellis Ellis is not not your youraverage average averagerestaurateur; restaurateur; restaurateur;he he heisis is isaaaa However, he However,Ellis Ellisisis isnot notyour your average restaurateur; pioneer pioneer who who fueled fueled the the growth growthand and anddevelopment development developmentof of ofthe the thenow now now pioneer who fueled of the now pioneer who fueledthe thegrowth growth and development famous famous “Restaurant “Restaurant Row” Row” ofFrederick Frederick FrederickDouglas Douglas DouglasBlvd Blvd Blvdspanspanspanfamous “Restaurant Blvd spanfamous “RestaurantRow” Row”ofof of Frederick Douglas th th th Streets. thtoto th thth ning ning from from West West 110 110 to West West125 125 125th Streets.He He Hedid did didso, so, so,first first first ning from West110 110 toWest West 125 Streets. ning from West Streets. did so, first by opening opening Moca Moca Lounge, Lounge, his hissecond second secondrestaurant restaurant restaurantopened opened openedafter after after by opening MocaLounge, Lounge,his his second restaurant byby opening Moca opened after he had had built built up up clientele clientelewith with withhis his hisfirst first first venture, venture, venture,Emily’s Emily’s he had builtup upaaaaclientele his first venture, hehe had built Emily’s Restaurant, Restaurant, named named for forhis his hismother. mother. mother. Restaurant, namedfor Restaurant, named This This was was in 2003, 2003, and andfor for formaking making makingthis this thismove move moveto to toboldly boldly boldlygo go go This was in2003, 2003,and making this move This was inin to boldly go where no black before, people called him where where no no black black man man had had gone gone before, before, people people called called him him where no black man had gone before, people called him “crazy.”But Butnow nowthat that the the metal and method to “crazy.” “crazy.” But now metaland andmethod method methodto to tohis his his“madness” “madness” “madness” “crazy.” But now that the metal his “madness” have transformed an entire community, he is hailed asas have have transformed transformed an entire community, community, he he is is hailed hailed asaaaa have transformed an entire community, he is hailed as genius and a visionary. genius geniusand and anda aavisionary. visionary. visionary. genius “Backwhen when III opened opened Moca Moca Lounge people “Back “Back when opened MocaLounge Lounge Loungepeople people peopleasked asked askedme me meififif ifIIII “Back when I opened Moca asked me had lost my mind,” Ellis revealed.. “But despite its disaphad had lost lost my my mind,” mind,” Ellis Ellis revealed.. revealed.. “But “But despite despite its its disapdisaphadproving lost my mind,” Ellis revealed.. “But despite its disapreputation, knew that proving proving reputation, reputation, III knew knew that that Harlem Harlem Harlem was was wasalways always alwaysaaavery very very proving reputation, Harlemfuture was always aallvery strongcommunity. community.IIII knew could that see strong strong community. could could see see aaa bright bright bright future futurethrough through through all allofof of strong community.and I could see aIbright future through all of thedilapidation dilapidation drudgery. the the dilapidation and and drudgery. drudgery. II saw saw saw hope. hope. hope. IIIsaw saw sawpotential. potential. potential. thePeople dilapidation drudgery. I saw hope. I out sawofpotential. livingin inand the neighborhood neighborhood were People People living living in the the neighborhood were weregoing going going out out ofthe thearea area People living in the neighborhood were that going out provided of the area for their dining choices, so I just knew if we for for their their dining dining choices, choices, so so II just just knew knew that that if if we we provided provideda aa forplace theirwith dining choices, I just that if So wewith provided great food it so would beknew supported.” this ‘ifa place place with with great great food food itit would would be be supported.” supported.” So So with with this this ‘if ‘if youwith buildgreat it they would comebe attitude,’ Ellis put his money, place food it would supported.” So with this ‘if you you build build itit they they would would come come attitude,’ attitude,’ Ellis Ellis put put his his money, money, you build it they would come attitude,’ Ellis put his money,

continued on next page continued continued on on next next page page continued on next page

knowledge, savvy, savvy, and and most of of all all faith faith on on the scale — — willknowledge, most onthe thescale scale —willwillknowledge, savvy, and most of all faithfaith on the scale — willing to to bet bet that that they they outweighed the the crack crack houses, houses, abandoned abandoned ing outweighed crack houses, abandoned ing to bet that they outweighed the crack houses, abandoned lots,and anddrug drugdealers dealers dealers who ruled ruled the block. block. He was right. right. lots, and drug who the block. He was was right. lots, who ruled thethe block. He He was right. Moca Lounge became became an an oasis oasis in in a a desert desert that that was was then Moca Lounge a desert that was then Moca Lounge became an oasis in a desert that was thenthen Fredrick FredrickDouglas Douglas Douglas Blvd. Blvd.Moreover, Moreover, Moreover, ititit was was the flagship flagship that Fredrick Douglas Blvd. Moreover, was the flagship that Fredrick Blvd. it was the the flagship thatthat steered steeredthe the the way way for the revitalization revitalization of of area. steered the way for the revitalization of area. area. steered way forfor thethe revitalization of area. In In2010, 2010, 2010, with with Moca Moca the “Mothership” “Mothership” firmly firmly established, established, 2010, with Moca the “Mothership” firmly established, InIn with Moca thethe “Mothership” firmly established, Ellis Ellisthen then thenplayed played played what what was was his ace in in his hand hand by Ellis what was hishis aceace in his hand by opening Ellis then played what was his ace in his his hand by opening opening Chocolat Chocolat Restaurant Restaurant & Bar, Bar, an upscale upscale dining dining establishment establishment Chocolat Restaurant && Bar, an an upscale dining establishment Chocolat Restaurant & Bar, an upscale dining establishment that thatbrought brought broughtmore more more vibrancy vibrancy to Restaurant Restaurant Row. Row. “Fredrick “Fredrick that vibrancy to to Restaurant Row. “Fredrick that brought more vibrancy to Restaurant Row. “Fredrick Douglas Blvd was still what is Ellis. “Even Douglas Blvd was still not what is today,” said Ellis. “Even Douglas Blvd was still notnot what it isitit saidsaid Ellis. “Even Douglas Blvd was still not what ittoday,” istoday,” today,” said Ellis. “Even while people were still denigrating area, IIIhad confidence while people were still denigrating the area, had confidence while people were still denigrating thethe area, I had confidence while people were still denigrating the area, had confidence inin because it is my home andand I knew thatthat there werewere in Harlem because itit home III knew there inHarlem Harlem because it is is my my home and knew that there were Harlem because is my home and knew that there were lots of highly educated people making good money whowho lots of highly educated people making good money lots of highly educated people making good money lots of highly educated people making good money who who wanted to to eateat great food. So So in my mind, an upscale wanted place great food. wanteda aaplace a place place to eat great food. in my mind, an upscale wanted to eat great food. So So in in my my mind, mind,an anupscale upscale restaurant was a no-brainer.” Once again EllisEllis waswas rightright and and restaurant was aaa no-brainer.” Once restaurant was no-brainer.” Once again restaurant was no-brainer.” Once again again Ellis Elliswas wasright rightand and his calculated risk paid off huge dividends as Chocolat his his calculated calculated calculated risk risk paid paid off off huge huge dividends dividends as as Chocolat Chocolat his risk paid off huge dividends as Chocolat emerged pride in in Harlem, USA, attracting emerged emergedasas asa aaplace place placeof of of pride pride in Harlem, Harlem, USA, USA, attracting attracting as a place of pride and in Harlem, USA, a emerged vibrant neighborhood clientele people from all attracting over aa vibrant vibrant neighborhood neighborhood clientele clientele and and people people from from all all over over a vibrant neighborhood clientele and people from all over the world. the the world. world. the world. to these two thriving restaurants, Ellis is the InIn Inaddition addition addition to to these these two two thriving thriving restaurants, restaurants, Ellis Ellis is is the the In of addition toUnderground, these two thriving restaurants, Ellis is the owner Harlem a trendy establishment trad-tradowner of of Harlem Underground, trendy establishment tradowner Harlem Underground, aa trendy establishment owner of Harlem Underground, trendy establishment ing themed merchandise,a in-store and online. Bytrading inginin inHarlem Harlem Harlem themed themed merchandise, merchandise, in-store in-store and and online. online. By By ingend in of Harlem themed in-store and Coffee online. By the the summer hemerchandise, will have opened Ganache the the end end of of the the summer summer he he will will have have opened opened Ganache Ganache Coffee Coffee Company, coffee shophe serving amazing the end ofathe summer will have opened pastries Ganacheand Coffee Company, Company, aa coffee coffee shop shop serving serving amazing amazing pastries pastries and and desserts with an adjoining smoothie bar. amazing pastries and Company, a coffee shop serving desserts desserts with with an an adjoining adjoining smoothie smoothie bar. bar. Havingwith a sound head on strong shoulders part of the desserts an adjoining bar. is but Having Having a sound sound head head on onsmoothie strong strong shoulders shoulders is is but but part part of of the the secret to his aasuccess. The rest is his heart of love and belief Having sound head on strong shoulders is butand part of the secret secret to to his his success. success. The The rest rest is is his his heart heart of of love love and belief belief insecret God. to “My for God is rest at theiscore of everything do,”belief hislove success. hiscore heart love Iand in in declared. God. God. “My “My love love such for for The God God is is at at the the core of of of everything everything II do,” do,” hein “As I pray unceasingly every day. God. “My love for God is at the core of everything Iday. do,” he “As such II challenge pray every he declared. declared. “Asthat such pray unceasingly unceasingly every day. Therefore, I believe every faced is an opporhe declared. “As such I pray unceasingly day. Therefore, II believe challenge faced an Therefore, believe that every challenge faced is isevery an opporopportunity given by God to that solveevery a problem.” Therefore, I believe that every challenge faced is an opportunity by to solve tunity given by God God to desire solve aatoproblem.” problem.” Ellis given is driven by his make a difference in the tunity given by God a problem.” Ellis is is driven driven by byto his hissolve desire desire today make make aa difference difference in in the the livesEllis of people around him. “Everyto I aim to be the best Ellis is driven by his desire to make difference the lives lives of ofofpeople people around around him. him. “Every “Every day daygoal II aaim aim to be be the theinbest best version myself,” he said. “My overall is to always lives of people around him. “Every day I aim to be the best myself,” he said. “My overall is to always beversion whole,ofperfect, strong, powerful, loving,goal harmonious, version of myself,” he said.powerful, “My overall goalharmonious, is to always be happy.” whole, perfect, strong, loving, and be whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, Certainly and happy.”an attainable goal when blended with large andCertainly happy.” amounts of Moca, Ganache Certainly an an Chocolat, attainable attainableand goal goal when when added. blended blended with with large large Certainly an attainable goal when blended amounts amounts of of Moca, Moca, Chocolat, Chocolat, and and Ganache Ganache added. added. with large

amounts of Moca, Chocolat, and Ganache added. 18 The Positive Community Summer 2017

NA Summer Summer 2017 2017 The The Positive Positive Community Community NA

Summer 2017 The Positive Community

Summer 2017 The Positive Community


Bradhurst Merchants Association he Bradhurst Merchants Association (BMA) has partnered with HCCI since 2009 to help develop and sustain small businesses in the Bradhurst Business District of Harlem. Willie


Blalock of City National Bank and Kenneth Morrison of Lemor Development were honored at the organization’s 3rd Annual Cocktail Reception at MIST Harlem.

L–R: Willie Blalock, VP City National Bank; Nina Saxon, Office of NYC Comptroller; with Kenneth Morrison, president Lemor Development Corporation

L–R: Kenya Murray; Kenneth Morrison; Malcolm Punter; Hon. Charles Rangel; LeChena Clark, president, Bradhurst Merchants Association; and NYS Senator Brian Benjamin

Summer 2017 The Positive Community


Hire. Buy. Live. Newark. Strengthening the City's Economy L–R: Darrell Terry, Newark Beth Israel and Barry Ostrowsky, RJWBarnabas Health

L–R: Newark Mayor Ras. J. Baraka introduces co-chairs of The Newark 2020 initiative, Kimberly Baxter McLain, Newark Alliance and Ryan Haygood, NJ Institute for Social Justice

L–R:, Deborah SmithGregory, Newark NAACP; Kimberly Baxter McLain; and Richard Cammarieri, New Community Corporation

L–R: Monica Slater Stokes, United Airlines; Shané Harris, Prudential; and Vivian Cox Fraser, Urban League of Newark and West Essex


he city’s premiere corporate CEOs, leaders of social justice, community development, and educational institutions joined Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka at a City Hall news conference as he announced a landmark initiative designed to strengthen the city's economy. Rolled out on July 25, just a few weeks shy of the 50th anniversary of the Newark rebellion, the groundbreaking partnership, Hire. Buy. Live. Newark, has three interrelated strategies: Newark 2020, which will connect 2,020 of the city's unemployed to full-time living wage jobs by the year 2020; Buy Newark, which will support the growth of local businesses and match them to the purchasing needs of other Newark businesses large and small; and, Live Newark, which will attract more employees, faculty, and students to live in the city and provide existing residents with additional

rental and home ownership choices and incentives. Newark 2020 is the Hire. Buy. Live initiative aimed at cutting unemployment. The partners are building a system that includes training and hiring pathways to the jobs identified as being available to Newark residents.  The growing list of Hire. Buy. Live. Newark partners includes City of Newark, PNCT, Prudential, RWJ Barnabas Health, Rutgers-Newark, PSEG. Panasonic, LISC, the Victoria Foundation, Audible, United Airlines, NJ Institute of Technology, Edison Properties, the NJ Institute for Social Justice, the Newark Alliance, the Newark Anchor Collaborative, Maher Terminals, The Newark Community Development Network (NCDN), Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Prudential Center, Horizon, Verizon, and the City-wide Interfaith Clergy Council. —TPC Staff Photos: Raymond Hagans

Mayor Baraka with the growing list of corporate and community leaders for Hire. Buy. Live. Newark partners include City of Newark, PNCT, Prudential, RWJ Barnabas Health, RutgersNewark, PSE&G. Panasonic, LISC, the Victoria Foundation, Audible, United Airlines, NJ Institute of Technology, Edison Properties, the NJ Institute for Social Justice, the Newark Alliance, the Newark Anchor Collaborative, Maher Terminals, The Newark Community Development Network (NCDN), Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, Prudential Center, Horizon, Verizon, and the City-wide Interfaith Clergy Council


The Positive Community Summer 2017

L–R: Vincent M. Rouse, Sr., Pleasant Grove BC, NJ and Reginald Lewis, Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC)

HARLEM By Herb Herb Boyd Boyd By Special to to The The Positive Positive Community Community Special


here’s no no better better barometer barometer of of aa community’s community’s health health ries,” ries,” said said Damon Damon Young, Young, the the store’s store’s team team leader leader during during here’s and whether it’s moving forward than the arrival of a press conference. “Our many Harlem community partand whether it’s moving forward than the arrival of a press conference. “Our many Harlem community partnew businesses, economic development, employners have helped us create a wonderful store that enables new businesses, economic development, employ- ners have helped us create a wonderful store that enables ment opportunities, opportunities, and and thriving thriving cultural cultural institutions. institutions. us us to to provide provide local local jobs, jobs, support support community community artisans, artisans, and and ment Many of these ingredients came together recently in one serve Harlem residents with the highest quality natural Many of these ingredients came together recently in one serve Harlem residents with the highest quality natural fell swoop swoop when when Whole Whole Foods Foods Market Market opened opened in in the the and and organic organic foods.” foods.” fell heart of Harlem. It’s not clear the number number of of new new hires hires or or whether whether heart of Harlem. It’s not clear the For years, the corner of 125th Street and Malcolm X there will be stipulations that they be Harlem residents as For years, the corner of 125th Street and Malcolm X there will be stipulations that they be Harlem residents as Boulevard was just a huge, vacant lot with occasional some other new businesses have promised in the past. Boulevard was just a huge, vacant lot with occasional some other new businesses have promised in the past. announcements that that construction construction was was imminent. imminent. Whole Whole Even Even so, so, the the store store was was enthusiastically enthusiastically greeted greeted by by aa coterie coterie announcements Foods, with its 40,000-square-foot store, joins the of dignitaries and shoppers, all of them eager to tour the Foods, with its 40,000-square-foot store, joins the of dignitaries and shoppers, all of them eager to tour the Raymour & Flanigan Furniture and Mattress Store, and vast market and sample the goods. Raymour & Flanigan Furniture and Mattress Store, and vast market and sample the goods. Olive Garden Garden Restaurant Restaurant in in occupying occupying the the corner. corner. An interesting interesting facet facet of of the the store store is is the the extent extent to to which which Olive An More than the quality brand items, Whole Foods preit caters to commuters who can step up to the Cuban More than the quality brand items, Whole Foods pre- it caters to commuters who can step up to the Cuban miered 20 20 local local product product vendors, vendors, aa miered move facilitated by Harlem Park to Park, Park, move facilitated by Harlem Park to an organization of neighborhood-based an organization of neighborhood-based entrepreneurs. Among Among the the vendors vendors are are entrepreneurs. Mama’s One Sauce, a line of spicy mariMama’s One Sauce, a line of spicy marinades, created created by by noted noted Harlemite Harlemite Vy Vy nades, Higginsen, who has been a mainstay in Higginsen, who has been a mainstay in aa variety of of entertainment entertainment ventures. ventures. Not Not variety only will the sauce be available, her Sing only will the sauce be available, her Sing Harlem Choir Choir is is scheduled scheduled for for weekly weekly Harlem performances at the store. A little sauce performances at the store. A little sauce and song for customers. and song for customers. Sylvia’s, Harlem’s Harlem’s perennial perennial venue venue for for Sylvia’s, the Queen of Soul Food, will have severthe Queen of Soul Food, will have several products, products, along along with with Egunsi Egunsi Foods’ Foods’ al packaged West African soups, Harlem packaged West African soups, Harlem Pie Man’s Man’s six-inch six-inch delights, delights, and and Pie Ginjian’s traditional African beverages. Ginjian’s traditional African beverages. Whole Foods Foods Market Market Opening Opening Day Day in in Harlem. Harlem. Photo: Photo: Bruce Bruce Moore Moore “We are are thrilled thrilled to to serve serve the the historic historic Whole “We and vibrant Harlem community, where and vibrant Harlem community, where personally have have many many fond fond memomemoII personally continued on on next next page page continued

Summer 2017 2017 The The Positive Community Community 21 Summer Summer 2017 ThePositive Positive Community 21


continued from previous page continued continued from from previous previous page page continued from previous page continued continued continued from from previous previous page page continued from from previous previous page page

apartments, apartments, aaaaahotel, ahotel, and and aaaaacultural acultural cultural center. center. Planners Planners say say apartments, ahotel, hotel, a cultural center. Planners apartments, and center. Planners say apartments, apartments, apartments, hotel, hotel, and and and cultural cultural center. center. center. Planners Planners Planners say say say apartments, a hotel, hotel, andand a cultural cultural center. Planners say say the the century-old century-old Victoria Victoria will will be be incorporated incorporated into into this this the century-old Victoria will be incorporated into this the century-old Victoria be incorporated into this the the the century-old century-old century-old Victoria Victoria Victoria will will will will be be be incorporated incorporated incorporated into into into this this this the century-old Victoria will be incorporated into this residential-hotel residential-hotel hybrid hybrid and and reimagined reimagined asas aasaaavital avital vital culturculturresidential-hotel hybrid and reimagined residential-hotel residential-hotel residential-hotel hybrid hybrid hybrid and and and reimagined reimagined reimagined as as as vital vital culturculturculturresidential-hotel hybrid and reimagined as aculturvital culturresidential-hotel hybrid and reimagined as aavital vital culturalal center. alcenter. center. al al al center. center. center. al center. al center. The The project project has has lain lain fallow fallow for for almost almost asas long long asas the the The project has lain fallow for almost long the The The The project project project has has has lain lain lain fallow fallow fallow for for for almost almost almost as as asas long long long as asas the the the The project has lain fallow for almost as long as the The project has lain fallow for almost as as long as the corner corner where where Whole Whole Foods Foods now now reigns. reigns. “The “The Victoria Victoria corner where Whole Foods now reigns. “The Victoria corner corner corner where where where Whole Whole Whole Foods Foods Foods now now nownow reigns. reigns. reigns. “The “The “The“The Victoria Victoria Victoria corner where Whole Foods now reigns. “The Victoria corner where Whole Foods reigns. Victoria represents represents aaaatime atime time when when an an audience audience could could celebrate celebrate the the represents when an audience could celebrate the represents represents represents time time when when when an an an audience audience audience could could could celebrate celebrate celebrate the the the represents aatime time when an audience could celebrate the represents a historical time when an audience could celebrate the talents talents of of many many historical figures figures for for the the greatness greatness of talents of many historical figures for the greatness of talents talents talents of of of of many many many historical historical historical figures figures figures for for for the the the greatness greatness greatness of of ofof of talents of many historical figures for the greatness of talents many historical figures for the greatness their their art art and and the the barriers barriers they they crossed crossed toto get toget get there,” there,” said said their art and the barriers they crossed there,” said their their their art art art and and and the the the barriers barriers barriers they they they crossed crossed crossed to to to get get get there,” there,” there,” said said said their art and the barriers they crossed to get there,” said their art and the barriers they crossed to get there,” said Assemblywoman Assemblywoman Inez Inez Dickens, Dickens, who who grew grew up up in in Harlem Harlem Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, who grew up in Harlem Assemblywoman Assemblywoman Assemblywoman Inez Inez Inez Dickens, Dickens, Dickens, who who who grew grew grew up up up in in in Harlem Harlem Harlem Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, who grew up in Harlem Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, who grew up in Harlem and and often often attended attended the the theater. theater. “Now, “Now, we we will will once once and often attended the theater. “Now, we will once and and and often often often attended attended attended the the the theater. theater. theater. “Now, “Now, “Now, we we we will will will once once once and often attended the theater. “Now, we will once and often attended the theater. “Now, we will again again have have a proper a proper venue venue to celebrate to celebrate a new a new generation generation again have a proper venue to celebrate a new generation again again again have have have aaaa proper proper proper venue venue venue to to to celebrate celebrate celebrate aaaa new new new generation generation generation once again have proper venue to celebrate new generation Coffee Coffee stand, stand, grab grab aaaaropa aropa ropa vieja vieja sandwich sandwich with with braised braised beef beefofof artists.” of artists.” again have a proper venue to celebrate a new generation Coffee stand, grab vieja sandwich with braised beef Coffee Coffee Coffee stand, stand, stand, grab grab grab a ropa ropa ropa vieja vieja vieja sandwich sandwich sandwich with with with braised braised braised beef beef beef artists.” Coffee stand, grab a ropa vieja sandwich with braised beef of of of artists.” artists.” artists.” artists.” and and chimichurri, chimichurri, and and not not miss miss the the nearby nearby number number 2222or 2or or 3beef 3 ofAccording Coffee stand, grab a ropa vieja sandwich with braised According to sources to sources familiar familiar with with the the project, project, the the iniiniof artists.” and chimichurri, and not miss the nearby number 3 and and and chimichurri, chimichurri, chimichurri, and and and not not not miss miss miss the the the nearby nearby nearby number number number 2 or or or 3 3 3 According to sources familiar with the project, the iniand chimichurri, and not miss the nearby number 2 or 3 According According According to to to sources sources sources familiar familiar familiar with with with the the the project, project, project, the the iniiniAccording to sources familiar with the project, the initrain. train. Other Other ethnic ethnic choices choices atat at the the store store are are the the lamb lamb and chimichurri, and not miss nearby number 2 or 3 tial tial plans plans to to have have the the complex complex house house Jazzmobile, Jazzmobile, the the train. Other ethnic choices the store are the lamb According to sources familiar with the project, the initrain. train. train. Other Other Other ethnic ethnic ethnic choices choices choices at at at the the the store store store are are are the the the lamb lamb lamb tial plans to have the complex house Jazzmobile, the train. Other ethnic choices at the store are the lamb tial tial tial plans plans plans to to to have have have the the the complex complex complex house house house Jazzmobile, Jazzmobile, Jazzmobile, the the the tial plans to have the complex house Jazzmobile, the kofta, kofta, harissa harissa chicken, chicken, and and falafel falafel pitas, pitas, on on platters platters and and in inHarlem Harlem Arts Arts Alliance, Alliance, the the Classical Classical Theater, Theater, and and the the train. Other ethnic choices at the store are the lamb kofta, harissa chicken, and falafel pitas, on platters and in kofta, kofta, kofta, harissa harissa harissa chicken, chicken, chicken, and and and falafel falafel falafel pitas, pitas, pitas, on on on platters platters platters and and and in in in tial plans to have the complex house Jazzmobile, Harlem Arts Alliance, the Classical Theater, and the kofta, harissa chicken, and falafel pitas, on platters and in Harlem Harlem Harlem Arts Arts Arts Alliance, Alliance, Alliance, the the the Classical Classical Classical Theater, Theater, Theater, and and and the the the the Harlem Arts Alliance, the Classical Theater, and the hummus hummus bowls. bowls. Apollo Apollo Theater Theater remain remain intact intact with with the the overall overall managemanagehummus bowls. kofta, harissa chicken, and falafel pitas, on platters and in hummus hummus hummus bowls. bowls. bowls. Apollo Theater remain intact with the overall manageHarlem Arts remain Alliance, thewith Classical Theater, and the hummus bowls. Apollo Apollo Apollo Theater Theater Theater remain remain intact intact intact with with the the the overall overall overall managemanageApollo Theater remain intact with the overall manageThese These food food and and cuisine cuisine choices choices will will blend blend well well with with the the ment ment conducted conducted byby by the the theater. theater. The The structure structure will will also also These food These These These food food food and and and cuisine cuisine cuisine choices choices choices will will will blend blend blend well well well with with with the the the hummus conducted the theater. The structure will also Thesebowls. foodand andcuisine cuisinechoices choiceswill willblend blendwell wellwith withthe the ment ment ment ment conducted conducted conducted by by by the the the theater. theater. theater. The The The structure structure structure will will will also also also Apollo Theater remain intact with the overall management conducted by the theater. The structure will also upcoming upcoming Harlem Harlem Week Week with with itsits its theme theme “Harlem: “Harlem: Home Homeinclude include a low-grade a low-grade parking parking facility. facility. The The apartments apartments will will upcoming Harlem Week with theme “Harlem: Home upcoming upcoming upcoming Harlem Harlem Harlem Week Week Week with with with its its its theme theme theme “Harlem: “Harlem: “Harlem: Home Home Home include a low-grade parking facility. The apartments will These food and cuisine choices will blend well with the upcoming Harlem Week with its theme “Harlem: Home include include include low-grade low-grade low-grade parking parking parking facility. facility. The The The apartments apartments apartments will will ment aaaaconducted by the facility. theater. The structurewill will also include low-grade parking facility. The apartments will ofof Immigrants.” ofImmigrants.” Immigrants.” With With the the focus focus on on Cuba, Cuba, the the Dominican Dominicanbe be tiered tiered on on various various income income levels, levels, including including a good a good perperWith the focus on Cuba, the Dominican of of of Immigrants.” Immigrants.” With With With the the the focus focus focus on on on Cuba, Cuba, Cuba, the the the Dominican Dominican Dominican be tiered on various income levels, including a good perof Immigrants.” thewith focusitsontheme Cuba,“Harlem: the Dominican be beinclude tiered tiered tiered on on on various various various income income income levels, levels, levels, including including including aaaaapartments good good good perperper- will upcoming HarlemWith Week Home be be tiered on various income levels, including good pera low-grade parking facility. The Republic, Republic, and and Senegal, Senegal, the the menus menus atat at Whole Whole Foods Foods will will centage centage atat affordable ataffordable affordable rates. rates. Republic, and menus Foods will Republic, Republic, Republic, and and and Senegal, Senegal, Senegal, the the the menus menus menus at at at Whole Whole Whole Foods Foods Foods will will will rates. Republic, and Senegal, Senegal, the menus at Whole Whole Foods will centage centage centage centage at at at affordable affordable affordable rates. rates. rates. of Immigrants.” With thethe focus on Cuba, the Dominican centage at affordable rates. beAt tiered on various income levels, including a good complement complement the the specialty specialty restaurants restaurants who who for for years years have have At a cost a cost of nearly of nearly $180 $180 million, million, the the project project isis slated isslated slated toto to percomplement the specialty restaurants who for years have complement complement complement the the the specialty specialty specialty restaurants restaurants restaurants who who who for for for years years years have have have At a cost of nearly $180 million, the project complement the specialty restaurants who for years have At At At a a a cost cost cost of of of nearly nearly nearly $180 $180 $180 million, million, million, the the the project project project is is is slated slated slated to to to Republic, and Senegal, the menus at Whole Foods will At a cost of nearly $180 million, the project is slated to centage atinaffordable rates. been been serving serving their their unique unique clienteles. clienteles. be completed completed 2019, in2019, 2019, thanks thanks toto such tosuch such financial financial backers backers asas been their unique clienteles. been been been serving serving serving their their their unique unique unique clienteles. clienteles. clienteles. be completed in thanks financial backers beenserving servingthe their uniquerestaurants clienteles. who for years havebe be be be completed completed completed in in in 2019, 2019, 2019, thanks thanks thanks to to to such such such financial financial financial backers backers backers as as asas to be completed in 2019, thanks to such financial backers as complement specialty At a cost of nearly $180 million, theCapital. project is The slated And And Harlem Harlem Week, Week, as the as the world world has has come come to know, to know, is is the the Chinese-owned Chinese-owned Lam Lam Group Group and and Exact Exact Capital. The And Harlem Week, as the world has come to know, is And And And Harlem Harlem Harlem Week, Week, Week, as as as the the the world world world has has has come come come to to to know, know, know, is is is the Chinese-owned Lam Group and Exact Capital. The And Harlem Week, as the world has come to know, is the the the Chinese-owned Chinese-owned Chinese-owned Lam Lam Lam Group Group Group and and and Exact Exact Exact Capital. Capital. Capital. The The the Lam Group and Exact Capital. The been serving their unique clienteles. beChinese-owned completed in 2019, thanks toThomas such financial backers always always aaaaagood agood good gauge gauge on on how how the the community community isis moving ismoving movingbuilding building was was designed designed byby by architect architect Thomas Lamb Lamb for for the the as always gauge on how the community always always always good good good gauge gauge gauge on on on how how how the the the community community community is is is moving moving moving building was designed architect Thomas Lamb for the always a good gauge on how the community is moving building building building was was was designed designed designed by by by architect architect architect Thomas Thomas Thomas Lamb Lamb Lamb for for for the the the building was designed by architect Thomas Lamb for the And Harlem Week, as the world has come to know, is forward forward and and reaching reaching out out to to an an ever ever increasing increasing populapopulathe Chinese-owned Lam Group and Exact Capital. Loew’s Corporation Corporation inin 1917, 1917, and, and, for for the the most most part, part, the the The forward forward forward forward and and and reaching reaching reaching out out out to to to an an an ever ever ever increasing increasing increasing populapopulapopulaLoew’s Corporation 1917, and, for the most part, the forward and and reaching reaching out out to to an an ever ever increasing increasing populapopula- Loew’s Loew’s Loew’s Loew’s Corporation Corporation Corporation in in inin 1917, 1917, 1917, and, and, and, for for for the the the most most most part, part, part, the the the Loew’s Corporation in 1917, and, for the most part, the always a good gauge on how the community is moving tion tion of of cultures. cultures. When When the the Harlem/Japan Harlem/Japan Gospel Gospel choir choir building was designed by architect Thomas Lamb for classic exterior exterior will will be be retained. retained. After After aaaaseries aseries series ofof events ofevents events inin in the tion tion tion tion of of cultures. cultures. When When When the the the Harlem/Japan Harlem/Japan Harlem/Japan Gospel Gospel Gospel choir choir choir classic exterior will be retained. After tion of of cultures. cultures. When When the the Harlem/Japan Harlem/Japan Gospel Gospel choir choir classic classic classic classic exterior exterior exterior will will will be be be retained. retained. retained. After After After series series of of of events events events in in in classic exterior will be retained. After aaseries series of events in makes makes an an appearance—and appearance—and probably more than than once oncethe forward and reaching out toprobably an ever more increasing populathe late late eighties, eighties, the the theater theater was was closed closed and and has has had had to Loew’s Corporation in 1917, and, for the most part, makes an appearance—and probably more than once makes makes makes an an an appearance—and appearance—and appearance—and probably probably probably more more more than than than once once once the late eighties, the theater was closed and has had to makes an appearance—and probably more than once the the the late late late eighties, eighties, eighties, the the the theater theater theater was was was closed closed closed and and and has has has had had had to to toto the the late eighties, the theater was closed and has had to during during the the month month long long Week—attendees Week—attendees will will get get another another tion of cultures. When the Harlem/Japan Gospel choir endure endure inclement inclement weather, weather, urban urban blight, blight, and and the the indifferindifferduring the month long Week—attendees will get another classic exterior will be retained. After a series of events in during during during the the the month month month long long long Week—attendees Week—attendees Week—attendees will will will get get get another another another endure inclement weather, urban blight, and the indifferduring the month long Week—attendees will get another endure endure endureinclement inclement inclementweather, weather, weather,urban urban urbanblight, blight, blight,and and andthe the theindifferindifferindifferendure inclement weather, urban blight, and the indiffertaste taste ofof global ofglobal global mixture. mixture. makes an appearance—and probably more than once ence ence of developers of developers and and the the lack lack of funds. of funds. taste mixture. the late eighties, the theater was closed and has had to taste taste taste of of global global mixture. mixture. ence of developers and the lack of funds. taste of global mixture. ence ence ence of of of developers developers developers and and and the the the lack lack lack of of of funds. funds. funds. of developers and the lack of funds. Whole Whole Foods Foods may may be be commanding commanding the the media media atanother the atthe the ence When When our our cultural cultural institutions institutions encounter encounter financial financial during the month long Week—attendees will get Whole Foods may be commanding the media at Whole Whole Whole Foods Foods Foods may may may be be be commanding commanding commanding the the the media media media at at at the the the endure inclement weather, urban blight, and the indifferWhen our cultural institutions encounter financial When When When our our our cultural cultural cultural institutions institutions institutions encounter encounter encounter financial financial financial Whole Foods may be commanding the media at the When our cultural institutions encounter financial moment, moment, but but further further down down 125th 125th Street Street the the fabled fabled challenges challenges the more more creative creative ones have have pooled pooled their their moment, but further taste of global moment, moment, moment, but but but further further further down down down 125th 125th 125th Street Street Street the the the fabled fabled fabled the more creative ones have pooled their ence of the developers and theones lack of funds. challenges challenges challenges the the the more more more creative creative creative ones ones ones have have have pooled pooled pooled their their their moment, butmixture. further down down 125th 125th Street Street the the fabled fabled challenges challenges the more creative ones have pooled their Victoria Victoria Theater, Theater, aaaaalongstanding abe longstanding relic, relic, isis is getting getting athe aresources resources in in order order to to move move forward, forward, and and the the example example Victoria Theater, longstanding relic, getting a Victoria Victoria Victoria Theater, Theater, Theater, longstanding longstanding longstanding relic, relic, relic, is is is getting getting getting a a a Whole Foods may commanding the media at resources in order to move forward, and the example resources resources in in our order order order to to to move move moveinstitutions forward, forward, forward, and and and the the the example example example Victoria Theater, a longstanding relic, is getting a resources Whenin cultural encounter financial resources in order to move forward, and the example makeover. makeover. After After years years ofof of fits fits and and starts, starts, renovation renovation isis is recently recently launched launched byby by the the Maysles Maysles Cinema Cinema inin collaboracollaboramakeover. After years renovation makeover. makeover. makeover. After After After years years years of of fits fits fits and and and starts, starts, starts, renovation renovation renovation is is is launched the Maysles Cinema collaboramoment, but further down 125th Street the fabled recently recently recently launched launched launched by by by the the the Maysles Maysles Maysles Cinema Cinema Cinema in in inin collaboracollaboracollaboramakeover. After years of of fits fits and and starts, starts, renovation is recently challenges the more creative ones have pooled their recently launched by the Maysles Cinema in collaboraunderway underway on on the the vintage vintage building. building. Envisioned Envisioned are are 191 191 tion tion with with the the Studio Studio Museum, Museum, the the Reel Reel Harlem: Harlem: The The underway on building. are underway underway underway on on on the the the vintage vintage building. building. building. Envisioned Envisioned Envisioned are are are 191 191 191 with the Reel Harlem: tion tion tion with with with the the the Studio Studio Studio Museum, Museum, Museum, the the the Reel Reel Reel Harlem: Harlem: Harlem: The The The underway on the the vintage vintage building. Envisioned Envisioned are 191 191 ation Victoria Theater, avintage longstanding relic, is getting tion with the Studio Museum, the Reel Harlem: The resources inStudio orderMuseum, to movethe forward, and theThe example Historic Harlem Harlem Parks Parks Film Film Festival Festival should should be be emulated. emulated. Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival should be emulated. Historic Historic Historic Harlem Harlem Harlem Parks Parks Parks Film Film Film Festival Festival Festival should should should be be be emulated. emulated. emulated. makeover. After years of fits and starts, renovation isHistoric Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival should be emulated. recently launched by the Maysles Cinema in collaboraSimilar Similar activities activities are are taking taking place place in community in community churches churches Similar activities are taking place in community churches Similar Similar activities activities activities are are are taking taking taking place place place in in in community community community churches churches churches underway on the vintage building. Envisioned are 191 Similar Similar activities are taking place in community churches tion with the Studio Museum, the Reel Baptist Harlem: and and youth youth groups, groups, particularly particularly atat Abyssinian Abyssinian Baptist The and youth groups, particularly Abyssinian Baptist and and and youth youth youth groups, groups, groups, particularly particularly particularly at at atat Abyssinian Abyssinian Abyssinian Baptist Baptist Baptist and youth groups, particularly at Abyssinian Baptist Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival should be emulated. Church Church with with itsits its “Youth “Youth on on the the Move” Move” projects. projects. Church with “Youth on the Move” projects. Church Church Church with with with its its its “Youth “Youth “Youth on on on the the the Move” Move” Move” projects. projects. projects. Church with its “Youth on the Move” projects. Similar activities are taking place in community churches Also, Also, there there isis afresh fresh wave wave ofof enthusiasm, enthusiasm, especially especially Also, there wave enthusiasm, especially Also, Also, Also, there there there is is isaisaaaaafresh fresh fresh fresh wave wave wave of of ofof enthusiasm, enthusiasm, enthusiasm, especially especially especially Also, there is fresh wave of enthusiasm, especially and youth groups, particularly at Abyssinian Baptist from from local local artists artists with with the the opening opening ofof the the Wallach Wallach Art Art from local artists with the opening the Wallach Art from from from local local local artists artists artists with with with the the the opening opening opening of of ofof the the the Wallach Wallach Wallach Art Art Art from local artists with the opening of the Wallach Art Church with its University. “Youth on The the Move” projects. Gallery Gallery atat Columbia atColumbia Columbia University. The gallery gallery debuts debuts with with aaaaaa Gallery University. The gallery debuts with Gallery Gallery Gallery at at at Columbia Columbia Columbia University. University. University. The The The gallery gallery gallery debuts debuts debuts with with with Gallery at Columbia University. The gallery debuts with a triennial triennial entitled entitled “Uptown,” “Uptown,” featuring featuring such such notable notable Also, there is a fresh wave of enthusiasm, especially triennial entitled “Uptown,” featuring such notable triennial triennial triennial entitled entitled entitled “Uptown,” “Uptown,” “Uptown,” featuring featuring featuring such such such notable notable notable triennial entitled “Uptown,” featuring such notable artists artists asas Ademola Ademola Olugebefola, Olugebefola, Michael Kelly Kelly Williams, Williams, from local artists with the Michael opening of the Wallach Art artists Ademola Olugebefola, Michael Kelly Williams, artists artists artists as as asas Ademola Ademola Ademola Olugebefola, Olugebefola, Olugebefola, Michael Michael Michael Kelly Kelly Kelly Williams, Williams, Williams, artists as Ademola Olugebefola, Michael Kelly Williams, Renee Renee Cox, Cox, John John Pinderhughes, Pinderhughes, and and Jessica Jessica Rankin. Rankin. At Gallery at Columbia University. The gallery debuts with a Renee Cox, John Pinderhughes, and Jessica Rankin. Renee Renee Renee Cox, Cox, Cox, John John John Pinderhughes, Pinderhughes, Pinderhughes, and and and Jessica Jessica Jessica Rankin. Rankin. Rankin.AtAt At At At Renee Cox, John Pinderhughes, and Jessica Rankin. At Clinton Clinton Shabazz Shabazz isis is 11-year-old Sylvia's Sylvia's Soul Soul 11-year-old Mikaila Mikaila least Clinton Shabazz Sylvia's Soul 11-year-old Mikaila Clinton Clinton Clinton Shabazz Shabazz Shabazz is is is Sylvia's Sylvia's Sylvia's Soul Soul Soul least there there is one is one positive positive development development from from the the conflict conflict 11-year-old 11-year-old 11-year-old Mikaila Mikaila Mikaila Clinton Shabazz is Sylvia's Soul 11-year-old Mikaila triennial entitled “Uptown,” featuring such notable least there is one positive development from the conflict least least there there there is is is one one one positive positive positive development development development from from from the the the conflict conflict conflict the the Harlem Harlem Pie Pie Man Man Ulmer’s Food Food products products least there is one positive development from the conflict Ulmer’s "Me "Me & The &The The least the Harlem Pie Food products "Me the the the Harlem Harlem Harlem Pie Pie Pie Man Man Man Food Food Food products products products Ulmer’s Ulmer’s Ulmer’s "Me "Me "Me The The the Harlem PieMan Man Ulmer’s Food products that ensued ensued with with the the university’s university’s expansion. expansion. IsIs affordable Isaffordable affordable Ulmer’s "Me&&&& &The The that that ensued with the university’s expansion. artists as Ademola Olugebefola, Michael Kelly Williams, and and his his sweet sweet are are featured. featured. that that that ensued ensued ensued with with with the the the university’s university’s university’s expansion. expansion. expansion. Is Is Is affordable affordable affordable Bees" Bees" Lemonade, Lemonade, that ensued with the university’s expansion. Is affordable and his sweet are featured. Bees" Lemonade, and and and his his his sweet sweet are are are featured. featured. featured. Bees" Bees" Bees" Lemonade, Lemonade, Lemonade, and his sweet sweet are featured. Bees" Lemonade, housing next next on on the the agenda? agenda? treats treats are are a aahit ahit at hit at available Photo: Photo: available inin Harlem in Harlem housing housing next on the agenda? housing housing housing next next next on on on the the the agenda? agenda? agenda? Renee Cox, John Pinderhughes, and Jessica Rankin. At treats are hit at Photo: available Harlem treats treats treats are are are a a hit hit at at at Photo: Photo: Photo: housing next on the agenda? available available available in in in Harlem Harlem Harlem treats are a hit at Photo: available inWhole Harlem Whole Whole Foods. Foods. So, asas as ever, ever, Harlem Harlem isis moving moving forward, forward, seemingly seemingly and many many Whole Clinton Shabazz is and Sylvia's Soul 11-year-old Mikaila So, Whole Foods. So, ever, Harlem moving forward, seemingly and many Whole Whole Whole Whole Foods. Foods. Foods. So, So, So, as as as ever, ever, ever, Harlem Harlem Harlem is is isis moving moving moving forward, forward, forward, seemingly seemingly seemingly and and and many many many Whole Whole Whole least there is one positive development from the conflict Whole Foods. So, as ever, Harlem is moving forward, seemingly and many Whole Photo: Photo: Foods Markets Markets the Harlem Pie Man Foods Food products always against against the the current, current, but but borne borne back back ceaselessly ceaselessly toto Ulmer’s "Me & The always Photo: Foods Markets Photo: Photo: Photo: Foods Foods Foods Markets Markets Markets always the current, but borne back ceaselessly Photo: always always always against against against the the the current, current, current, but but but borne borne borne back back back ceaselessly ceaselessly ceaselessly to to toto Foods Markets always against the current, but borne back ceaselessly to that against ensued with the university’s expansion. Is affordable across across the the country. country. past and his sweet are featured. Bees"the Lemonade, country. past glories.. glories.. across across across the the the country. country. country. across across the country. past glories.. past past past glories.. glories.. glories.. glories.. Photo: Whole Whole Foods Foods housing next on the agenda? treats are a hit at Photo: Photo: Photo: Whole Foods available Harlem past Photo: Photo: Photo: Whole Whole Whole Foods Foods Foods Photo: Wholein Foods Market Market Market Whole Foods. So, as ever, Harlem is moving forward, seemingly Market Market Market and many Whole Market 22 22 The The Positive Positive Community Community Summer 2017 2017 22 The Positive Community Summer Photo:Summer 22 The The The Positive Positive Positive Community Community Community Summer Summer Summer 2017 2017 2017 Foods Markets always against the current, but borne back ceaselessly to ThePositive PositiveCommunity Community Summer2017 2017 22 The Summer 2017 across the country. past glories.. VyVy Higginsen VyHigginsen Higginsen with with her her Vy Higginsen with her with her Vy Vy Higginsen Higginsen with with with her her her VyHigginsen Higginsen with her “Mama’s “Mama’s One One Sauce” Sauce” “Mama’s One Sauce” “Mama’s One Sauce” “Mama’s “Mama’s “Mama’s One One One Sauce” Sauce” Sauce” “Mama’s One Sauce” available available atat the at the new new available the new available available available at at the the the new new new available at the new availableat at the new Harlem Harlem Whole Whole Foods. Foods. Harlem Harlem Harlem HarlemWhole Whole Whole Whole Foods. Foods. Foods. Harlem WholeFoods. Foods. Harlem Whole Foods. Photo Photo courtesy courtesy ofof of Photo Photo Photo Photo courtesy courtesy courtesy of of Photo courtesyof Photocourtesy courtesy ofof Whole Whole Foods Foods Market Market Whole Foods Market Whole Whole Whole Foods Foods Foods Market Market Market Whole Foods Whole FoodsMarket Market

22 The Positive Community

Photo: Whole Foods Market

Summer 2017

We Believe in

Real Food


HARLEM 100 W 125 Street New York NY 10027

Congressman Congressman Congressman

Adriano Adriano

Espaillat Espaillat Where WhereHe’s He’sBeen, Been, Been, Where Where WhereHe’s He’sGoing, Going, Going, Where and andHis HisVision Vision Visionfor for for and Harlem’s Harlem’sFuture Future Future Harlem’s By ByR.L. R.L. R.L.Witter Witter Witter Photos Photos Photosby by byRaymond Raymond RaymondHagans. Hagans. Hagans. By By R.L. Witter Photos by Raymond Hagans.


e’s aa cool a cool customer. On On asummer summer summerday day dayin ininHarlem Harlem Harlem e’se’s cool customer. customer. On aa summer day in Harlem when when the mercury mercury was rising and unforeseen unforeseenevents events events when thethe mercury was was rising rising and and unforeseen unforeseen events delayed delayed our our scheduled scheduled interviewby bybyabout about about30 30 30minminmindelayed our scheduled interview interview by about 30 minutes, utes, Congressman Congressman Adriano Espaillat Espaillat remained remained asas cool coolas asasaaaa utes, utes, Congressman Adriano Adriano Espaillat remained remained as as cool cool as cucumber. cucumber. His smile smile was wide wide and shoulders shoulders relaxed relaxedas asashe he he cucumber. cucumber. HisHis smile was was wide and and shoulders shoulders relaxed relaxed as he sat down down in his Harlem Harlem offices officesto answer answerquestions questions questionsand and and sat satsat down down in in hishis Harlem offices totoanswer answer questions and explain explain his vision vision Harlem Harlem going forward. forward. His Hisquick quick quickwit wit wit explain explain hishis vision for forfor Harlem going going forward. forward. His His quick wit and and candid candid answers answers made time time sonic sonicspeed; speed; speed;but but but and and candid candid answers made made time fly flyfly by bybyat atatsonic sonic speed; but much much was learned learned end end our time time together. together. much much waswas learned by byby the thethe end of ofof our our time time together. together. Growing Growing Up in New New York Growing Growing UpUp in in New York York “I “I came here here in the mid-1960s,” mid-1960s,” began. began. “The “TheCity City Citygave gave gave “I “I came came here in in thethe mid-1960s,” he hehe began. began. “The “The City gave me an opportunity opportunity not only moveforward forward forwardpersonally, personally, personally, me meme an anan opportunity not not only only to toto move move forward personally, but to engage engage new new friendsand and andnew new newcommunities.” communities.” communities.”His His His but butbut to to to engage new friends voice voice isis deep is deep and and speech speech peppered, peppered,at atattimes, times, times,with with with voice voice deep and his hishis speech is is is peppered, peppered, at times, with that that unmistakable unmistakable New York Latino accent. accent.“I “I“Igrew grew grewup up upin inin that that unmistakable unmistakable New New York York Latino Latino accent. accent. “I grew up in Washington Washington Heights, Heights,but butII got Igot gotto know knowHarlem, Harlem, Harlem,East East East Washington Washington Heights, but totoknow know Harlem, East Harlem Harlem and and the Bronx, Bronx, which which the neighborhoods neighborhoodsthat that that Harlem Harlem and thethe Bronx, which are areare the the neighborhoods neighborhoods that III represent I represent right right now,” continued. continued.“So, “So, “So,this this thiscity city cityis represent represent right now,” now,” he hehecontinued. “So, this city isisisaaaa great great city! city! It It provides you with with theopportunity opportunity opportunityto totobrush brush brush great great city! It provides provides you you with the the opportunity to brush shoulders shoulders with with other other folks from from aroundthe the theworld, world, world,and and anditititit shoulders shoulders with other folks folks from around around the world, and makes makes you aa stronger a stronger person. person. I’mvery very veryhappy happy happyfor for forthe the the makes makes youyou stronger person. So SoSo I’m I’m very happy for the opportunity opportunity II have I have here.” opportunity opportunity have here.” here.” Espaillat’s Espaillat’s family familyimmigrated immigrated immigratedto New NewYork York Yorkfrom from fromthe the the Espaillat’s Espaillat’s family totoNew New York from the Dominican Dominican Republic Republic (the D.R.). D.R.). Whilehis his hisparents parents parentslikely likely likely Dominican Dominican Republic (the (the D.R.). While While his parents likely had had reasons reasons such such and educational opportunities opportunitiesin inin had had reasons reasons such as as as job jobjob and and educational educational opportunities opportunities in mind mind when when they theyplanned plannedtheir their theirrelocation, relocation, relocation,the the thefuture future future mind mind when they planned relocation, the future

24 The The Positive Positive Community Community Summer Summer 2017 2424 The The Positive Positive Community Summer 2017 2017 The Positive Community Summer 2017

Congressman Congressmanhad hadplans plans plansof ofhis his hisown. own. own.“I wanted wantedto totoplay play playthird third Congressman Congressman had plans ofof his own. “I“I“Iwanted wanted to play third base basefor for forthe the theNew NewYork YorkYankees!” Yankees!” Yankees!”he he heexclaimed. exclaimed. exclaimed.“I “I“Iwas was wasaaa kid akid kid base base for the New York Yankees!” he exclaimed. “I was who whowas was wascompletely completely completelyseduced seduced seducedby by bysports, sports, sports,and and andbaseball baseball baseball was was the who who was completely seduced by sports, and baseball was was the the sport sportthat that thatIIIIloved lovedand andstill still stilllove.” love.” love.”While While Whilehis his hiscareer career careerwith with withthe the sport sport that loved and still love.” While his career with the Yanks Yankswas was wasnot not notto be,New New NewYork York Yorkhad had hadmore more moreto totooffer offer offerthe the the young young Yanks Yanks was not totobe, be, New York had more to offer the young young Espaillat Espaillatand and andhe hewould wouldaccept accept acceptwith with withopen open openarms arms armsall allall opportuniopportuniEspaillat Espaillat and he would accept with open arms all opportuniopportunities tiesto to tolive live liveout out outhis hisAmerican American Americandream. dream. dream. ties ties to live out his American dream. Becoming BecomingaaaMan Manof ofthe the thePeople People People Becoming Becoming Man of the People was wasmentored mentored mentoredby byaaaablack black blackBaptist Baptist Baptistpreacher, preacher, preacher,Rev. Rev. Rev.Ruffin Ruffin Ruffin “I “I“I“Iwas was mentored by black Baptist preacher, Rev. Ruffin of ofWhite White WhiteRock Rock RockBaptist BaptistChurch. Church. Church.He He Hewas was wasaaaafollower follower follower ofof the the late, of of White Rock Baptist Church. He was follower of of the the late, late, great greatAdam Adam AdamClayton ClaytonPowell, Powell, Powell,Jr.—one Jr.—one Jr.—oneof ofofhis his hisstrongest strongest strongest supportsupportgreat great Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.—one of his strongest supportsupporters…” ers…”Espaillat Espaillat Espaillatfollowed followed followedPowell Powell Powellin in inthe the thenewspapers newspapers newspapersand and andon ers…” ers…” Espaillat followed Powell in the newspapers and onon television, television, noting noting his his commitment commitment commitmentto totothe the thecommunity. community. community. television, television, noting his commitment to the community. Seemingly, Seemingly,aaaseed seedwas wasplanted planted plantedand and andititititwould would wouldbear bear bearfruit fruit fruityears years Seemingly, Seemingly, seed was planted and would bear fruit years later laterwhen, when, when,prior priorto running runningfor for forCongress, Congress, Congress,Espaillat Espaillat Espaillatwould would would later later when, prior totorunning running for Congress, Espaillat would become becomepassionate passionate passionateabout about aboutgiving giving givingback back backto totohis his hiscommunity, community, community, first, first, become become passionate about giving back to his community, first, coordinating coordinatinglegal legalservices services servicesfor for forindigent indigent indigentNew New NewYorkers, Yorkers, Yorkers, then then coordinating coordinating legal services for indigent New Yorkers, then then as asas certified certifiedconflict conflictresolution resolution resolutionmediator. mediator. mediator. “I “I“Igot got gotto totoknow know know aaaacertified certified conflict resolution mediator. “I got to know Powell Powellthrough through throughthe thenewspapers, newspapers, newspapers,IIIIsaw saw sawthe the theVietnam Vietnam VietnamWar War Waron Powell Powell through the newspapers, saw the Vietnam War onon television, television,and and andII Iwas wasintimately intimately intimatelyconnected connected connectedwith with withthe the the U.S. U.S. invatelevision, television, and was intimately connected with the U.S. U.S. invainvasion sionof of ofthe the theDominican DominicanRepublic. Republic. Republic.So So Sothese these thesethree three threethings, things, things, the sion sion of the Dominican Republic. So these three things, the the Civil CivilRights Rights Rightsmovement, movement, movement, the the theVietnam Vietnam VietnamWar, War, War,and and andwhat what whathaphapCivil Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War, and what happened penedback back backin theD.R. D.R. D.R.shaped shaped shapedmy my mypolitical political politicalviews views viewsand, and, and,II I pened pened back ininthe the D.R. shaped my political views and, think, think,made made mademe mewho whoII Iam am amtoday.” today.” today.” think, think, made me who am today.” Who Whohe he heis todayis isaaaaCongressman Congressman Congressmanwhose whose whosepassion passion passionis Who Who he isis today today isis Congressman whose passion is is improving improvinglives lives livesof thepeople people peoplehe he herepresents represents representsin ininhis his his district, district, asas improving improving lives ofofthe the people he represents in his district, as

Toview view the the entire interview visit view the entire interview interviewvisit To wellasasacross acrossthe thecountry. country.He’s He’salso modern-dayhistorihistoriacross the country. He’s alsoaamodern-day modern-day historiwell cal figure figure as Congressman Espaillat Espaillat isis both both the first figure asas Congressman Congressman Espaillat both the the first first cal Dominican-Americanand andthe thefirst firstformerly undocumentDominican-American and the first formerlyundocumentundocumentDominican-American edimmigrant immigrantever everto tobe beelected electedto “It’s nice to immigrant ever to be elected toCongress. Congress.“It’s “It’snice niceto to ed thefirst,” first,”he hequipped, quipped,“but “butI’d I’drather bethe the best… So first,” he quipped, “but I’d ratherbe thebest… best…So So bebethe that’sa achallenge challengeto tome mepersonally personallyto representall all of the challenge to me personally torepresent represent allof ofthe the that’s communitiesin inthe theentire entire13th 13thCongressional CongressionalDistrict District with communities in the entire 13th Congressional Districtwith with communities thesame samecommitment commitmentand andrespect.” respect.” commitment and respect.” the Ironically, or or as as III would would prefer prefer toto think—divinely, think—divinely, Ironically, or as would prefer think—divinely, Ironically, CongressmanEspaillat Espaillathas has long long been focused on issues Congressman Espaillat has long been focused focusedon onissues issues Congressman thatare arenow nowcoming comingto tothe theforefront forefrontasasbeing beingattacked attacked by now coming to the forefront attackedby by that thecurrent currentpresidential presidentialadministration administrationsuch such asas immigracurrent presidential administration asimmigraimmigrathe tion, income income inequality, inequality, and and affordable housing. “The income inequality, and affordable housing. housing. “The “The tion, Trumpadministration administration has has released released the hound dogs on administration has released the hound hound dogs dogson on Trump immigrantsand andpushed pushedforward forwardwith Muslim ban,” he immigrants and pushed forward withthe theMuslim Muslimban,” ban,”he he immigrants explained.“Just “Justrecently recentlythere thereisis isan evento to go after explained. “Just recently there aneffort efforteven togo goafter after explained. ‘DREAMers’—young —young people people who who through no effort of ‘DREAMers’ —young people who through no no effort effortof of ‘DREAMers’ theirown, own,came camehere hereas aschildren childrenwith parents… But own, came here as children withtheir theirparents… parents…But But their Trumpand andhis hisdeportation deportationmachine machinewant deport them and his deportation machine wanttotodeport deportthem them Trump countriesthat thatin inmany many cases cases they even know.” countries that in many cases they don’t don’t even evenknow.” know.” totocountries Espaillathas hassponsored sponsored and and co-sponsored co-sponsored legislation legislation to has sponsored and co-sponsored legislationto to Espaillat protectimmigrants immigrantsand andoffer offerundocumented undocumentedimmigrants immigrants immigrants and offer undocumented immigrantsaaa protect pathtotocitizenship, citizenship,and andhe he condemns condemns the the tactics tactics being citizenship, and he condemns tacticsbeing being path used currently currently such such as as Immigration Immigration and and Customs Customs currently such as Immigration Customs used Enforcement(ICE) (ICE)agents agentsrecently recently arresting victim of Enforcement (ICE) agents recently arrestingaaavictim victimof of Enforcement humantrafficking traffickingas asthey theyappeared appearedto incourt, court, and trafficking as they appeared totestify testifyin court,and and human waitingoutside outsideof ofschools schoolsto topick pickup suspected of outside of schools to pick upchildren childrensuspected suspectedof of waiting beingundocumented. undocumented. undocumented. being OnKeeping KeepingHarlem, Harlem,Harlem Harlem Keeping Harlem, Harlem On Native New New Yorkers, Yorkers, transplants, transplants, and visitors alike alike will New Yorkers, transplants, and visitors alike will will Native attestthat thatNew NewYork YorkCity Cityhas hasits itsown heartbeat that New York City has its ownrhythm, rhythm,aaaheartbeat heartbeat attest pulsating to music all all its its own. own. Congressman Congressman Espaillat Espaillat toto music music all its own. Congressman Espaillat pulsating embracesand andembodies embodiesthat thatcity citybeat recognizes as and embodies that city beatand andrecognizes recognizesitititas as embraces hisfavorite favoriteattribute attributeof ofone oneof ofhis hisdistrict neighborhoods, favorite attribute of one of his districtneighborhoods, neighborhoods, his Harlem. “Harlem “Harlem has has an an attitude attitude and personality of “Harlem has an attitude and aa personality personality of of Harlem. beingresilient,” resilient,”he heremarked, remarked, “continuing to push push forresilient,” he remarked, “continuing to pushforforbeing wardregardless regardlessof ofaaachallenge. challenge.IIthink important — regardless of challenge. thinkthat’s that’simportant important— — ward notallall communities communities have have that, that, some communities are communities have that, some communities communities are are not complacent,others othersfeel feelthat…something that…somethingshould should be handcomplacent, others feel that…something shouldbe behandhandcomplacent, edtotothem themon onaaasilver silverplatter. platter.But ButHarlem viewed iconthem on silver platter. But Harlemisisviewed viewedasas asiconiconed andon onthe theAfrican Africandiaspora diasporaof ofthe it’sthe the capital the African diaspora of theworld worldit’s thecapital capital icicand —notjust just in the United United States—the States—the entire entire world world sees just inin the the United States—the world sees sees —not Harlemas thecapital capitalof ofthe theAfrican Africandiaspora. has an attiasasthe the capital of the African diaspora.ItIthas hasan anattiattiHarlem tudeand andaaapersonality personalitythat thatifififyou youpush Harlem, it’ll push personality that you pushHarlem, Harlem,it’ll it’llpush push tude youright rightback.” back.” back.” you Hecites citesthe therecent recentnaming naming controversy, where some cites the recent naming controversy, where wheresome some He wouldlike liketo tore-brand re-brand an an area area of south section section of like to re-brand an area of the the south sectionof of would Harlemas “SoHa.”“That’s “That’saaagreat greatexample how Harlem asas“SoHa.” “SoHa.” “That’s great exampleofofhow howHarlem Harlem Harlem pushedback backimmediately!” immediately!”he heexclaimed. exclaimed.“The “Thereal real estate back immediately!” he exclaimed. realestate estate pushed agentswho whowanted wantedto tochange changethe thename understand that who wanted to change the nameunderstand understandthat that agents this isis not not the the Meatpacking Meatpacking District, District, this this isis not not SoHo not the Meatpacking District, not SoHo SoHo this

(South ofofHouston) Houston) ororTribeca Tribeca (Triangle (Southof Houston)or Tribeca(Triangle (Trianglebelow below Canal). (South Canal). I I have nothing against those neighborhoods, havenothing nothingagainst againstthose thoseneighborhoods, neighborhoods, Harlem have butbut Harlem is ais a very special place. It’s iconic, it’s historic, veryspecial specialplace. place.It’s It’siconic, iconic, it’s historic, and legacy is one very it’s historic, and itsits legacy is one of the richest legacies ininour our country. ofthe therichest richestlegacies legaciesin ourcountry. country.And, And,therefore, therefore, of wewe must preserve that name SoHa —NO mustpreserve preservethat thatname name.. .. ...SoHa . SoHa —NO WAY!” must —NO WAY!” Looking Toward the Future LookingToward Towardthe theFuture Future Looking Espaillat also passionate about Espaillatisisisalso alsopassionate passionateabout aboutnot notonly onlypreserving preserving Espaillat Harlem’s name, but preserving itsits people, Harlem’sname, name,but butpreserving preserving people, culture, and legaHarlem’s its people, culture, and legacy from the very real threat that gentrification cyfrom fromthe thevery veryreal realthreat threatthat thatgentrification gentrificationposes posesto to cy affordable housing and many Harlem affordablehousing housingand andmany manyHarlem Harlemtraditions traditions and landaffordable and landmarks. “You’ve got totodot dot allallthe the i’si’s and marks.“You’ve “You’vegot gotto dotall thei’s and cross and marks. and cross allall thethe t’s t’s and that means that even symbolic efforts thatmeans meansthat thateven evensymbolic symbolicefforts efforts such changing that such as as changing thethe name ofofHarlem Harlem have totobe bebeconfronted,” confronted,” nameof Harlemhave haveto confronted,”hehe explained. name explained. “I “I think asasaaacommunity community we have totohave have thinkas communitywe wehave haveto have a strategy how think a strategy onon how to to combat gentrification because success combatgentrification gentrificationbecause becausesuccess success should combat should notnot bebe at at thethe expense ofofthose those folks right expenseof thosefolks folksII represent Irepresent represent right now. I want area expense right now. I want thethe area to be successful, but means that the tobe besuccessful, successful,but butifififitititmeans meansthat that the people I represent to the people I represent now are going totobe bebekicked kicked out ofof the noware aregoing goingto kickedout out the neighborhood, then now of the neighborhood, then I I don’t want that kind ofofsuccess. success. want don’twant wantthat thatkind kindof success. I want success inclusive don’t II want success to to bebe inclusive of the folks who are here now. Nothing ofthe thefolks folkswho whoare arehere herenow. now. Nothing against people comof Nothing against people coming inin—new —new folks —we welcome new ingin —newfolks folks—we —wewelcome welcomenew new folks, want ing folks, butbut wewe want to to make sure the people who live here right makesure surethe thepeople peoplewho who live here right now integral make live here right now areare anan integral part ofofthe the success that will lift partof thesuccess successthat thatwill willlift lift aneighborhood.” neighborhood.” part aa neighborhood.” To Espaillat, Harlem’s success also ToEspaillat, Espaillat,Harlem’s Harlem’ssuccess successalso alsoincludes includessupporting supporting To small businesses and embracing diversity, smallbusinesses businessesand andembracing embracingdiversity, diversity,as aswell wellas as labor small labor rights and education funding. His rightsand andeducation educationfunding. funding.His Hisvision visionforforHarlem Harlemis is rights shaped by his experiences growing upup shapedby byhis hisexperiences experiencesgrowing growingup and how family’s shaped and how hishis family’s values affected him and the world around valuesaffected affectedhim himand andthe theworld worldaround around him. “My grandvalues him. “My grandmother used totoforce force me totobe bebethe the motherused usedto forceme meto theinterpreter interpreterforforherher mother friends, which cut into my baseball time,” friends,which whichcut cutinto intomy mybaseball baseballtime,” time,”hehe chuckled. friends, chuckled. “I “I began totolike like helping people then, soso beganto likehelping helpingpeople peoplethen, then, very deeply rooted began so it’sit’s very deeply rooted in who am asasaaaperson person and inwho whoII Iam amas personand andII hope Ihope hopeit it continues in continues to to bebe mymy main priority.” To realize his vison, the mainpriority.” priority.”To Torealize realizehis hisvison, vison, the Congressman looks main the Congressman looks to his constituents for continued aid tohis hisconstituents constituentsfor forcontinued continuedaid aidand andsupport. support. “They to “They need totocontinue continue totoorganize organize and bebepart needto continueto organizeand andbe partof ofthethe greater need greater resistance. Their voices need toto resonate resistance.Their Theirvoices voicesneed need resonate I believe that resistance. to resonate —— I believe that thethe pressure working… my constituency pressureisisisworking… working…my myconstituency constituencyneeds needs part pressure to to bebe part of of that response.” thatresponse.” response.” that As our time expired wewediscussed discussed Harlem Asour ourtime timeexpired expiredwe discussed Harlem Week and what As Harlem Week and what means totoCongressman Congressman Espaillat. meansto CongressmanEspaillat. Espaillat.“Harlem “HarlemWeek Weekis is ititit means emblematic ofofHarlem,” Harlem,” hehe said. “We’re emblematicof Harlem,” said. “We’re participating and emblematic he said. “We’re participating and wewe hope totobring bring some ofofthe the Caribbean-African hopeto bringsome someof theCaribbean-African Caribbean-African heritage from hope heritage from the D.R., which very rich heritage, theD.R., D.R.,which whichisisisaa avery veryrich richheritage, heritage, part Harlem the toto bebe part of of Harlem Week.” As up with the cool Congressman Week.”As AsIIwrapped Iwrapped wrappedup up with the cool Congressman from Week.” with the cool Congressman from thethe 13th District ofofNew New York, felt had glimpsed 13thDistrict Districtof NewYork, York, I felt I had glimpsed that nine-year13th II felt II had glimpsed that nine-yearold boy who came totothe the U.S. and overstayed oldboy boywho whocame cameto theU.S. U.S.and andoverstayed overstayed visa, and old hishis visa, and went on totobecome become Congressman. wenton onto becomeaa aCongressman. Congressman.I asked I asked what that went what that boyboy would be most proud ofof today and without wouldbe bemost mostproud proudof today and without missing a beat would today and without missing a beat thethe Congressman replied, “As the halls Congressmanreplied, replied,“As “AsII walk Iwalk walk the halls Congress I can Congressman the halls of of Congress I can look any Congressional member inin the lookany anyCongressional Congressionalmember member the and ‘My vote look in the eyeeye and say,say, ‘My vote just asasimportant important asasyours.’” yours.’” justas importantas yours.’” isisisjust Summer 2017 The Positive Summer 2017 The Positive Community 25 Summer 2017 The Positive 25 Summer 2017 The PositiveCommunity Community 25

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WHO WE ARE Infra structure Engineering (I EI) is one of t he leading consult ing en ginee ring firms i n the Na ti o n lo cated in the Mi dwes t s ince 19 86. Se rv i ng bot h publ i c a nd pri v ate organ izat io ns, I EI focu se s on th e de live r y of h igh quality de sign e ng in ee rin g, pr ogra m m an agem e nt , const ruct ion e ngi nee ri ng a nd in spe cti on dev i ce s.

OUR LOCATIONS AND FOCUS I n f r a s t r u c t u r e E n g i n e e r i n g , i s a M W B E c o m p a n y, h e a d q u a r t e r e d i n C h i c a g o , I L w it h offi ces i n Indianapolis , IN , Springfield , OH, Peoria , IL a nd Harlem , NY , ha s a d i v e r s e p o r t f o l i o o f e x p e r t i s e i n c l u d i n g a i r p o r t , h a r b o r, h i g h w a y/r o a d w a y, m a s s tr an sit , site development , st ruc tural, tr affic an d water manage me nt ser vice s.


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N e w Yo r k O f f i c e 2 3 3 We s t 1 3 5 t h S t r e e t Harlem, NY 10030 646.439.01 91

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Home of Immigrants Honoring New York’s International Diversity.

“The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 120th anniversary of continued service to New York City. During that time, the Harlem community has flourished and grown through the influx of immigrants from Europe, Asia, Caribbean, South America, Africa, and Canada” Lloyd Williams, CEO of GHCC.

Clockwise from top left: Rita Hayworth, Celia Cruz, Miriam Makeba and Dr. Muriel Petioni


The Positive Community Summer 2017


arlem is a representation of multi-cultural pride. For most of its history, it has served as a major African American residential, cultural, and business center. The artistic, cultural, and social explosion of The Harlem Renaissance (1920 thru 1929) brought about the recognition of the area as the “black cultural capital of the world.” The early 20th-century Great Migration of blacks to northern industrial cities such as New York was fueled by their desire to leave behind the tyranny of a Jim Crow South and its inhuman lynchings and violence. They were seeking better jobs and education for their children. In 1910, Central Harlem was about 10% black. By 1930, it had reached 70%. Central Harlem is bounded by Fifth Avenue on the east, Central Park on the south, Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Avenue, and Edgecombe Avenue on the west, and the Harlem River on the north. A chain of three large linear parks—Morningside Park, St. Nicholas Park, and Jackie Robinson Park—are situated on steeply rising banks and form most of the district's western boundary. On the east, Fifth Avenue and Marcus Garvey Park, also known as Mount Morris Park, separate this area from East Harlem. In the late 2000s, South Harlem emerged from area redevelopment, running along Frederick Douglass Boulevard from West 110th to West 138th Streets. Before the arrival of European settlers and African Americans, Harlem (originally Haarlem) was inhabited by Native Americans, who occupied the area and farmed the Harlem flatlands.

BY RON SCOTT After the American Civil War, Harlem experienced an economic boom starting in 1868. The neighborhood continued to serve as a refuge for New Yorkers, but increasingly those coming north were poor and Jewish, Irish, or Italian. Bennett Cerf, who went on in later life to become a noted publisher and writer, was born in the same (five story walk-up) 68 West 118th Street as Milton Berle, who became a famous comedian/actor. The struggling composers George and Ira Gershwin grew up in Harlem. George wrote his first hit song, “Swanee,” at 520 West 144th Street in 1919. The brothers were living at 501 Cathedral Parkway in 1924 when George wrote “Rhapsody in Blue.” They later combined their efforts with the author DuBose Heyward to write the opera “Porgy and Bess” in 1935. The other songwriting duo whose songs have become standards in the Great American Songbook are Lorenz Hart (59 West 119th Street) and Richard Rogers, who lived at 3 West 120th Street. It is very possible that the famous escape artist and illusionist Harry Houdini (from Hungary) came up with many of his concepts at 278 West 113th Street, where he lived from 1904 until his death in 1926. The actors, who were honing their skills on the way to the big time while living in Harlem, were Al Pacino, Burt Lancaster and Rita Hayworth. Born Margarita Carmen Cansino, her father, Eduardo Cansino, Sr., was born in Spain. When Columbia Studios said her image was too Mediterranean she began using “Hayworth,” the maiden name of her mother, who was an American of Irish-English descent. She also dropped Margarita for just “Rita.”

Clockwise from top left: Tito Puente, Milton Berle, Malcolm X, and Ira Gershwin Dr. Muriel Petioni, a first generation Trinidadian, became a prominent doctor and activist in the Harlem community and earned the moniker “the mother of medicine in Harlem.” The poet Langston Hughes lived at 20 East 127th Street (it is noted he had typewriters in both the Lenox Lounge and Showman’s Café in case he was on deadline or wanted to write). James Reese Europe, a native of Alabama, made Harlem his home. The bandleader, composer, and arranger founded the Clef Club Orchestra. As a Lieutenant in the NY Army National Guard (WW I), he led the 369th Infantry Regiment—the "Harlem Hellfighters"— in Europe. Ed Sullivan, of Irish descent and born in Harlem, once lived on East 114th Street, which later became known as Spanish Harlem. A Broadway and sports columnist before becoming the popular host of the long running Sunday evening television variety show bearing his name, at the time it was perhaps the only variety show that showcased black entertainers. Oscar Hammerstein II, the lyricist and theatrical producer, lived on East 116th Street. The king of Latin music, Tito Puente was born in Harlem Hospital and lived on Harlem’s Eastside. His parents came here from Puerto Rico. Other soon to be famous musicians of Spanish descent also moved into the thriving community, among them, the influential Latin jazz musician and bandleader Machito, who came to Harlem arriving from his homeland of Cuba. Later his foster sister, Graciela, the memorable singer, joined him. East Harlem, also called Spanish Harlem, within Manhattan Community Board 11, is bounded by East 96th Street on the south, East 142nd Street on the north, Fifth Avenue on the west, and the Harlem River on the east. A young Celia Cruz also migrated from Cuba to become one of the most influential Latina singers of the 20th

century. Her countrymen, the trumpeter Mario Bauza, a member of Chick Webb’s orchestra, and percussionists Candido and Chano Pozo, who helped refine Afro-Cuban jazz and create Cubop, co-wrote “Manteca” and “Tin Tin Deo” with Dizzy Gillespie. This immigration brought a greater diversity to the community and New York City in general. Integrated cultures led to new music and titles such as Cubop and Afro-Cuban jazz, a combination of African American jazz, Puerto Rican salsa and rhythms, and the roots of Cuban rhythms and beats that began in Africa. That music and culture continues today through musicians like Bobby Sanabria; Melvis Santa; Candido; Eddie Palmieri; Tito Puente, Jr.; and Arturo O’Farrill. Immigration inspired entrepreneurialism in Harlem that spawned a variety

HARLEM WEEK is one of the events that keeps this music and historical culture alive and swinging along with other organizations in the community. of cuisines and cultural identies. African American soul food from Sylvia’s opened in 1962 by Sylvia Woods, or Melba’s, owned by Melba Woods, and yes, great food runs in the family. Sylvia was Melba’s aunt. There are fine Indian, Italian, Caribbean, Japanese (sushi), Dominican, and Senegalese eateries, as well. Tony Meranda’s Italian Restaurant Flash Inn, formerly on 155th street, opened in 1937 and was a mainstay for many years before closing. In the 1940s, the legendary drummer, Roy Haynes noted, “Cats would rather go to Harlem than heaven.” During the 1970s the HARLEM WEEK motto was “You haven’t done this town until you’ve done Uptown.” That statement remains true. The West Harlem neighborhoods of Manhattanville and Hamilton Heights

are bordered by Cathedral Parkway (110th Street) on the South; 155th Street on the North; Manhattan/Morningside Ave/St. Nicholas/Bradhurst/ Edgecome Avenues on the East; and Riverside Park/the Hudson River on the west. Manhattanville begins at roughly 123rd Street and extends northward to 135th Street. The northern most section of West Harlem is Hamilton Heights. Congressman Adriano Espaillat represents New York's 13th Congressional District that includes Harlem. He is the first Dominican-American member of Congress. He succeeds Congressman Charles Rangel of Puerto Rican descent, who retired last year after a 23-term career. The Muslim leader and activist Malcolm X (el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz), whose parents were from Jamaica, also resided in Harlem, as did former Secretary of State Colin Powell, also of Jamaican heritage. During apartheid in South Africa, Miriam Makeba spent time here as a singer and devoted activist. The NBA all-star basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of Trinidadian heritage, lived in Harlem for many years before moving on to pursue his sports career. The rapper Doug E. Fresh, born in Barbados, earned his beat box reputation and made his way to stardom during his many years as a Harlem resident. “Without the infusion of this cultural mixture, Harlem as we know it could not be the international capital it is,” stated Williams. Summer 2017 The Positive Community













TouroCOM Cares for West African Immigrants in Harlem By John Palmer Ph.D. Director of Community Affairs and Diversity Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine


n July of 2007, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine opened its doors on 125th Street in Harlem. Since then it has seen hundreds of medical students graduate as physicians and provided thousands of Harlem residents with health screenings, health literacy, and referrals to medical care and influenza vaccinations. Its medical students have mentored hundreds of Harlem youth interested in science and medical education, initially in partnership with the East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) and more recently through its home grown tutorial program, MedAchieve. This work is at the forefront of the vision and mission that led to the accreditation of TouroCOM. Recently TouroCOM’s Department of Community Affairs and Diversity embarked on a unique aspect of the establishment Vision and Mission that touches on my personal and professional journey in Harlem and Africa. In 2007 the religious leader of millions of Senegalese Muslims, Serin Mame Mor Mbacke, approved an invitation for me to tour the major public healthcare facilities in Senegal. As the executive director of Harlem Hospital Center at that time, I had five years of experience assessing the health needs of Senegalese immigrants, ex-patriots and government officials who came through the hospital. It became clear


The Positive Community Summer 2017

why the life expectancy of Senegalese adults was 56 years of age. Multiple disease processes that were undiagnosed, untreated, or partially treated were found in the entourage of Shaykh Mame Mor, every year they visited Harlem Hospital Center during his annual pilgrimage to the United States. During this time the leadership at Harlem Hospital developed a working theory that providing optimal healthcare for the average Senegalese immigrant was akin to hitting a moving target with a water pistol. To wit, extremely difficult. None the less the dialogue began with Shaykh Mame Mor’s staff, expanded to other West African Immigrant groups and resulted in a tour of medical facilities in Senegal and the founding of the “Medina Clinic” at the 116th Street Clinic of The Renaissance Healthcare Network in Harlem, currently located in the Ron Brown Pavilion of Harlem Hospital Center. Needless to say the health concerns of this vulnerable population continue and in my current position as Director of Community Affairs and Diversity at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine. Currently we have partnered with the Murid Mosque on 137th and Edgecombe, in Harlem to hold annual health fairs (2015 & 2016) that continue to provide screening, health literacy information and referral to appropriate medical services. In the past

two events over 150 members of the Mosque membership were screened; blood pressure, glucose, optical, flu shots, health literacy and referred necessary emergent or primary care. This program is unique because of its interactive aspects. A committee composed of TouroCOM administrators, faculty and students, as well as representatives of the Murid Mosque have met on an ongoing basis to assess the findings of the two health fairs, make adjustments in the specific types of screenings offered and provide direction to the mosque’s health ministry in crafting interventions to address health disparities within the congregation. A summary of comparative statistics gleaned from the Murid Mosque Health Fairs held by TouroCOM’s Department of Community Affairs and Diversity in 2015 and 2016 follows. As per the findings, the average blood pressure reading and the average glucose reading decreased significantly from 2015 to 2016 in comparison to the population being monitored and the national averages found in the general population. The percentage of high blood pressure readings decreased from 48% of the group to 32% of the group. This reading brought the average for the Murid group below that of blacks with 36% of their group found to be hypertensive. Continued on next page


Continued from previous page The average glucose readings for the same time period showed that 39% were at least pre-diabetic in 2015 while only 11.5% were found to be at least pre-diabetic in 2016. This drop was so dramatic as to surpass all population groups that were considered for comparison. 33% of Blacks, 33.9% of Whites and 24.5% of Mexican Americans were found to be at least pre-diabetic. After these findings were verified, the TouroCOM team and representatives for the Murid Mosque reviewed the results and discussed possible explanations. Other than the usual cautions due to standard research methodology, i.e., sample size, interrater reliability, etc., one unexpected independent variable was found to have been introduced after the findings from the 2015 survey were shared with the Murid Mosque Imam and their team. For the 2015 and 2016, following the initial health fair, the Murid Mosque team developed a health message that was inserted as a regular part of the weekly sermon for the members of the Mosque. The focus was kept on reducing blood pressure and glucose levels. Congregants were encouraged to see their primary care physicians, check their blood pressure regularly and refrain from ingesting sugary substances, especially soft drinks. While no final conclusions were drawn from this exercise, we have more questions to ask about the status of Murid Mosque member’s health. This article could not have been produced without the work of Tipsuda Bahri, MD, Sidy Ndiaye, Al-Rahman Muhammad, Angel Chen, Tania Masheswari, and Smurti Desai, DO.




Come Together For Better Health

Join us for a

Family Fun Day Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 11am–6pm Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building 163 W. 125th St., Harlem ¡ Live Entertainment ¡ Kids’ Zone ¡ Free Massage ¡ Medical Screenings ¡ Face Painters ¡ Bouncy Castle

Trusol R&B Group

Legacy Old School R&B

Mercy Group

For more information about our health plans, call 1-888-974-9901 (TTY 1-888-542-3821), 7 days a week, 8am–8pm, or visit Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies. © 2017 HF Management Services, LLC 1328-17 INA17_41(x)

Summer 2017 The Positive Community


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Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation specializing in short-term, post-acute rehabilitation and skilled nursing.

and core values of respect, compassion, honesty, and integrity make all the difference in your care. At Harlem Center, you will receive that special, personal touch so essential to your recovery and rehabilitation. Our Treat-in-Place Program brings together interdisciplinary specialties—including medical specialists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, social services, dieticians and recreational staff—to tailor a personalized care plan to fit your specific needs. Further, our state-of-the-art equipment enables you to achieve a greater outcome and a faster recovery.

From intense physical therapy to fine dining, Harlem Center offers comprehensive care and warm accommodations designed to optimize your physical and emotional well-being.


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30 West 138th St. New York, NY 10037

212-690-7400 Email:

Winsome McLean-Davis, Administrator or Stephanie Rodriguez, Admissions Director, 212-690-7400 x 1232

STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY For Safer, Faster, Better Rehabilitation

Harlem Center employs the most high-tech and premium technology available to improve your health. ALTERG® ANTI-GRAVITY TREADMILL® - Benefits persons with lower body injuries, chronic pain or neurological conditions that inhibit mobility JINTRONIX - Turning therapy exercise into a fun and challenging video game experience SCOTTCARE - Heart monitoring system is designed specifically for the management of cardiovascular disease.

Photo: Bruce Moore

Photo: Seitu Oronde

L–R: Salvation Army Bandmaster Gordon Ward, Voza Rivers, and Rev. Dr. Calvin Butts III

Butts and Rivers Honored


he Salvation Army Harlem Temple Corps hosted a red carpet event for its 2nd Annual Advisory Council Dinner honoring Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III and Voza Rivers, executive producer and founding member of the New Heritage Theatre Group.

Standing L–R: Cathleen McCadden, Dondel Davis, Sen. Brian A. Benjamin, Wilma Brown, and Yasmin Cornelius. Seated L-R: Inez Dickens, Congressman Charles B. Rangel and activist, Maria Luna

Inez Dickens Birthday Celebration


he private yacht set sail on the Hudson River from Chelsea Piers at dusk on July 13 for the birthday celebration of New York Assemblywoman Inez Dickens. Friends, family, and colleagues dressed in white filled the luxurious Elite Cruise Line vessel to capacity, everyone —young and old—was there to give special birthday wishes to the popular former NYC Councilmember. Special guests included the recently retired Congressman Charles B. Rangel and the newly elected New York State Senator Brian A. Benjamin.

NYPD TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT AGENTS Keeping the streets of New York City safe and moving Benefits: • Potentially earn over $38,000 after 1 year of service • Enjoy a competitive benefit package • Pension and Deferred Compensation available

Employment Requirements: • Be at least 18 years of age at time of appointment • Have a High School Diploma or equivalent • Pass a background investigation and drug screening • Must be a NYC resident (5 boroughs) within 90 days of appointment • Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the United States and will be required to submit proof of such eligibility


• A valid NYS driver’s license is required for this position


Summer 2017 The Positive Community













Ingrained Within Community. With over 30 years’ experience Harlem Business Alliance serves as an integral resource for new and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a focus on supporting small businesses and transforming them into viable economic agents. Our programs and services provide hands on guidance and dedicated investment to creators and innovators within the Harlem community. From operating Harlem’s first co-working space, to initiating Harlem’s first incubator for African American women. We were founded on principles that address the needs of a marginalized community -- that inspiration remains the cornerstone of our work. HBA takes an active role in not only supporting the launch of your business but providing tangible resources to ensure the success of your new venture. From The Lillian Project to Disrupt Harlem Code Squad and a myriad of interactive workshops - we pride ourselves on being ingrained within community. We are your community resource, seeking to build a sustainable network of entrepreneurs to enrich the Harlem community and ensure its legacy for years to come. We invite you to join us in our efforts to Disrupt Harlem one entrepreneur at a time. Visit our website at to learn more about our programs or stop in to our office at 275 Lenox Ave. We look forward to connecting with you.


The Positive Community Summer 2017


hese days we hear about living our best lives and how that often might happen in one’s “second act” as we wind down our first career and embark upon a second in our later years. Raymond Lewis of RP Lewis & Associates must have missed that memo, as he’s already living his best life and doing it in his third career iteration. His energy is boundless, and he is the embodiment of a social butterfly. Seemingly built to make people and events feel fabulous, Lewis’ status as a much sought after public relations (PR) and event planning professional is well defined. His offices are in Harlem, where he makes his home. His precision haircut and perfectly-tailored suit announce his New York City flair, yet they belie his southern warmth and charm, courtesy of his family and his time at Morehouse College. Lewis’ charisma allows him to move swiftly and seamlessly between social circles, a must-have quality for any public relations professional. His job centers around strategic communications that build mutually beneficial relationships. “I love people,” he said matter-of-factly when I asked why he chose PR as his vocation. And while he’s always loved people, PR wasn’t always his dream.

Friendship, Food, Flair & Results With Raymond Lewis Everything’s Covered BY R.L. WITTER

Cooking with Nana Growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Lewis’ life was heavily influenced by his family’s southern roots. His beloved grandmother, Lilian Carter or “Nana,” hailed from South Carolina. As grandmas often do, Nana modeled love and spirituality to Raymond and topped it off with delicious meals sprinkled with wit and wisdom passed down through generations. “My grandmother was a great cook,” Lewis recalled. “I stayed in the kitchen with Nana. I was always the one who went to the meat market, the vegetable stand, and the fish market with her. She made pineapple upside down cake in a cast iron skillet and had a huge cupboard full of spices…” Remembering his Nana, Lewis’ voice changed to reflect and express the love and admiration he felt for her —recalling specific dishes she cooked and the various ingredients and spices they demanded. “Nana died before I was nine,” he said. “I started cooking dinner for my family at nine years old.” That cooking with Nana would serve him well in multiple professional acts. The first was selling Sunday dinners to make money. Though just a teenager, his entrepreneurial spirit came shining through. His second professional act entailed classified advertising and multicultural marketing at the Village Voice, where he often focused on nightclubs and restaurants; again, his time in Nana’s kitchen proved a valuable legacy. During his years flitting about, meeting and greeting the who’s who of nightlife, Lewis began hosting after parties where his culinary skills would delight and amaze all who attended. The buzz from his parties and his

Continued on next page

Summer 2017 The Positive Community


Continued from previous page

After more than 20 years in Harlem, Lewis is part of the rich landscape that makes Harlem the epicenter of black entertainment and culture. cooking opened more doors for him both socially and professionally. His friend, Lisa Llewellyn, convinced him to use his love of and talent for cooking to host dinner parties that served as cooking lessons for friends and acquaintances who wanted to learn to cook. Shortly thereafter, Lewis appeared on Southern Chefs to showcase his skills for a nationwide syndicated audience. As the only invited chef who didn’t live in the South, he made quite an impression upon his arrival. “They came up southern,” he mused, “I came southern with style! They showed up on buses and trains, I pulled up in a black limousine.” When asked, “Who are you?” he simply replied, “I’m Chef Raymond. This is the way I roll.” Career Changes Meanwhile, Lewis’ contact list grew and word of his natural knack for event planning, introducing people, and branding built a reputation and a demand for his expertise. After a bit of soul searching, he realized a career change was in order and he took a position in PR with C. Ottley Strategies, under the tutelage of Charlotte Ottley. After more than 20 years, Lewis counts Ottley as one of his closest friends and a member of his chosen family. “I credit her with giving me a career because she tapped into things I like to do,” he explained. “I love to entertain, I love meeting people. And she helped me package that into a PR career… I resigned from the Voice and stared with her firm, and two weeks later I was doing a White House press conference with Vice President Al Gore and American Urban Radio Network, that was my first project.” From there he met President Clinton and escorted the First Lady in a wedding procession, met U.S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and members


The Positive Community Summer 2017

of the Congressional Black Caucus, and met movers and shakers he had previously only read about or seen on television. After such a storied introduction to the world of PR, Lewis’ resume has grown. Clients have included PepsiCo, AT&T, Uniworld, Prudential and Frito Lay — just to name a few. Since hanging out his own shingle in Harlem, his business has flourished and high profile projects have continued to come his way. A major career milestone for Lewis was executing the grand opening of the General Motors dealership in Harlem over 10 years ago. It was the first car dealership opened north of 60th Street in 40 years, and the largest GM dealership on the east coast. Recently he assisted in the opening of the much anticipated Whole Foods store on 125th Street. Harlem on My Mind After more than 20 years in Harlem, Lewis is part of the rich landscape that makes Harlem the epicenter of black entertainment and culture. “I always loved Harlem,” he chuckled. “I read about Harlem as a child — Madame C.J. Walker, the Harlem Renaissance— I knew that I could bring something to the table. I wanted to be a part of something special. I knew that I was going to do some amazing things and to me, Harlem was everything. It was the black mecca.” Beyond having his business in Harlem, Lewis has invested of his personal time and energy in the storied neighborhood. “I do a lot of give-back work in Harlem in terms of working with children,” he revealed. “I work with the NYPD on the National Night Out Against Crime and I was recently given the Man of Vision Award by the National Action Network’s Women’s Auxiliary.”

Living in Harlem, Lewis is keenly aware of the recent and ongoing changes taking place in his beloved community. On a recent taxi ride the driver asked, “How far uptown are you going?” to which he replied, “When you see white people, you’ll know you’re in the right neighborhood!” While he and the driver shared a good laugh, gentrification is a real issue and one which Lewis feels needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. “I love what it has become,” he opined, “but I don’t like the displacement of people of color and the businesses that symbolized Harlem. And one of the reasons I got involved with community boards and started participating is to protect the name ‘Harlem.’ Harlem has always had character and I don’t want to see it become a caricature.” Doing his part to keep black people and black businesses in Harlem, Lewis continues event planning and PR work, and has recently launched his latest venture, an executive concierge service. “We do advance work for people when they’re going away or to a conference. We handle all registrations and book private events, tours, dinners, theater, etc. and make it easy to transition to enjoyment. All you have to do is show up; everything is done for you.” As life and business continue to transition for Raymond Lewis and RP Lewis & Associates, one thing stays the same. “Connecting the dots is key,” he said. “Everything I do goes together.” Affectionately known by many as “Mr. Know-Them-All,” Lewis will continue to make new connections, produce events that pay dividends for his clients, and make people feel special. It’s what he does, and who he is. “I collect people like others collect treasures,” he said as we ended our time together. “They are my treasures.”

Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc.

HCCI Ribbon Cutting: HCCI Board members, development partners and local elect official celebrate the grand opening of the Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis Plaza. Pictured from left to right, front: Ernestine Temple Belle (representing Assemblyman Herman Denny Farrell's Chief of Staff), Rev. Wendy J. Kelly-Carter (HCCI Board Member), Brian Benjamin (Chairman, Manhattan Community Board 10), George H. Weldon Jr. (Second Vice Chair, HCCI), Gregory O. Watson (Assistant Commissioner, New York State Homes and Community Renewal), Joan O. Dawson, PhD (First Vice Chair, HCCI), Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis (Chairman, HCCI), Malcolm A. Punter (President & CEO, HCCI), Marvin Pettus (Attormey), Rev. John L. Scott, EdD (HCCI Board Member); Back row: Nina Saxon, MPA (Community Affairs, Comptroller Scott A. Stringer), Geoffrey Eaton (Chief of Staff, Congressman Charles B. Rangel), Imam Talib Abdur Rashid (Corporate Secretary, HCCI), Elizabeth Oakley (Vice President, Wells Fargo), Josh Weisstuch (Project Manager, L+M Development Partners), Virginia Montague (HCCI Board Member), and Rev. Nigel Pearce (HCCI Board Member).

Building Positive

Communities A Positive Community Magazine Special Section

Summer 2017 The Positive Community


special section


n this edition of The Positive Community magazine, it is my honor to share reflections that affirm the legacy of a progressive, 31-year old, non-profit organization called Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. (HCCI). As president, it is without reservation that I acknowledge the team for their commitment to economic development and empowerment activities that build as well as sustain the Village of Harlem. The updates highlighted on the following pages are the collective work of individuals throughout the community, city and state who came together in the name of progress. That is the essence of why this organization was founded in 1986. During that era, the residents urged local leaders to take charge and change conditions of devastation, poverty, drugs, and crime. HCCI leaders, along with public and private partners, came together to improve the quality of life for Harlemites, local business owners and visitors. The articles that follow will give you a glimpse of the progress we are making and the people who are benefitting from initiatives related to the Bradhurst Business District, housing, home ownership, and youth education programs. For example, HCCI entered 40-year regulatory agreements with both the state and city housing agencies to preserve affordable housing. We will not rest until local residents call Harlem home without fear of being priced out. Last year, HCCI was awarded a grant from TD Bank to assist single-parent households in their quest to become homeowners. We plan to accomplish this goal through our First-Time Homebuyer Program. This award-winning program, which has created more than 2,000 new homeowners since its inception in 2003, had an economic impact of more than $50 million in mortgages. These affordable housing and home ownership models are worth replicating. We intend to share strategies in similar communities nationwide. As the Annual Harlem Summer Issue reveals, HCCI is solid and steadfast in our commitment to Harlem and to each of you. We exist to empower families and rebuild neighborhoods. That is the core of our mission and the vision of our founders. Yours in service, Malcolm A. Punter, M.B.A., J.S.M. HCCI, President and Chief Executive Officer


This year, we have hit an important milestone of a portfolio of nearly 80 affordable housing buildings that yields more than 3,000 primarily apartments and more than 60 retail spaces. Within the last 10 years, HCCI preserved more than 1,500 apartments in collaboration with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). In 2014, we preserved 608 apartments in partnership with Exact Capital, LLC and Prestige Management, Inc. In 2017, we completed a 10-unit cooperative housing gut rehabilitation in East Harlem, are in pre-development on renovating three historical Central Harlem brownstones and seeking to create a new cooperative apartment for 23 Harlem long-term residents. In 2018, HCCI in partnership with Northern Manhattan Equities will develop 67 units of mixed-income apartments in Central Harlem. In the same year, HCCI will produce 120 units for low-income seniors of the Harlem community.


The Positive Community Summer 2017

Summer 2017 The Positive Community



special section

SMALL BUSINESS Helping Harlem businesses thrive

Special Section Articles written by Kaylyn Kendall Dines


hether you are an entrepreneur or aspiring small business owner in Harlem’s Bradhurst Business District, support and resources are available in your neighborhood. As a member of the Bradhurst Merchants Association (BMA), you will not be alone on your entrepreneurial journey. According to BMA President LaChena Clark, the association provides “knowledge, access and networking.” The range of resources includes assistance with identifying strategies for business growth, developing marketing and social media plans, designing advertisements for BMA email blasts to more than 1,000 followers, and connecting with community partners who help create business plans. BMA leadership features business experts in seminars, advocates for the community and connects people. “If you’re starting a new business, the Bradhurst Merchants Association is a great place to come and network,”said Clark. Last year, the HCCI Small Business Institute was launched to teach and promote entrepreneurship in Harlem. The seminar provided the tools needed to start and successfully operate a small business. HCCI Executive Staff, who have advanced degrees, gave instruction in Human Resource Management, Tax Compliance, Real Estate Leasing, and much more during evening classes for more than 20 participants. The first graduation celebration was held in December 2016. Harlem native Frederick “SO” Hunter is a member who believes in BMA’s economic development mission. Hunter hosted a BMA meeting at his business ESO Restaurant and Lounge, which opened 10 months ago on Frederick Douglass Boulevard at the corner of

Frederick “SO” Hunter Owner, ESO restaurant in Harlem


The Positive Community Summer 2017

“HCCI is a vital leader among all efforts to rebuild and reinvigorate the Village of Harlem. My administration worked with HCCI as a trusted partner to facilitate our goals of empowering New York City residents and restoring glory to our historic Harlem community.” David N. Dinkins 106th Mayor, City of New York

154th Street. The meeting showcased his upscale sports bar and lounge, which features American and southern cuisine. BMA exists for residents, merchants and corporations that are doing business in the Bradhurst District. In 2009, during the economic downturn, leaders of Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. (HCCI) took action and established BMA as a 501(c)(6) non-profit association to sustain local businesses, stimulate economic growth along the commercial corridors in the Bradhurst community. Today BMA’s database has more than 1,000 addresses and 40 members. Clark wants the public to view the district as a viable business center and she encourages local residents to purchase goods and services from local businesses. “Through the Bradhurst Merchants Association, we are connected with entrepreneurs and we support their existence and provide resources that lead to growth. Sustainability is key in our neighborhood,” said Malcolm A. Punter, President and Chief Executive Officer of HCCI. “This is part of the economic development portion of our mission. It is important to generate income and revenue that stays in the Harlem community.” Hunter, who manages nine employees, agrees. “Every employee at ESO comes from the Harlem community. I try to employ people who live within a 10-20 block radius of the restaurant,” said Hunter, who established businesses in the fashion, food and music industries. Before opening his restaurant, Hunter owned Harlem’s Denim Library, a flagship store that opened in 2004 and featured premium jeans. He said, “I gained a name from that store, which pushed me into the music industry because of our customers. (Entertainers) Teyana Taylor and A$AP Ferg actually worked at the store. And, that’s how I got into artist management.” From there he transitioned into the food industry. At every stage in the life cycle of his businesses, Hunter could rely on the association. He said, BMA “helped a lot of minorities in the community and I figured that I had a chance—being a young entrepreneur. They welcomed me with open arms.”

HOME OWNERSHIP Living the Dream of Affordable Home Ownership Willis family, participants in the Home ownership Training Program


special section

Ptah Family, participants in the Home ownership Training Program

“HCCI afforded many single parents a safe, clean, environment where they can raise their kids. When children have surroundings that are conducive to their physical, mental and emotional health — it allows them to excel because they don’t have to worry about where they rest their heads.” HCCI resident, Sherzon Greene, 50, is a single mother of Kristen Bell, 31, a graduate from SUNY Albany and Mark Riley, 25, who is enrolled at Morehouse College.


ome ownership for Harlemites is the goal of a limited equity cooperative construction project that is underway in Harlem. Thanks to HCCI, families with low and moderate incomes are have another opportunity to achieve the dream of owning a home. “Our long-standing goal is to empower members of this community. We want local residents to control their destiny and live the dream of home ownership. To make this a reality, HCCI has a wide-range of resources including a homebuyer workshop” said Malcolm A. Punter, President and Chief Executive Officer of HCCI. The organization has an affordable limited equity cooperative project that is made possible by private investors, such as Boston Capital and government partners including: New York State Homes and Community Renewal, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and New York State Housing Trust Fund Corporation. A limited equity cooperative is a housing development where an eligible adult who has a low income can purchase shares at below market prices. As a result, they are subject to limitations on the amount of equity or profit they can receive

on the re-sale of the property. According to Sherill Henry, associate deputy director of HCCI’s Real Estate Development division, “HCCI’s development portfolio comprises three limited equity cooperative apartments that are currently under the affordable housing tax credit program. It is HCCI’s intention to transfer these housing entities to Housing Development Fund Cooperatives on expiration of the 15-year tax credit period. This type of housing structure allows the tenants to own the cooperative and manage the administrative affairs of the buildings within their capacity as board members and shareholders.” Rod Wilkins has lived in his two-bedroom home on HCCI’s Angelou Court since the building opened. The building is named in honor of the late legendary Author and Poet Maya Angelou, who attended the ribbon cutting 18 years ago. The 23-unit Angelou Court property is located on 121st Street and Manhattan Avenue. Wilkins, a proud Harlem resident, now serves as president of the cooperative board at Angelou Court. “My responsibilities mainly include coordinating the efforts, communication, actions, and goals between HCCI and Angelou Court's board, which will assume

full ownership of the building, and all of the different stakeholders like the New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the state Housing Trust Corporation, and the NYS Attorney General’s office,” said Wilkins. Angelou Court is one of the buildings currently undergoing the conversion process along with MaCombs Manor and Parkside Plaza, which is located at 46-48 East 129th Street. A major restoration project is occurring at the Parkside Plaza, which is being converted to a Housing Development Fund Corporation and is scheduled to become a limited equity cooperative by the end of 2017. “While the construction work is being carried out, residents participate in ongoing training to be prepared to operate their building,” said Henry. “Once it becomes a cooperative, residents have all the rights and responsibilities as board of directors and shareholders." HCCI’s converted eight coop buildings and one condominium. As a result of HCCI cooperatives, 736 Harlemites became homeowners. Overall, more than 2,000 people are living the home ownership dream in Harlem. Summer 2017 The Positive Community


Congratulations and Best Wishes

HCCI For over 30 years of tireless efforts On behalf of the residents of this community and New York City With much admiration,

Rev. Al Taylor

GENERAL CONTRACTORS 1629 Park Avenue, Suite 1B New York, NY 10029 Tel: 212-534-5500 FAX: 212-534-5755 Makesi Frank/ / VP 42

The Positive Community Summer 2017

YOUTH EDUCATION Creating Young Leaders After School


special section


essons learned during an after-school program inspired an 11-year old to dream of becoming the President of the United States of America. As the Commander in Chief, Ndeye wants to eradicate homelessness and make sure children have access to afterschool programs that stretch them academically, culturally, and socially. The late Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks was the focus of one assignment. "At school, we don't get to do biographies like these," said Ndeye, while holding her report on Parks, a legend whose decision not to give up her seat to a white passenger triggered the Montgomery Bus Boycott. "I learned that she was born on February 4, 1913 and that Dr. Martin Luther King helped her with freedom." Ndeye now wants to coordinate an after-school program, “like Ms. Lisa” did. The aspiring president is referring to Lisa Fields-Linnen, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hands That Make A Difference. This service provider facilitates the HCCI afterschool program for 32 children at Joyce and David Dinkins Gardens in Harlem. “Our program is a combination of academics and creative expression,” said Fields-Linnen, who established Hands That Make A Difference in 2011 and began operating HCCI’s program in September 2016 for children who are between five and 12 years old. There is no cost for the program. Quality after-school care is important to the leadership team and staff at HCCI. “We started with the vision that primary-school children in our buildings, as well as in the neighborhood, should have an opportunity to attend a safe, educational space after traditional school hours,” said HCCI President and Chief Executive Officer Malcolm A. Punter. Monday through Friday, during the academic year, HCCI provided transportation for the children. They are picked up from local schools and they arrive at the program, which is open from 2 pm to 6 pm. In the last four years, approximately 130 children participated. HCCI operated the Brad-

“HCCI has and continues to be a partner with HPD in providing affordable housing, coupled with an array of social services, to meet the needs of the Harlem community.” Deputy Commission Anne-Marie Hendrickson NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

hurst Academy of Excellence after-school program from 1995 until 2003. HCCI also enlisted the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) to collaborate with Hands That Make A Difference and provide free STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities. Children in the after-school program have access to HCCI’S Computer Clubhouse a couple of days per week. In addition to receiving help with homework assignments, the program offered a variety of enrichment activities including dance. According to Amy Bravo, a senior director of International & Experiential Education at NYIT, the youth and college students engaged in several fun activities. “They made homemade ice cream using salt to freeze the ingredients. The children also made bird feeders to give out to the community while learning about the environment and ecology.” Through the interactive lessons, NYIT students get to know the children. NYIT student Zakkiyah Carter returned to serve as an intern during her winter holiday recess after participating in the fall after-school program. Bravo said, “Zakkiyah, like other NYIT students, don't just teach cool lessons to get the kids excited about STEAM fields. They serve as mentors and encourage kids to go to college and remain life-long learners.” Summer 2017 The Positive Community



special section HCCI Board Back L to R: Rev. Nigel Pierce, Rev. Wendy J. Kelly Carter, Rev. Shepherd Lee, Sr., 1st Vice Chair Joan O. Dawson, PhD, 2nd Vice Chair George H. Weldon, Jr. , Rev. Keith W. Roberson, Treasurer, Imam Talib Abdur Rashid,Corporate Secretary, President & CEO Malcolm A. Punter; Front L to R: Virginia Montague , Gala co-chair, Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis, chairman and Rev. Eva G. Duzant, Gala chair).

Photos: courtesy of HCCI

Leveraging support from federal, state, and city agencies, HCCI’s real estate office has developed more than 3,500 units of low, moderate and middle-income housing and more than 60 commercial spaces, including a 45,000 sq. ft. supermarket. Our health office provides scattered-site housing for 60 families and individuals living with HIV/AIDS. HCCI’s adult education programs include soft skills, literacy training (in conjunction with Literacy Partners), and computer software training– all linked with job placement. To date, we have placed more than 2,000 residents in employment opportunities, and helped approximately 2,000 residents become homeowners.


Helping Harlem businesses thrive If you are a merchant, an aspiring entrepreneur, or a corporate leader who is located in or doing business within the Bradhurst district, contact the Bradhurst Merchants Association to learn more about membership levels by visiting or sending a message to


Living the Dream of Affordable Home Ownership Interested in connecting with a HCCI representative to learn more about having your building converted into a cooperative, becoming a homeowner or attending HCCI’s homebuyer workshop? Contact Rev. Dr. Charles Butler at or call 212-281-4887, ext. 231 about the homebuyer workshop. Contact Sherill Henry to discuss building conversion at or 212-281-4887, ext. 229.


The Positive Community Summer 2017

Independent Living Services for Seniors For more information about Dr. Muriel Petioni Plaza, contact Tara Birkett-Bramble at 212-283-2768 ext. 207,, and contact Saundra Druitt-Price at 212-348-9303,, with questions about Victory One. To join HCCI’s waiting list for affordable housing, visit

SCATTERED-SITE HOUSING PROGRAM (SSHP): Finding a home in the midst of challenge

To learn more about the Scattered-Site Housing Program and other initiatives offered by HCCI's Office of Health and Wellness Services, call 212-281-4887 and visit


Creating Young Leaders After School To learn more about the after-school program, visit

Community impact, one neighbor at a time.

CNB Cares At City National Bank we strive to make a social difference through urban development initiatives that help build thriving economies and increase the value of our communities. We are committed to provide individuals, small businesses, non-profits, faith-based organizations and community partnerships with the financial resources and financial education required to strengthen and revitalize our neighborhoods.

Building Strong Communities For A Better Tomorrow


special section

SENIOR HOUSING Independent Living Services for Seniors


ive years ago, a superintendent at Dr. Muriel Petioni Plaza unlocked an apartment door and the new resident, Miriam V., crossed the threshold and fell to her knees in excitement. Now, at age 71, she remembers the day when she stepped off of the elevator in Harlem’s state-of-the-art building. She entered her one-bedroom apartment for the first time and thought, "It's beautiful, it's big, it's comfortable." Miriam believes it was a divine intervention. She said, "The kitchen is comfortable, the bathroom is comfortable, the living room is comfortable. When the Lord gives you something, He gives you brand new. He doesn't give you second-hand things.” Dr. Muriel Petioni Plaza, which has 65 units, is one of two affordable-housing buildings that HCCI operates for senior citizens. The other, Victory One, has 110 units. In total, HCCI has developed approximately 3,500 units of affordable housing in 78 buildings. That number includes 60 units of supportive housing for families of adults who are living with HIV and AIDS. The agency also manages 19 units of housing for youth who have aged out of foster care. “Senior housing succinctly fits into our mission of serving people from the cradle all the way up to their golden years,” said Malcolm A. Punter, President and

Chief Executive Officer of HCCI. “These independent living facilities were designed to help senior thrive in a community atmosphere.” HCCI offers onsite case management services, recreation and social activities for seniors. “We provide services that encourage our senior residents to live independently and cater to the residents who cannot,” said Tara Birkett-Bramble, a social services coordinator at Dr. Muriel Petioni Plaza. She said, approximately 75 percent of the seniors are active residents who do not require special care. Birkett-Bramble also coordinates recreational activities calendar to foster a sense of community and encourage the residents to maintain active lifestyles. Coffee, tea, and donuts in the morning, potluck lunches, movies and aerobics are a few of the activities at Petioni Plaza that bring residents together. Birkett-Bramble added, since “Not all of our residents have a support system or caregivers. I am their professional daughter.” In 1999, construction on Victory One was completed and a dedication ceremony for Petioni Plaza took place in 2011, which was ideal timing for Miriam. She has some advice for seniors who are looking for affordable housing options, “Don’t give up and don’t give up on God. Don’t lose your faith because it will happen.”

“Years ago, when there were fights over the limited resources that we had for housing, a group of ministers (who later became HCCI) were making demands of me and they were pretty organized. Lo and behold, they achieved their goals to revitalize Harlem. This was a very moving experience to me. For a poor kid in Harlem, it means so much to have a decent home where you can live." The Honorable Charles B. Rangel US Congressman (ret.)


The Positive Community Summer 2017

Miriam V. at home in Dr. Muriel Petioni Plaza.

SCATTERED-SITE HOUSING PROGRAM (SSHP) Finding a home in the midst of challenge

Founded in 1986, HCCI is a coalition of inter-faith congregations that has implemented a comprehensive portfolio of programs to provide affordable housing and safe streets; offer opportunities for individuals and groups to become and remain economically independent; increase understanding of and access to health care; and provide substantive educational programs for adults and young people. Through alliances with other community organizations, elected officials and local residents, HCCI has also helped reduce crime in the community, increase public sanitation, and preserve and transform open space.


special section


hile living in Berlin, Germany for more than 15 years, Otis G. received a diagnosis that changed his life. He found out he was HIV-positive. Nearly three years ago, he returned to New York where he lived in several single room occupancy units before finding a place he calls home. With family support, Otis was determined to improve his living situation and quality of life. After hearing about HCCI in April 2016, he began the application and interview process. Otis was accepted into HCCI’s Scattered-Site Housing Program (SSHP) last summer. SSHP started in 1992 to provide a place of solace for people who were homeless, living with HIV and AIDS, or were at risk of becoming homeless. While HCCI operates 78 housing properties, as the name implies, the Scattered-Site Housing units are located in multiple buildings. The program combines affordable housing and intensive case management services to confront hardships that residents may encounter. As part of the program, residents receive either complete or partial financial assistance for rent, utilities and a landline. Each resident has an assigned a case manager, like Farooq Kazi, who aims to build a close relationship and become a valuable member of the resident’s support system. As one of 60 residents, “Otis has been in our program for less than a year,” said Kazi. “Overall, we have a good therapeutic alliance. I feel that we’re a good team in that I respect his privacy and I always make sure that I’m not being intrusive. In turn, he pays his portion of the rent and, more importantly, he’s compliant with SSHP regulations.” “You are judged by your own presentation of yourself,” said Otis. "I always try to put my best foot forward and make sure they don’t forget me. That’s why I'm here right now,” said the resident who traveled to Thailand years ago, speaks German fluently, and continues to search for work as an actor and musician. Grateful for the changes in his life and reflecting on his previous living environment, Otis said, “That experience opened my mind as to how living with HIV can affect people in so many different ways. I realize how lucky I am.”

HCCI President and CEO Malcolm A. Punter

Summer 2017 The Positive Community


Congratulations to

HCCI and

Malcolm Punter On Your Recognition By Our Amenities Include:  Spacious studios starting at $2,400 per month and one-bedroom apartments starting at $2,800 per month  Lunch and Dinner included and served buffet style  All utilities included  Basic Cable TV  Weekly linen service  24-Hour Security  Visitor Parking  Many programs, activities and trips  On-site beauty salon, library, laundry, check cashing facilities and gift shop  Pastoral Services


The Positive Community Magazine For your ongoing development of The Harlem Community.



We Make A DIFFERENCE in Property Management

1200 Zerega Avenue Bronx, NY 10462

237 West 145th Street New York, NY 10039


The Positive Community Summer 2017



For Excellence in Media & Journalisn





REV. CHARLES A. CURTIS, ED.D. HCCI, Chairman of the Board


“Serving the needs of the people for 31 years, by the grace of God”

“An organization built in faith, sustained by God.”


Rev. Dr. Charles Butler is the VP of Equitable Development, Rev. Dr. Charles Butler is the VP of Equitable Development, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI). Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI).

Got Faith?


n n Matthew Matthew 14:15-18, 14:15-18, we we find find aa familiar familiar passage passage of of scripture that demonstrates the essentials of scripture that demonstrates the essentials of spiritual spiritual wealth wealth building. building. Jesus Jesus has has departed departed to to aa desolate desolate place. The people from various towns and place. The people from various towns and villages villages folfollowed lowed Him. Him. Jesus Jesus moved moved with with compassion, compassion, taught taught them them about about the the kingdom kingdom of of God, God, and and healed healed the the sick sick among among them. Compassion denotes a message of feeling them. Compassion denotes a message of feeling comcompelled pelled to to do do whatever whatever is is necessary, necessary, whatever whatever you you can can do, do, to to go go the the extra extra mile mile not not just just for for aa friend, friend, but but also also for for the the stranger stranger who who is is in in need. need. Jesus Jesus demonstrates demonstrates His His compascompassion throughout the gospels time after time. sion throughout the gospels time after time. As As believers believers in in Christ, Christ, we we are are commanded commanded to to demondemonstrate this same spirit of compassion to each other. strate this same spirit of compassion to each other. Jesus Jesus states states in in John John 15:12-14, 15:12-14, “A “A new new commandment commandment II give give you you that that you you love love one one another another as as II have have loved loved you, you, greater greater love love has has no no man man than than this this that that you you lay lay down down your your life life for for his friends You are my friends if you do what things his friends You are my friends if you do what things II have have commanded commanded you you to to do.” do.” The people stayed with The people stayed with Jesus Jesus all all day. day. The The disciples disciples sugsuggested that Jesus send them away so they can gested that Jesus send them away so they can find find food food and and lodging. lodging. The The disciples disciples were were saying; saying; these these people people are are not our responsibility. We are not our brothers’ not our responsibility. We are not our brothers’ keepers. keepers. We We cannot cannot afford afford to to undertake undertake the the financial financial burden burden associated with taking care of them. Many associated with taking care of them. Many of of us us are are like like these these disciples disciples wanting wanting to to send send the the people people away. away. However, However, there there was was aa young young boy boy in in the the crowd crowd who who had had five small loaves of bread and two fish. It is worth five small loaves of bread and two fish. It is worth noting noting that that he he could could have have just just sat sat down down and and eaten eaten his his lunch lunch in in peace, after all it was his lunch. But he was willing peace, after all it was his lunch. But he was willing to to share share all all that that he he had had with with the the Lord. Lord. Are Are you you willing willing to to share share what what God God has has blessed blessed you you with with to to benefit benefit His His kingkingdom? dom? When When the the disciples disciples informed informed Jesus Jesus that that they they had had the five loaves and the two fish, He instructed the five loaves and the two fish, He instructed them them to to bring bring them them to to Him Him and and to to have have the the people people sit sit down down on on the the grass. grass. Jesus Jesus took took the the five five loaves loaves and and the the two two fish fish and and looking to heaven, He blessed it and fed the multitude. looking to heaven, He blessed it and fed the multitude. The The scripture scripture reports reports the the disciples disciples collected collected 12 12 baskets baskets after everyone had eaten their fill. after everyone had eaten their fill. What What does does this this message message teach teach us us about about spiritual spiritual wealth building? We need to have faith and wealth building? We need to have faith and confidence confidence in in Jesus. Jesus. We We find find in in the the scriptures scriptures on on more more than than one one 50 The Positive Community

Summer 2017

that Jesus refers to His disciples as ye of little occasion occasion that Jesus refers to His disciples as ye of little of us still lack confidence in Jesus’ ability. We Many faith. faith. Many of us still lack confidence in Jesus’ ability. We to operate in our power, rather than trusttrying still are are still trying to operate in our power, rather than trustthe vast resources He has made accessing and God ing ing God and accessing the vast resources He has made said, “All the silver belongs to 2:8 Haggai us. to available available to us. Haggai 2:8 said, “All the silver belongs to to Him.” belongs gold the all and Him, Him, and all the gold belongs to Him.” on a thousand hills cattle “The states, 50:10 Psalms Psalms 50:10 states, “The cattle on a thousand hills Father who is rich aa heavenly have We Him.” to belong belong to Him.” We have heavenly Father who is rich continue to fail to we But needs. our about cares He and and He cares about our needs. But we continue to fail to “give us today pray will we although Him, on call call on Him, although we will pray “give us today He is the bread bread. daily our is Jesus bread.” daily our our daily bread.” Jesus is our daily bread. He is the bread life. of of life. be afraid to be bold; God did not give us a spirit Don’t Don’t be afraid to be bold; God did not give us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Stop tying but fear, of of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Stop tying we are holding Him back from pouring hands; God’s God’s hands; we are holding Him back from pouring on us that the windows of heaven cannot aa blessing out out blessing on us that the windows of heaven cannot contain. contain. at every situation and realize the opportunity, Look Look at every situation and realize the opportunity, and the possibilities. All things are possible potential, the the potential, and the possibilities. All things are possible we keep our hands in God’s hand, and when God, with with God, when we keep our hands in God’s hand, and on the cross. fixed firmly eyes our our eyes firmly fixed on the cross. Summer 2017 The Positive Community 49 Summer 2017 The Positive Community 49


West Harlem m Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. Inc. Group Assistance,

CI Board members, development partners and local elect official celebrate the grand opening of the Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis Plaza. Pictured Ernestine Temple Belle (representing Assemblyman Herman Denny Farrell's Chief of Staff), Rev. Wendy J. Kelly-Carter (HCCI Board Member), an, Manhattan Community Board 10), George H. Weldon Jr. (Second Vice Chair, HCCI), Gregory O. Watson (Assistant Commissioner, New York unity Renewal), Joan O. Dawson, PhD (First Vice Chair, HCCI), Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis (Chairman, HCCI), Malcolm A. Punter (President & CEO, tormey), Rev. John L. Scott, EdD (HCCI Board Member); Back row: Nina Saxon, MPA (Community Affairs, Comptroller Scott A. Stringer), Geoffrey ngressman Charles B. Rangel), Imam Talib Abdur Rashid (Corporate Secretary, HCCI), Elizabeth Oakley (Vice President, Wells Fargo), Josh ager, L+M Development Partners), Virginia Montague (HCCI Board Member), and Rev. Nigel Pearce (HCCI Board Member).

Randolph Houses Phase One Ribbon Cutting (L-R) Holly Leicht, Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development; Congressman Charles B. Rangel; Kenan Bigby, managing director of Trinity Financial; Council Member Inez E. Dickens; Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer; Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright; Shola Olatoye, chair & chief executive officer of the New York City Housing Authority; Donald C. Notice, executive director of West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc.; Patrick Lee, principal of Trinity Financial, and others.

uilding Positive


A Vision Communities

for Harlem

A Positive Community Magazine Special Section

Summer 2017 The Positive Summer 2017Community The Positive NA Community


The Restoration of Historic Randolph Houses "Randolph Houses should be the model for how to leverage private and public resources to preserve affordable housing in heavily gentrifying cities across the country." - Donald C. Notice


Donald C. Notice, executive director of West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. photographed with Patrick Lee, Principal of Trinity Financial during the Randolph Houses Phase One: Welcome Home ‑Celebration program.

n 1971 during bleak financial times in New York City and other major cities throughout the nation, a group of concerned residents fed up with landlord abuse, dilapidated housing, overall economic neglect, and disinvestment decided to do something. That something is West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. Randolph Houses were originally constructed in the 1890s and acquired by NYCHA in the 1970s. The buildings have been designated a historic landmark by the New York State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO) in 2014 and were awarded over $18 million in historical state and federal tax credits. In addition to restoring the exterior façade, the historic circulation patterns of each tenement building were preserved including the stoop, front entry, and stairs. The redevelopment of Randolph Houses came to fruition through the activism of determined tenants, advocacy and leadership of local elected officials, Congressman Charles Rangel and Councilwoman Inez Dickens in particular. They fought against forces of gentrification seeking to redevelop the site for market-rate housing and commercial use, displacing the long-term residents. Calling the development Randolph Houses honors A. Philip Randolph (April 15, 1889 – May 16, 1979), spokes-

A. Philip Randolph

Photos courtesy of WHGA

The Randolph Houses Resident Task Force (L-R) Salvador Cordero, Hope Tolliver, Helena Costen, Robertus Coleman, Lydia Gadson, Blanche Hampton, and Cora Brown photographed with Donald C. Notice, executive director of West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. during the Randolph Houses Phase One: Welcome Home Celebration program.


The Positive Community Summer 2017

person and defender of black working-class interests. He led a 10-year drive to organize the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), the first official labor union for African Americans and served as the organization's first president. Randolph directed the March on Washington movement to end employment discrimination in the defense industry and a national civil disobedience campaign to ban segregation in the armed forces. The nonviolent protest and mass action effort inspired the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Randolph used his position to push for desegregation and respect for civil rights inside the labor movement as well as outside. He was one of the founders of the Negro American Labor Council and served as its president from 1960 to 1966. In 1964 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon Johnson. The Randolph Houses development is a 36-building, 283-unit development in Harlem totaling $95.5 million. In addition to serving as co-developer of the project during the construction, West Harlem Group Assistance (WHGA) provides a host of supportive service programs, such as financial literacy, healthy food, and fitness programs. Partnerships with area health and wellness providers, youth development centers, and senior services organizations ensure the success of families residing in the development.

“We are proud to have been part of this collaboration with Trinity Financial and we look forward to the ongoing support the residents will receive from the staff of West Harlem Group Assistance so we can take the next steps in our lives. The residents will continue to be strong members of the team that brought us here today.” – Robertus Coleman, president of the Randolph Houses Task Force. Continued on page 57

West WestHarlem HarlemGroup GroupAssistance Assistance and especially and especiallytoto Congratulations Congratulations Mr. Mr.Donald Donald Novice forbeing being West Harlem Groupfor Assistance West HarlemNovice Group Assistance experts ininespecially the experts theeconomic economic and especially and ofof the Mr.development Donald Novice for being development the Mr. Donald Novice for being Harlem experts inCommunity. the Harlem Community. experts in theeconomic economic development of development ofthe the Harlem Community. Harlem Community. Congratulations Congratulationstotoour ourpartners partners atat Congratulations to our partners West Assistance, WestHarlem HarlemGroup Group Assistance, Congratulations to our partners at and continued thanks to and continued thanks to at West Harlem Group Assistance, Donald Notice Donald Notice continued thanks to Westand Harlem Group Assistance, for over 20 ofof dedicated Donald Notice forand over 20years years dedicated continued thanks to service toNotice the for overDonald 20 years dedicated service toof the service to of thededicated Harlem community. Harlem community. for over 20 years Harlem community. service to the Harlem community.

Committed to building quality housing for every need. Committed to building quality housing for every need. Committed to building quality housing for every need.

Congratulations, Congratulations, West Harlem GroupGroup West Harlem

S.P. Contractors like the to congrat S.P. Contractors would like towould congratulate S.P. Contractors would like to congratulate the West Harlem Group Assistanc HarlemGroup Group Assistance West West Harlem Assistance

Photo: Bruce Moore

Congratulations, on their 45 years of service to t on their 4545years service on their years ofofservice to theto the Congratulations, West and CentralGroup Harlem commun West Harlem

West and communities. West Central and CentralHarlem Harlem communities. West Harlem Group

We are a proud partner of the West Harlem Gr


Just Dunk It


he 125th Street Business Improvement District launched the first stage of its campaign “Harlem Just Dunk It” to make the Harlem streets healthier and cleaner on Tuesday, August 8, 2017, unveiling four Big Belly Solar Panel Trash Compactors on the northwest corner of 125th and Lenox Avenue. The receptacles are funded by City Council discretionary funds from then Councilwoman Inez Dickens and co-sponsored by Olive Garden. The cans are beautifully wrapped with artwork from local artists to attract attention to the campaign and get residents and visitors more conscious about doing their part. For twenty-four years the 125th Street BID has played an integral role in the development of the of the retail environment on 125th Street and in Harlem. In addition to providing clean and safe services, the BID has delivered marketing programs that promote the street to the neighborhood, the city, the rest of the country, and to the international community.

We are a proud partner of the West Harlem Group. We are a proud partner of the West Harlem Group. Contractors of NY
 Astoria Contractors 8-67 of NY 
 LIC, NY 11102

8-67 Astoria Boulevard
 Email: LIC, NY 11102 Email:

S.P. Contractors would like to congratulate the West Harlem Group Assistance on their 45 years of service to the West and Central Harlem communities. We are a proud partner of the West Harlem Group.

Contractors the of NY S.P. Contractors would like to congratulate West Harlem Group Assistance


on their 45 years of service to the

The Positive Community Summer 2017

8-67 Astoria Boulevard
 LIC, NY 11102 Email:

West and Central Harlem communities.



Continued from page 26

Upcoming Special Issue!

about police brutality, climate change, prejudice against immigrants and Muslims, and gun A dramatic Poetry reading by violence, among other isAbbay Lynn Gonzalez sues,” said Christopher R. Owens, commission president and son of the late Congressman and Commission founder Major Owens. “This celebration never ceases to uplift those in attendance,” said Owens, “because we see in real time the evolution of our future leaders. There is no better two-hour investment in Dr. King’s legacy anywhere.” Owens continued: “Children today are both optimistic and pessimistic. One of our essay winners invoked Dr. King’s courage as she wrote about her mother wearing a hijab when others were afraid to do so. In praising Dr. King’s opposition to the Vietnam War and those who resisted World War I, another winner asked ‘When do we draw the line between what our government tells us and what we know are facts?’” “Another essay winner declared that “If I were Dr. King, I would probably try to lead protests just like the people are doing now” with regard to police brutality, while a poetry winner wrote “Colored individuals have struggled for a very long time. It almost seems like a war crime. Don’t get me wrong, the times have changed. But they’ve only been slightly rearranged.”



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Continued from page 27

Although she rarely gained the recognition granted her male contemporaries, she became one of the most influential civil rights leaders of the 20th century. She was president of the National Council of Negro Women for forty years and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. In 1990, Height, along with 15 other African Americans, formed the African-American Women for Reproductive Freedom. She served as national president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority from 1947 to 1956; was the chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; and an honored guest at the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, where she was seated on stage. Height is the 15th African American woman to appear in the series. The painting of Height is based on a 2009 photograph shot by Lateef Mangum. Derry Noyes designed the stamp. Thomas Blackshear II created the painting. The stamp became available on February 1, 2017. Led by Philatelost Della Moses Walker, serveral aficionados went to Jersey City, NJ, Post Office named after The Honorable Judge Shirley Tolentino. an African American Woman on the first day of sale to purchase their stamps.

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February 2017

Check out our

Summer The Positive Community 55


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Continued from page 52 Though Randolph Houses  is by far its largest  housing  development, smaller development clusters continue be at the center of WHGA’s affordable  housing preservation strategy. Despite steadily dwindling numbers, thousands of families still live in units that are being redesignated for market-rate renters. WHGA’s efforts continue to stave off the displacement of long-term residents en masse through preservation efforts. Examples include Schomburg Apartments, Dorie Miller Apartments, and 211 West 147th Street, HDFC developments finalized over the past year. These projects with a combined cost of $33 million dollars resulted in the preservation of 126 units affordable to families at or below 80% of the area median income.  WHGA’s expertise and long-standing reputation as a stellar community development corporation, with thousands of affordable housing units under its belt, also worked in the project’s favor. While it is a hallmark achievement, Randolph represents only one of WHGA’s many endeavors. To date WHGA has developed upwards of 1,600 units of affordable housing, totaling $400 million dollars in local investment. Each year, tens of thousands of families and individuals benefit through WHGA’s comprehensive affordable housing, affordable commercial leasing, and social services programs... Partners in the Randolph Houses development are Trinity Financial and Randolph Houses Resident Task Force. Development partners include SLCE Architects, Mega Contracting, Wavecrest Management Team, Nixon Peabody, Hirschen Singer & Epstein LLP, and Higgins Quasebarth & Partners. Funders of the renovation project include the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA); New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD); New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC); U.S. Department of the Interior; National Park Services; New York State Historic Preservation Office; TD Bank; Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.; and JP Morgan. For more Information about Randolph Houses and other WHGA projects, visit

Summer 2017 The Positive Community


Health ideas for wellness

50th Anniversary Healthcare For All Gala Marking Ryan Network's First Half Century

L–R Rev. Dr. Michael A. Waldrond Jr., Maria Davis, Nancy Giles, and Brian McIndoe

L–R: Charles Shorter, executive director, Ryan/Adair Community Health Center; Maria Davis, HIV/AIDS advocate and activist, Ryan 50th Anniversary Gala Honoree; and Fay Barrett, MPH, senior director of Support Services, William F. Ryan Community Health Network

L–R: Nancy Giles, award-winning actor and master of ceremonies; Fay Barrett, MPH, senior director of Support Services William F. Ryan Community Health Network; Tomara  Forest, HIV advocate and peer educator and honored guest; and Brian McIndoe, president & CEO, William F. Ryan Community Health Network


The Positive Community Summer 2017


he William F. Ryan Community Health Network celebrated a major milestone on June 7, 2017 at the Capitale in Lower Manhattan. The fundraising event marked Ryan’s half century as a provider of quality healthcare to New Yorkers, at locations throughout Manhattan. The event represented a once in a lifetime opportunity for business, community, and healthcare leaders together to ensure that the Ryan Network continues to provide vulnerable New Yorkers with high quality care. The Ryan Health Network began delivering health care services in 1967 and continues to be a nationally recognized leader in community health for five decades. In 2015, Ryan served 47,000 patients of all ages across an 18-site network that includes six main health centers, five community residence sites, six school-based health centers, and a fully equipped mobile medical van. In keeping with the organization’s founding mission that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, services are provided to all regardless of ability to pay. Through generous donations by sponsors and benefactors, the Ryan Network raised more than $550,000, which will help support the critically important health services provided by Ryan’s medical staff. — The Positive Community Staff


Primary Health Care – Adult Medicine and Pediatrics Ryan/Frederick Douglass Community Health Center 2381 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (@ 128th Street) Call today for an appointment: 212- 866-4400 Center Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9:00am – 5:00pm Thursday, 11:00am – 7:00pm | Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm The Ryan/Frederick Douglass Community Health Center is part of the William F. Ryan Community Health Network – a provider of primary, preventive, specialty and support services throughout New York City for almost 50 years. At Ryan, we believe that “healthcare is a right, not a privilege.” We accept Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans; affordable sliding fee available based on family size and income.


Education the art + science of learning

Bedford Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps Graduates 14 New EMTs

! s e t a u d a r G for the


Photos: Lem Peterkin

Valedictorian EMT Dionne Bourne M C C/O Antonine Robinson Salutatiorian EMT Benjamin Lewis and Founder / Commander James Robinson


s the national debate over healthcare continues to spiral out of control and the uncertainty of on whom the gods will bestow this sacred right looms like a mushroom cloud, the fate of the sick, poor, and elderly hangs in the balance. In the midst of this turmoil, the Bedford Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps continues its mission to save lives. On the sunny afternoon of July 14, 2017 the Corps held its 29th graduation exercise for a class of fourteen new EMTs. Commander James “Rocky” Robinson, who celebrated his 77th birthday, exuded pride and a sense of accomplishment for the corps survival after twenty-nine years of ups and downs. Founded in 1988 by former EMTs Robinson and his partner, Joe Perez, it is considered the nation’s first multi-cultural volunteer ambulance corps and enjoys a history as first responders in times of crises locally, nationally, and internationally. Thousands of local Bed-Stuy residents have been trained through CPR certification, first aid, and EMT programs. Graduates have become full-time EMTs and some have


The Positive Community Summer 2017

Guest Speaker Past Graduate NYPD Commanding Officer Winston Faison

gone on to become paramedics, nurses, physician’s assistants, and doctors. Former graduate and current NYPD Deputy Inspector of the 81st Precinct, Commanding Officer Winston Faison explained that he received his EMT license through BSVAC in 1995, five years before joining NYPD. “This training to me was important,” he stated. Every community should have an ambulance corps. They respond quicker and time saves lives.” Other speakers included: Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright; Tamira Moore; Brooklyn Borough Director for Mayor Bill DiBlasio; Radio Host Dr. Bob Lee of WBLS (107.5FM); Dr. Margarita Cabra, St. Vincent & Grenadines American International Chambers of Commerce; and Dr. Rappin Tate, Foundation for a Drug Free World. The EMT graduates were encouraged to take the knowledge gained back to their respective communities, teach others, and help save lives. The graduation capped off with a rousing parade of of EMT vehicles through the streets of Bedford Stuyvesant.







NYSCAS Brooklyn, New York


he Honorable Letitia James, Public Advocate for the City Of New York, was the guest speaker at the 43rd Commencement Ceremony for NYSCAS Brooklyn, held at the Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts. Administrators presented 342 baccalaureate and 287 associate degrees to the graduates. The class of 2017 Valedictorian was Avivah Rambod, and the salutary address was given by Viktoria Melnyk.

Rutgers Newark


Graduates anxiously await the beginning of the Rutgers University– Newark Commencement ceremony at the Prudential Center in Newark.

Future Scholars: First graduates of Rutgers Future Scholars program


Rutgers School of Nursing graduates

Camden College of Arts and Sciences

Kingsborough Community College Brooklyn, New York

for the

Jermani Faulk, Valedictorian Major: Liberal Arts Career goal: Social justice The last thing Jermani Faulk would ever have believed is that he would deliver the valedictory address at Kingsborough’s 52nd commencement! The Phi Theta Kappa student graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA! Jermani will attend SUNY Binghamton in the fall to complete a degree in Political Science and credits the Open Doors Learning Communities program, faculty, staff, and his fellow students with his success.

Felician University Class of 2017

Mother and Son Graduate together Ana DeLeon Major: Business Administration AT RIGHT John Brazil Johnson Major: Liberal Arts

Congratulations to the Felician Class of 2017


The Positive Community Summer 2017

Ana, a Kingsborough Presidential Scholar, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, the international honor society of two-year colleges and academic programs. She is also the recipient of the Regina S. Peruggi Endowed Scholarship.

John is one of the 55 nationwide recipients of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, which he will use as he transfers to New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. John plans to earn his M.F.A and Ph.D., and be among the most influential writers and artists of all time.

Photo: Louis Chan/BMCC

Borough of Manhattan Community College Olasubomi Ayomide Efuniyi 2017 Valedictorian



Graduates! for the

orn in Brooklyn, raised in Lagos, Nigeria by his grandmother. At 16, Olasubomi Ayomide Efuniyi returned to the US and enrolled at BMCC . Majoring in Computer Science, he is a 4.0 student and 2017 Valedictorian. Olasubomi Ayomide Efuniyi is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the BMCC Debate Team, and the BMCC Student Government Association. He is also a research assistant under the NYC Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (NYCLSAMP) program. Efuniyi is a graduate of the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP).

CUNY City University of New York School of Law (CUNY Law)


hoshana M. Brown is a 2017 graduate of CUNY School of Law. As a grassroots activist at heart, Shoshana was led to CUNY Law in 2014 to pursue her passion for public interest lawyering. Shoshana received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Miami and her Masters of Public Health Degree with a concentration in International Community Health from New York University.

Prior to law school, Shoshana worked as director of programs at Caribbean Women’s Health Association in Brooklyn, which allowed her to address the health and legal disparities faced by many immigrant populations. During law school, Shoshana completed legal internships at the United Nations Tribunal in Cambodia and at the Mississippi Workers' Center for Human Rights. Shoshana looks forward to contributing meaningful work as a future practicing attorney.

City College of New York (CCNY) Elaine Johnson Shereese Trumpet


laine Johnson, a SEEK student, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in CCNY’s Psychology Honors Program and a 3.9 GPA. The Harlem resident won a Jeannette K. Watson Fellowship (2015), The Colin Powell Program in Leadership and Service award (2015), and recognition from the Chi Alpha Epsilon National Honor Society, and the psychology international honor society, Psi Chi. She will continue her education doing research on the development of resilience in youth at the University of Cambridge in England before pursuing a PhD in clinical psychology.


hereese Trumpet, a 2017 graduate with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at CCNY, is one of 20 distinguished minority architects and designers featured in the “Say It Loud’ exhibition, which celebrates the creative work of distinguished black members of the National Organization of Minority Architects, New York Coalition of Black Architects. A native of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trumpet credits a College Now course in architecture for her love of the field and choice of City College. “It’s more competitive and hard to get into, and everyone I spoke to said when you get out of City College, people in the architecture field know that you’re equipped to design buildings,” said the 22-year-old City College Honors Program member. Summer 2017 The Positive Community




es! t a u d a r G

for the

New York City College of Technology

2017 Valedictorian Natalie Alcide

atalie Alcide is the City Tech 2017 Valedictorian. She majored in Communication Design and plans to go to graduate school at City College (CUNY) to study Branding & Integrated Communications. “City Tech fueled my passion for social justice, and helped me realize my career goals,” explained Alcide. Change happens when we reach beyond our fears, doubts, and computer screens to use our skills and resources for the greater good. After graduating, we’ll all experience huge changes. They won’t come easy and we may not love them at first, but the changes we’ll face and inspire will serve as our legacy.” She plans to work in advertising.

Photo: A. Vargas

LaGuardia Community College


aGuardia Community College students enjoyed a confetti celebration during the close of graduation at Barclays Center, Brooklyn. The largest graduating class in the history of LaGuardia Community College—1,735— celebrated earning their associate’s degrees at the College’s 2017 Commencement. The ceremony marked the 45th graduation for the college, a member of the City University of New York (CUNY). Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter network and special projects director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, gave the keynote address at LaGuardia Community College’s 2017 commencement. “LaGuardia Community College graduates represent just about every possible background—every color and culture, every faith and walk of life,” said Garza. “The world needs the best and the brightest thinkers, strategists, and tech gurus, to build the world that we want to see. A world where all lives matter.”

Drew University School of Theology

Drew 2017 Doctor of Ministry graduates L–R: Rev. Dr. Melvin Davis, pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Ansonville, NC; Rev. Dr. Gloria Fields, pastor Maple Hill AME Church, Maple Hill, NC; Rev. Dr. Craig Gaddy, pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY


The Positive Community Summer 2017

Rev. Gerard Jameson, 2017 Master of Sacred Theology graduate, takes a selfie with, Rev. Dr. William Barber. Jameson is pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church. Dr. Barber, the commencement speaker, is a Drew Alumnus and founder of Forward Together Moral Monday Movement, president of the North Carolina NAACP, and pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, NC.

35th Annual Leadership Conference

Still We Rise: Moving NJ’s Black Agenda Forward Photo by Karen Waters

September 28-29, 2017 CONFERENCE LOCATIONS:

Trenton Masonic Temple 100 Barrack Street, Trenton, NJ 08608

Author Marc Curtis Little and his wife, Zaundria Mapson Little

Thomas Edison State University

Newark Rebellion Aftermath

1 1 1 W. State Street, Trenton, NJ 08608

Book Signing at NJ Historical Society


ive decades ago, Newark, New Jersey was in the national headlines due to a devastating uprising in a predominantly African American section of the city. Award-winning author and Newark native Marc Curtis Little, a teenager ar the time, witnessed the destruction. Little’s memories have been woven into a fictional account of the rebellion’s aftermath entitled, Faithful Servants: Rescue from the Rebellion ( Officially launched in his hometown on July 11, 2017 in front of a captive audience at the New Jersey Historical Society, the self-published book documents the perplexing relationships that developed between many African and Jewish Americans in Newark after the rebellion.. The novel focuses on a talented and academically gifted African American high school basketball player and his nationally recognized Jewish coach as they look past the prejudices of their respective communities to help restore the reputation of the city after the uprising. “Faithful Servants is a novel I have been writing in my head for many years, but because the storyline could be deemed controversial, I hesitated putting pen to paper,” said Little, who graduated from Newark’s Weequahic High School in 1969 and has lived away from the city since 1970. “My focus became clearer after my mother passed away eight years ago and I had to return to New Jersey to provide care for my ailing father. While living here, I had many conversations about growing up and nearly all of them included the rebellion. Though I wrote two books (Magnificent Redemption and After Obama) in two years before this one, I knew I wanted to develop the framework of a story that underscores the passing of time and the relinquishing of long-held biases.” —JNW


For Exhibits, Sponsorships, Advertising and Registration Information Please call: NJBIC Conference Office

Tel. 908-561-4062

Fax 908-561-6827

Email or visit us at


Rev. Timothy Levi Jones

Larry Hamm

Pastor Bethany Baptist Church, Newark

Chairman People’s Organization for Progress

Opening Keynote Speaker

Luncheon Keynote Speaker


Dr. George A. Pruitt

Michellene Davis, Esq.

President Thomas Edison State University

Executive VP and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer RWJBarnabas Health

Opening Welcome

Luncheon Keynote Speaker

Summer 2017 The Positive Community



music, art + literature

Convent Avenue Baptist Church Turns 75

Founding members Doris Weekes, Elizabeth Richards, Frances GittensLewis, and Mildred Campbell


oris Weekes, Elizabeth Richards, Frances Gittens-Lewis, and Mildred Campbell, founding members of Convent Avenue Baptist Church, were honored at the Diamond Jubilee of Convent Avenue Baptist during a gala celebration at Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle, NY. For his dedication to the church and community at-large, Senior Pastor Dr. Jesse T. Williams, Jr. received many proclamations and awards. But, what a joy it was when he was presented with a framed congratulatory letter from former President Barack H. Obama. Gala co-chairs, Brother Andreas Goree, Rory Mills, and Kim Miller, succeeded in marking 75 years of worship and service in Harlem in a fantastic evening filled with faith, fun, and fellowship. Guests enjoyed a revelatory word from Bishop Timothy J. Clarke, senior pastor of the First Church of God in Columbus Ohio. Bishop Clarke’s message focused on the church's 75th anniversary theme, “God’s People with a Precious Past and a Promising Future.” Professor Gregory Hopkins, CABC’s minister of Music, served as the master of ceremonies with great humor and accuracy as he lovingly related tales about Convent members past and present. Chairperson Dr. Gwendolyn Roundtree Evans and Co-Chair Deacon Nelson Braswell dutifully led the CABC 75th Anniversary Steering Committee. —TPC Staff


The Positive Community Summer 2017

Rev. Dr. Jesse T. Williams and First Lady Gelaine R. Williams

Hampton University Chaplain Speaks at St. John’s Women’s Weekend



t. John’s Baptist Church of Scotch Plains, NJ celebrated Women’s Day Weekend June 24-25, 2017. This year, the chief celebrant was the anointed and blessed Rev. Dr. Debra L Haggins, Hampton University Chaplain and pastor of the historic Memorial Church. Rev. Haggins is the first woman to hold this position in the history of the university. She is also the executive director and treasurer of the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference. On Saturday, June 24, 2017, the St. John’s Women’s Ministry, under the leadership of Deaconess Stephanie Davenport and Evangelist Nellie Suggs, held a meet-and-greet to introduce Rev. Haggins to the women of St. John’s and visitors from the community, as well as sister churches.

One of the highlights of the event was hearing two Hampton University students, 2014 Graduate Nya-Gabriella Peets and incoming senior Kyra Wiggins, share their experiences attending Hampton University. On Sunday, June 25, 2017, Rev. Haggins celebrated the women of St. John’s with her sermon taken from Mark 5:30-34, “And Jesus Turned Around.” Dr. Haggins told the congregation that Jesus turned around for the unnamed woman with the issue of blood because she demonstrated her faith in her healing, because she recognized that He is the healer. She didn’t need to touch him to be healed, just to touch the hem of His garment. Rev. Haggins is a powerful speaker who uses humor to deliver her message.

Rev. Dr. Debra L. Haggins

If you have attended Hampton University, you are familiar with her as the Chaplain. If you have attended the Annual Hampton Ministers’ Conference Monday morning service, you have heard her deliver the welcome message since 2008. You must experience Rev. Dr. Debra L. Haggins, make plans now to attend the 2018 Hampton Ministers’ Conference, June 3-8, 2018. It is an experience like no other.

Tickets: Call 973.596.6559 49 washington st | newark, nj 07102

Summer 2017 The Positive Community



Byg.r. g.r.mattox mattox By

William Miles and James Baldwin during the production the iconic documentary Remember Harlem William WilliamMiles Milesand andJames JamesBaldwin Baldwinduring duringthe theproduction productionofof ofthe theiconic iconicdocumentary documentaryI IIRemember RememberHarlem Harlem

“…heritage in all its forms must be preserved, enhanced “…heritage “…heritagein inall allits itsforms formsmust mustbe bepreserved, preserved,enhanced enhanced and handed on future generations as record human and andhanded handedon ontototofuture futuregenerations generationsas asaaarecord recordofof ofhuman human experience and aspirations, so as foster creativity in all its experience experienceand andaspirations, aspirations,so soas astototofoster fostercreativity creativityin inall allits its diversity and inspire genuine dialogue among cultures.” diversity diversityand andtototoinspire inspiregenuine genuinedialogue dialogueamong amongcultures.” cultures.”


—Article —Article777of of the United Nations Universal —Article ofthe theUnited UnitedNations NationsUniversal Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and Creativity Declaration Declarationon onCultural CulturalDiversity Diversityand andCreativity Creativity

ooking back on “the good ‘ol days” can someooking ookingback backon on“the “thegood good‘ol ‘oldays” days”can cansomesometimes be bittersweet. So seems for those in times timesbe bebittersweet. bittersweet.So Soitititseems seemsfor forthose thosein in one of the world’s most famous neighborhoods. one oneof ofthe theworld’s world’smost mostfamous famousneighborhoods. neighborhoods. Harlem has changed over the years, from black Harlem Harlemhas haschanged changedover overthe theyears, years,from fromblack black cultural mecca in the early part of the last cencultural culturalmecca meccain inthe theearly earlypart partof ofthe thelast lastcencentury, to drug-riddled enclave mid-century, to recent gentritury, tury,to todrug-riddled drug-riddledenclave enclavemid-century, mid-century,to torecent recentgentrigentrification. fication. fication. Harlem has made dramatic shift in the last 20 years. Harlem Harlemhas hasmade madeaaadramatic dramaticshift shiftin inthe thelast last20 20years. years. Many of its long-term residents are either moving away, Many Many of of its its long-term long-term residents residents are are either either moving moving away, away, being priced out of their neighborhoods, or dying off. being beingpriced pricedout outof oftheir theirneighborhoods, neighborhoods,or ordying dyingoff. off.AAA documentary now in production has the goal of illustrating documentary documentarynow nowin inproduction productionhas hasthe thegoal goalof ofillustrating illustrating the history of two landmark Harlem dwellings primarily the the history history of of two two landmark landmark Harlem Harlem dwellings dwellings primarily primarily through interviews with their long-term residents. The Face through throughinterviews interviewswith withtheir theirlong-term long-termresidents. residents.The TheFace Face ofofWhat What We Remember: Oral Histories 409 and 555 Edgecombe of WhatWe WeRemember: Remember:Oral OralHistories Historiesofofof409 409and and555 555Edgecombe Edgecombe Avenue includes the recollections of the many of the leadAvenue Avenueincludes includes the therecollections recollectionsof ofthe themany manyof ofthe theleadleading lights of Black America who resided in two buildings ing inglights lightsof ofBlack BlackAmerica Americawho whoresided residedin intwo twobuildings buildings that sit high on Coogan’s Bluff, in Harlem’s Sugar Hill secthat thatsit sithigh highon onCoogan’s Coogan’sBluff, Bluff,in inHarlem’s Harlem’sSugar SugarHill Hillsecsection. They paint vivid picture of the style and flavor of this tion. tion.They Theypaint paintaaavivid vividpicture pictureof ofthe thestyle styleand andflavor flavorof ofthis this historic neighborhood. historic historicneighborhood. neighborhood. In those days, 409 Edgecombe Avenue, Harlem’s In Inthose thosedays, days,409 409Edgecombe EdgecombeAvenue, Avenue,Harlem’s Harlem’s tallest and most exclusive apartment house, was quite tallest tallestand andmost mostexclusive exclusiveapartment apartmenthouse, house,was wasquite quite

68 The Positive Community Summer 2017 68 68The ThePositive PositiveCommunity CommunitySummer Summer2017 2017 68 The Positive Community Summer 2017

party center. The Walter Walter Whites Whites and and the the Aaron Aaron aaa party party center. center. The Douglases, among others, others, lived lived and and entertained entertained Douglases, Douglases, among there. Walter White was was aa jovial jovial and and cultured culturedhost, host, there. there.Walter WalterWhite with spritely mind and and an an apartment apartmentoverlooking overlooking with withaaaspritely spritelymind the Hudson, andthey theywere werealways alwayshospitable hospitabletotohunhunthe theHudson, Hudson,and gry literati likeme. me. gry gryliterati literatilike —Langston —LangstonHughes, Hughes, The BigSea, Sea,his his1940, 1940,Autobiography Autobiography —Langston Hughes,The TheBig

One Harlem businessman related, related, “They “They used used toto say say One One Harlem Harlem businessman you’d wipe out black leadership leadership for for aa generation generation ifif you you you’d you’d wipe wipe out out black dropped bomb on 409.” 409.” Indeed, Indeed, the theentire entireearly earlyblack black dropped droppedaaabomb bombon leadership of theNAACP NAACPlived livedatat409 409Edgecombe, Edgecombe,includincludleadership leadershipof ofthe ing W.E.B. Du Bois, James James Weldon Weldon Johnson, Johnson, and and Roy Roy ing ing W.E.B. W.E.B. Du Du Bois, Wilkins. Thurgood Marshall, the the first first African-American African-American Wilkins. Wilkins. Thurgood Thurgood Marshall, AssociateSupreme SupremeCourt CourtJustice, Justice,called called Associate 409 home, home, asasdid didthe theReverend ReverendJames James 409 H.Robinson, Robinson,whose whoseAfrica AfricaFund Fundwas wasaa H. prototypefor forthe thePeace PeaceCorps. Corps. prototype Five blocks blocks north north atat 555 555 Five Edgecombe,residents residentsincluded includedboxing boxing Edgecombe, great Joe Joe Louis, Louis, bandleader bandleader Count Count great Basie, legendary legendary actors actors Paul Paul Robeson Robeson Basie, andCanada CanadaLee, Lee,along alongwith withprominent prominent and musiciansErskine ErskineHawkins, Hawkins,Andy AndyKirk, Kirk, musicians andJohnny JohnnyHodges. Hodges. and An early early power power couple, couple, Bessie Bessie and and An Charles Buchanan, Buchanan, also also lived lived atat 555. 555. Charles She was was the the first first African-American African-American She womanto toserve serveininthe theNew NewYork YorkState State woman W.E.B. W.E.B.Du Du DuBois Bois Bois W.E.B.

Legislature, while he was the manager of the famed Savoy Legislature, was of the Savoy Legislature,while whilehe heresidents wasthe themanager manager the famed famed Savoy Ballroom. Recent include offashion designer Ballroom. Recent residents include fashion designer Ballroom. Recent residents the include Vaughn Terry who designed Purplefashion Rain-eradesigner look of Vaughn who the Rain-era look of VaughnTerry Terrydressed whodesigned designed the Purple Purple Rain-era of Prince. Terry other famous acts like Earth,look Wind, Prince. Terry dressed other famous acts like Earth, Wind, Prince. Terry dressed other famous acts like Earth, Wind, and Fire, and is considered a “designer’s designer,” having and and isisconsidered aa“designer’s designer,” having andFire, Fire, and considered “designer’s designer,” worked with fashion icons Oscar de la Renta, Donnahaving Karan, worked with fashion icons Oscar de la Renta, Donna workedKamali, with fashion icons Oscar de la Renta, DonnaKaran, Karan, Norma and others. Norma Kamali, others. Norma Kamali,and and others.®-award winning jazz musician A neighbor of Grammy ®®-award winning jazz musician AAneighbor ofofGrammy neighbor Grammy -awardD.winning musician Cassandra Wilson at 555, Karen Taylor, jazz is one of the Cassandra Wilson atat555, Karen D. Taylor, isis one of Cassandra Wilson 555, Karen D. Taylor, one of the the scriptwriters on the project along with well-known journalscriptwriters on the project along with well-known journalscriptwriters on the project along with well-known journalist, author, educator and activist Herb Boyd. Taylor, herself ist, author, and Herb Boyd. Taylor, herself author,educator educator andactivist activist Herb Taylor,and herself aist, multi-genre artist who is known for Boyd. producing pera amulti-genre artist who isisknown for producing and permulti-genre artist who known for producing and forming her works in many venues around town, firstpergot forming her works in many around town, first forming manyvenues venues around town,into first got got the idea her forworks the in project when she moved 555 the the project when she into 555 the idea idea for for she moved moved Edgecombe 25 the yearsproject ago andwhen felt history oozinginto from555 the Edgecombe 2525years ago and felt history oozing from the Edgecombe years ago and felt history oozing from the occupants and the very walls. “Looking at the gorgeous occupants and very walls. “Looking at the gorgeous occupants andthe thethe very walls. “Looking gorgeous Tiffany rotunda in lobby, it dawned onatmethe that this was Tiffany rotunda ininthe lobby, ititdawned on me that this was Tiffany rotunda the lobby, dawned on me that thisthese was a special place,” she remembered. “I would see all a aspecial place,” she remembered. “I“I would see all these special place,” she remembered. would see all these classy and stylish elders, dressed to the nines coming in and classyand andstylish stylishelders, elders,dressed dressedtotothe thenines ninescoming comingin in and and classy out of the building.” outofofthe thebuilding.” building.” out More than 20 hours of oral history have been compiled Morethan than2020hours hoursofoforal oralhistory historyhave havebeen been compiled compiled More for this project. The interviews include the reminiscences forthis thisproject. project.The Theinterviews interviewsinclude include the the reminiscences reminiscences for of 90 year-old Lavern Gaither, who has lived at 409 since year-oldLavern LavernGaither, Gaither,who who has has lived lived at at 409 409 since since ofof9090year-old she was seven. She studied cello as a young girl and recalls shewas wasseven. seven.She Shestudied studiedcello celloasasaayoung younggirl girl and and recalls recalls she neighbor Thurgood Marshall insisting on carrying her neighborThurgood Thurgood Marshall Marshall insisting insisting on on carrying carrying her her neighbor instrument up the hill to her lessons. instrument up the hill to her lessons. instrument up the hill to her lessons. Sociology professor Keith Thompson would leave his Sociologyprofessor professor Keith Keith Thompson Thompson would would leave leave his his Sociology apartment in 409 in the middle of the the night night to to walk walk the the apartment in 409 in the middle of apartment in 409 in the middle of the night to walk the halls of the great people who lived there before him. For hallsofofthe thegreat greatpeople peoplewho wholived livedthere there before before him. him. For For halls Thompson, the door to apartment 13H was was sacred sacred —it —it was was Thompson, the door to apartment 13H Thompson, the door to apartment 13H was sacred —it was the entryway to the home of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, the man theentryway entrywaytotothe thehome homeofofDr. Dr.W.E.B. W.E.B.Du Du Bois, Bois, the the man man the who inspired him to study the social sciences. sciences. who inspired him to study the social who inspired him to study the social sciences. Jane Wright, nonagenarian and fashion fashion plate plate from from JaneWright, Wright,aaanonagenarian nonagenarian and and Jane fashion plate from North Carolina, who holds a Master’s degree in education NorthCarolina, Carolina,who whoholds holdsaaMaster’s Master’sdegree degree in in education education North from New York University, has made 555 555 Edgecombe Edgecombe her her from New York University, has made from New York University, has made 555 Edgecombe her

Billy Butler Butler Billy Billy Butler

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Canada Lee CanadaLee Lee Canada

home since the 1950s. When she moved in she was the one home since the When she she moved movedin inshe shewas wasthe theone one home When of the youngest1950s. females. She is now the eldest, and recalls of the youngest females. She She isis now now the the eldest, eldest,and andrecalls recalls of standing beside Queen Elizabeth in 1976 at the Jumel standing beside Queen Elizabeth Elizabeth in in 1976 1976 atat the the Jumel standing Mansion, New York City’s oldest house, which is Jumel located Mansion, New York City’s City’s oldest oldest house, house, which which isis located located Mansion, right across the street from her home. right across the street from from her home. home. right William H. “Billy” Butler,her who lived on the 14th floor of William H. “Billy” Butler, Butler, who who lived lived on on the the14th 14thfloor floorofof 555, was a jazz musician. When he wasn’t making music, he 555, was a jazz musician. When When he he wasn’t wasn’tmaking makingmusic, music,he he 555, published a national guide for black travelers, called published guide for for black black travelers, travelers, called called published a national guide Travelguide. His niece, Jean Nash Wells, now the editor-inTravelguide. His niece, Jean Travelguide. Jean Nash Nash Wells, Wells, now now the the editor-ineditor-inchief of The Positive Community, visited her uncle during chief of The Positive Community, chief Community, visited visited her her uncle uncle during during summers in the late forties and early fifties. “They had a tersummers in the late forties and early fifties. “They had summers forties and early fifties. “They hadaaterterrace that wrapped around three sides of the apartment, race that wrapped around race around three three sides sides of of the the apartment, apartment, and they had regular open house events where residents and they had regular open and open house house events events where where residents residents would visit from apartment to apartment,” she recalled. “I would visit from apartment to apartment,” would apartment to apartment,” she sherecalled. recalled.“I“I remember going outside and sitting on a bench across the remember going outside and remember and sitting sitting on on aa bench benchacross acrossthe the street, swinging my legs and watching the people go by. I street, swinging my legs and watching the people street, and watching the people go goby. by.II rememberititasasbeing being a verysafe safe placeand and a funplace place to remember remember it as being aa very very safe place place and aa fun fun placetoto visit. visit. visit. metmany many well-knownpeople people there,”Wells Wells continued. “I“Imet met “I many well-known well-known people there,” there,” Wellscontinued. continued. “I met Joe Louis and his wife, beauty entrepreneur Rose “I met met Joe Joe Louis Louis and “I and his his wife, wife, beauty beauty entrepreneur entrepreneur Rose Rose Morgan. My uncle was good friends with Canada Lee, Paul Morgan. My My uncle uncle was Morgan. was good good friends friends with with Canada CanadaLee, Lee,Paul Paul Robeson and Andy Kirk.” Robeson and and Andy Robeson Andy Kirk.” Kirk.” In the theFace FaceofofWhat What WeRemember Remember willpremiere premiere inMarch March In In the Face of What We We Remember will will premiere in in March 2018 atat the the Schomburg Schomburg Center Centerfor forResearch ResearchininBlack Black 2018 2018 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,and andwill willbe bebroadcast broadcastbybySpectrum SpectrumCable Cablenext nextyear year Culture, Culture, and will be broadcast by Spectrum Cable next year aspart partofofaanew newdocumentary documentaryseries. series. as as part of a new documentary series. Taylorsees sees thisproject project asa alink link betweena aglorious glorious past Taylor Taylor sees this this project as as a link between between a gloriouspast past andan anevolving evolvingpresent presentand andfuture. future.“I“Ithink thinkthat thatfor for posterand and an evolving present and future. “I think that forposterposterity’s sake sakeand andthe the factthat that I liketotosay say thatthe the ancestors ity’s ity’s sake and the fact fact that II like like to say that that the ancestors ancestors tookcare careofofus, us,sosowe weshould shouldtake takecare careofofthe theancestors, ancestors,it’sit’s took took care of us, so we should take care of the ancestors, it’s importantfor forusustotocodify codifyour ourhistory historyasasAfrican-American African-American important important for us to codify our history as African-American people, asas Harlem Harlemresidents residentsand andasasresidents residentsofof409 409and and people, people, as Harlem residents and as residents of 409 and 555 because becauseno noone oneelse elsewill willdo doititfor forus,” us,”she shesaid. said.“This “This 555 555 because no one else will do it for us,” she said. “This will be be aacomprehensive comprehensivedocumentary documentarythat thatnot notonly onlyillusilluswill will be a comprehensive documentary that not only illustratesthe thetwo twobuildings, buildings,but butthe thedevelopment developmentofofHarlem Harlemasas trates trates the two buildings, but the development of Harlem as siteof ofBlack BlackExcellence Excellenceand and‘The ‘TheCultural CulturalCapital Capitalofofthe the aasite a site of Black Excellence and ‘The Cultural Capital of the BlackWorld.’” World.’” Black Black World.’” For Formore moreinformation informationononthis thisproject, project,please For more information on this project, please see Summer 2017 The Positive Community 69 Summer 2017The The Positive Community 69 Summer 2017 Positive Community 69 Summer 2017 The Positive Community 69


Leonard: CobbsLeonard: Tasha TashaCobbs Pursuit. Passion.Pursuit. Heart. Heart.Passion. ® ® Now Nowthe theGrammy Grammy winner winnerand andtop-selling top-sellingartist artistis isback back with withher herthird, third,highly-anticipated highly-anticipatedCD, CD,HEART. HEART.PASSION. PASSION. PURSUIT. PURSUIT. And And it’sit’s setset forfor release release inin stores stores and and online online everyeverywhere where August August 25th 25th onon Motown Motown Gospel. Gospel.HEART. HEART. PASSION. PASSION. PURSUIT. isthe theresult resultofofa ahistoric historicrecording recordingthat thattook took place placeover overfive fivedays daysat atthe thefamed famedDoppler DopplerStudios Studiosinin Atlanta, Atlanta, GA. GA. With With a singular a singular focus focus inin mind mind toto connect connect peopeople pletotoGod, God,Cobbs CobbsLeonard Leonardbrought broughtininworld-class world-classmusimusicians cians and and worship worship leaders leaders from from around around the the country country toto pray, pray, minister, minister, and and celebrate celebrate Jesus Jesus together. together. “Ten “Ten years years ago, ago, God God told told me me I would I would bebe a bridge,” a bridge,” shared shared Tasha Tasha Cobbs Cobbs Leonard. Leonard. “I “Ididn't didn'tknow knowwhat whatit itmeant meantat atthe thetime, time,but butfrom fromthe the release releaseofof‘Break ‘BreakEvery EveryChain’ Chain’totonow, now,HeHehas hasblown blownmymy mind mindand andshown shownme memore moreabout aboutthis thisassignment.” assignment.”The The new newproject projectis isproduced producedbybyher herbrother-in-law brother-in-lawKenneth Kenneth Leonard, Leonard,Jr.,Jr.,and andfeatures featurespowerful powerfulco-writes co-writesbybyCobbs Cobbs Leonard Leonard with with Matt Matt Redman, Redman, Jonas Jonas Myrin, Myrin, Brenton Brenton Brown, Brown, and and worship worship leader leader Todd Todd Galbreth Galbreth toto name name a few. a few. HEART. HEART.PASSION. PASSION.PURSUIT. isa acompelling compellingcollection collection ofofmusic, music,uniting unitingpeople peoplethrough throughthe theuniversal universalsound soundofof worship. worship.When Whenpeople peoplefound foundout outabout aboutthis thisCD CDthey theyprepreordered orderedit itonline onlineononher herexclusive exclusiveFan FanStore Storeand andinstantly instantly received receivedthe thecurrent currentsmash smashsingle, single,“Great “GreatGod.” God.”Now, Now,the the bonus bonustotothat thatis isfans fanswho whopre-order pre-orderthe thealbum albumwill willreceive receive three threenew newsongs songsininthe thecoming comingweeks weeksleading leadinginto intothe the August August 2525 release release date date (that's (that's a great a great gift gift —hint, —hint, hint.) hint.) One Onemore morething, thing,there therehas hasbeen beena tremendous a tremendouschange change ininTasha Tashaand andit itstarts startswith withthe theend, end,her herlast lastname, name,that She She is is now now a Mrs., a Mrs., that's that's Mrs. Mrs. Leonard Leonard now, now, wife wife ofof her her best best friend, friend,Keith, Keith,whom whomshe shemet metnine nineyears yearsago agoat ata aworship worship conference. conference.Cobbs CobbsLeonard Leonarddescribed describedthe theunion unionsosofarfarasas “Every “Every day day is is a magnificent a magnificent journey.” journey.” WeWe are are soso proud proud ofof you, you, your your union, union, and and your your contribucontribution tion toto Building Building The The Kingdom! Kingdom!

GRACE GRACE& &PEACE PEACEFAMILY, FAMILY, isten, isten, the the summer summer is is inin full full swing swing and and you you know know how how people peoplecan canget, get,sosoplease pleasestay staycool, cool,stay stayalert, alert,and and stay stay prayerful! prayerful! InIn the the meantime, meantime, getget your your worship worship onon with withsome somegood goodgospel gospelmusic; music;turn turnit itallallthe theway wayupupand and rejoice rejoicebecause becausethere thereare aresosomany manythings thingsforforwhich whichwewe need needtotobebegrateful! grateful!WeWetake takeadvantage advantageofofthe theprivileges privileges wewe have have today today and and grace grace and and mercy mercy is is one one ofof them, them, well well it’sit’s actually actually two two ofof them. them. Speaking Speaking ofof two, two, mymy twin twin inin the the spirspirit,it, Tasha Tasha Cobbs Cobbs Leonard Leonard (she (she doesn't doesn't know know it it but but it'sit's what what I Icall callher—shh!), her—shh!),is isback backwith witha acombination combinationofofgreat great things things happening happening forfor the the changed changed season. season. With Withprevious previouschart-topping chart-toppingsales salesand andradio radiosuccess, success, Tasha Tasha Cobbs Cobbs Leonard Leonard is is one one ofof the the most most prominent prominent artists artists iningospel gospelmusic. music.Her Herdebut debutalbum, album,Grace, Grace,which whichfeatured featured the theRIAA RIAAgold-certified gold-certifiedsmash smashhithit“Break “BreakEvery EveryChain,” Chain,” ® Award ® Award yielded yielded her her first first Grammy Grammy win, win, and and continues continues toto bebe one oneofofthe thehighest-selling highest-sellingalbums albumsofofthe thepast pastfive fiveyears. years. With Withher herfollow-up follow-upproject, project,One OnePlace PlaceLive, Live,she sheearned earned another anotherGrammy® Grammy®nomination nominationand andmultiple multipleaccolades, accolades, including including two two Billboard Billboard Music Music Award Award nominations, nominations, a BET a BET Award Awardnomination, nomination,and andbeing beingnamed namedthe theTop TopFemale Female Dedicatedto toMs. Ms.Dorothy Dorothyof ofGreater GreaterAllen AllenCathedral. Cathedral.You Youarearea a Gospel Gospel Artist Artist and and the the Most Most Streamed Streamed Gospel Gospel Artist Artist ofof 2016 2016 Dedicated beautiful beautiful woman woman of of God! God! byby Billboard. Billboard.

LL 70 The Positive Community Summer 2017

70 70 Community Community Positive Positive The The 2017 2017 Summer Summer

Black Music Roundtable in Harlem


ny conversation about the future of black people in America must include a discussion about our collective creative talents and gifts. Music, in all its forms, has often been a platform to express the joy, sadness, struggles, love, and triumphs of black life in America. The downsizing of music classes in schools has produced a deficit of children learning to play instruments and read music. Combined with the absence of music appreciation and the history of our musical heritage in school and in the home, without intervention, it is inevitable that a negative effect on music will be the result for generations to come. On Wednesday, July 19, The Positive Community, and ImageNation, in association with Injoy Enterprises, hosted a panel discussion at ImageNation’s RAW SPACE on Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd in Harlem. Moderated by Monica Williamson (Mama Soul), panelists discussed the growth of the number of black independent artists in the music industry, the use of technology, and a continuous collective effort to support one another. To see more pictures or to view panel questions please visit –TPC Staff

Dr. Oudi Harding, Music Director, Rev. Staci Ramos

L–R: Gwen Moten, Cultural Affairs, Newark; Monica Williamson “MamaSoul;” WHCR Radio personality Jeanne Parnell, and panelist Marcia Harris

L–R: Dr. Jahjah Shakur, Gregory Gates, Imagenation VP & exe. producer; and Dr. Fred Price, Medgar Evers College Photos: Bruce Moore and Raymond Hagans

L–R: TPC Publisher, Adrian Council, Sr.; Marco Noble; Jahjah Shakur; MamaSoul; V. Ferg; Marcia Harris; Calvin Rashad Davis, and DJ Stormin Norman FRONT: Gregory Gates; TPC's Peter Gillo

First Lady Gwendolyn and Rev. Al Taylor


Summer 2017 The Positive Community


NY United Missionary Baptist’s Association


nder the leadership of Moderator Rev. Dr. Carl Washington Jr., New York’s United Missionary Baptist Association, serving over 164 churches in Manhattan, Bronx, and lower Westchester County, held their third Quarterly Session July 25 – 28, 2017. Harlem’s Macedonia Baptist church—Rev. Dr. Isaac B. Graham, pastor, opened its doors to welcome UMBA members. The general theme, “Reflecting the Will Of God in Ministry, Message and Mission” (II Peter 1:3-11), brought together leaders and auxiliaries. Highlights included a special message by Rev. Dr. Johnnie G. McCann from the mighty St. Luke B.C. in Harlem. Dr. Washington also introduced The Positive Community’s Obama commemorative issue, which received a huge response. He encouraged all churches to support this special issue by bringing it into each and every congregation. In closing, Washington announced the completion of his term as moderator. A banquet in his honor is being planned for November. Dr. Washington is senior pastor at The New Mt. Zion B.C. in Harlem. —AAC

L–R: Rev. Dr. Carl L. Washington, Jr.; Rev. Dr. Johnnie G. McCann, pastor, St. Luke B.C.; and Rev. Isaac B. Graham

L–R: Rev. Anthony Lowe, Rev. Renee F. Washington Gardner, guest, and Moderator, Rev. Carl L. Washington, Jr. Photos: Bruce Moore

Standing: L–R: Rev. Dr. Alan Paul Weaver; Isaac B. Graham; Rev. Jerome Washington, pastor, New Mt. Calvary BC; John L. Scott; Seated: L–R: Rev. Geraldine Harris and Rev. Dr. Betty Spencer


The Positive Community Summer 2017

Baptist Ministers of NYC and Philadelphia Meet in Harlem Former President General Baptist Convention of NJ and former Philadelphia Conference President Rev. Dr. Guy Campbell Jr., with United Missionary Baptist Association of NY, Moderator Rev. Dr. Carl L. Washington, Jr.


Former BMC president Rev. Dr. Calvin Owens, Community Protestant Church, Bronx, NY; and Rev. Dr. Allen K. Hand, Trinity Community Missionary, B.C., Brooklyn, NY

Photos: Bruce Moore

ne of most anticipated events on the Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Greater NY and Vicinity (BMCGNY&V) annual calendar is the opportunity to fellowship with brother and sister clergy leaders from the “City of Brotherly Love.” This year, the Baptist Pastors and Ministers’ Conference of Greater Philadelphia and Vicinity travelled to the Village of Harlem— destination, the historic Mt. Olive Baptist Church on Lenox Avenue at 120th St. Host pastor Rev. Dr. Charles A. Curtis, who is also BMCGNY&V president, welcomed Philadelphia President Rev. Darrin A. Brown Sr. and the visitors to Harlem with open arms and a mighty good time of communion and fellowship was had by all. The conferences alternate visits every year. Established in 1898, BMCNY&V is New York City’s oldest and largest clergy fellowship organization. The conference meets every Monday, 2pm at Convent Avenue Baptist Church in Harlem. Rev. Jesse Williams is the host pastor.

The Positive Community Publisher Adrian A. Council, Sr.

Philadelphia Conference Reverends: James Moore and Larry Marcus

L–R: Rev. Darrin Brown, Sr.; Rev. Terence Griffith; Rev. Morin Barnes; Rev. Dr. Charles Curtis, host pastor and president, NY Baptist Minister’ Conference; Rev. Dr. James B. Barnwell, III Headed back home to Philadelphia

Summer 2017 The Positive Community


Photos: Dennis Hedgpath

Rev. Dr. Daryl Bloodsaw, pastor of First Baptist Church in Crown Heights, New York.

Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood

An Explicit Honor


nd when June 4, 2017 had fully come in Brooklyn, timing somewhere around 3:30pm, there was a gathering at the worship site of the Antioch Baptist Church. As much as possible for the first time, the gathering was all on one accord in one place. And at the designated moment there came a sound from the musicians both voice and instrument, and the sound filled the sacred space where we were seated. No official count was taken, but there appeared to be almost a thousand, definitely hundreds. They had come not only from Antioch, but from First Baptist of Crown Heights, Mount Pisgah, and from other congregations not publicly polled. There were pastors, politicians, and curious others present to see and seek what a commemoration of this nature might look like and even feel like.

BY REV. DR. JOHNNY RAY YOUNGBLOOD The celebration marked Ascension, the birthday of a Pentecost Christian Church. Please note that our spiritual and scriptural forebears were first called Christian at Antioch. So, yes, they were experiencing a most unique anniversary and in appreciation of Him, whom the late Myles Munroe calls “The Most Important Person in the world,” THE HOLY GHOST. We were there—called, organized, accountable to, and thankful to the Rev. Dr. Daryl Bloodsaw, pastor of First Baptist Crown Heights. Dr. Bloodsaw is our chieftain. He has vision for the future. Thanks be to God the Father and Son for the dispatching of the Holy Ghost as Significant Other to The Church and The Church as gift to the world. Welcome Holy Ghost!

L–R: Rev. Dr. Johnny Ray Youngblood, executive pastor, Mt Pisgah Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY and Rev. Robert Waterman, pastor Antioch B.C., Brooklyn


The Positive Community Summer 2017







thu aug


fri aug



sat aug


sat aug




sun aug


sings prince & michael Jackson 8/29 & 10/1



fri sep





fri sep



sat sep







Summer 2017 The Positive Community


Pastors’ Conference in Newark L–R: Rev. Ralph Branch, Moderator North Jersey Missionary Baptist Association and Rev. John H. Gamble Jr., pastor, Smyrna Missionary B.C., Newark NJ

Photos: Raymond Hagans

L–R: Rev. Dr. Bernard F. Johnson III, Greater Friendship B.C., Newark, NJ and Newark Southward Councilman, John Sharpe James


he Pastors’ Conference of Newark and Vicinity held their quarterly night session at Greater Friendship B.C., Newark, NJ. Rev. Dr. Bernard F. Johnson is the pastor. Clergy leaders came together to address the social, economic, and spiritual concerns affecting their communities and churches. Pastors gather to fellowship, promote awareness, and discuss solutions.

L–R: Pastor Bryant Ali, Conference VP New Psalmist, B.C. Newark, NJ; Pastor Motley, New Jerusalem B.C., Orange, NJ; Rev. Dr. Edward Hayes, Mount Calvary B.C. Newark, NJ; Pastor Roy Jones, Conference President, Good Shepherd B.C., Patterson, NJ

Annual Gospel Chorale Gospel Music Month

Photo: Karen Waters

L–R: Dr. Albert Lewis; Rev. Louise Roundtree; Minister Carr; Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor; Newark Council President Mildred Crump; Levi Sanders (son of Sen. Bernie Sanders); and Derrick Greene, senior advisor to Phil Murphy 4 Governor campaign


The Positive Community Summer 2017


une is Gospel Music Month in Newark, NJ. Rev. Dr. Lester Taylor kicked-off the annual celebration on June 3, 2017 at Symphony Hall in Newark directing his Community Baptist Church of Englewood Mass Choir in a glorious tribute to the late, legendary Rev. Timothy Wright. Professor David Kirkwood’s Greater Central Jersey Community Clergy Choir raised the rafters and Voices of Victory directed by Dr. Albert Lewis was stellar as the World Gospel Music Association celebrated 50 years.

SEPT 9 – OCT 8/2017 Photo by Dario Acosta/Auditorium Magazine.


Charity Baptist Church of Christ’s 28th Annual Block Party Photos: Bruce Moore

L–R: Rev. Dr. Lee Arrington, Paradise B.C., Harlem, NY; First Lady Sandra; Council member Vanessa L. Gibson; and Pastor Reginald Williams

L–R: Richard Chemilis, Adrian Council Sr., and Pastor Reginald Williams


harity Baptist Church of Christ’s held its 28th Annual Block Party on August 5 in the Bronx, NY. Church and community celebrated with food, fellowship, music, and fun. Rev. Reginald Williams is pastor of Charity Baptist Church.

Mother Wilmer Robinson 100th Blessed Years Celebration!


Photo: Lem Peterkin

Mother Wilmer Robinson and her pastor, Rev. Dr. Fred Lucas


The Positive Community Summer 2017

his is an example of what 100 years should look like. Wilmer Louise Robinson celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by relatives and church family at Brooklyn Community Church in Ft. Greene on Sunday, June 25, 2017. This “Young At Heart Sunday” honored everyone 65 and older. Mother Robinson is full of energy and continues to speak about her life experiences, passing information and knowledge on to younger generations. The South Carolina native was born on June 20, 1917. Her father pastored several churches and she has been committed to her faith ever since. She married her husband in 1939 and they had three children.  After settling in New York, Mrs. Robinson faithfully attended Bridge Street A.W.M.E. for 67 years. She is now a proud member of Brooklyn Community Church. Mrs. Robinson is grateful, blessed, and thankful to her Lord and Savior for all of her Block family and friends who have touched herParty life.

357 357 Seventh Seventh Ave. Ave. New New York, York, NY NY 10001 10001 (between (between 29th 29th & & 30th 30th Sts.) Sts.) • Office:212.594.6697 • Mobile: 917.567.4550 John • Office:212.594.6697 • Mobile: 917.567.4550 John Naftali Naftali


For groups or birthdays call 866.642.9849

New World Stages 340 W. 50th St.

Summer 2017 The Positive Community


Visit Our New Bold Website!

KAHLIL CARMICHAEL THE FITNESS DOCTOR Kahlil Carmichael is the spiritual director and founder of It Is Well Wellness and Worship Center in Somerset, New Jersey. He is a spiritual leader and the owner of The Fitness Doctor; a fitness and wellness consulting company. He writes a monthly column for The Positive Community Magazine and is the author of 50 Tips for a Better You! To grow spiritually and improve physically, or have Pastor Carmichael present his wellness seminar to your church or group you can email Kahlil at or call 732-921-3746.

Exercise Your Mind


don’t know about you, but when I find I am easily agitated and grouchy, I know that it is time to seek out some quiet time, some solace in the presence of God. Yes, we all need a break every now and then. But unless our quiet time and vacations include the Master, we will need a vacation from our vacation. Or we will need some rest from our so-called rest. I have a suggestion. Make time in your daily regimen for some quiet time with God through meditative prayer. This mental and spiritual exercise is just as important as a run in the park or 30-minute personal training session with the Fitness Doctor. Someone once said, “Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight.” Amen!! It’s time to exercise the mind! Summer is a great time to find a quiet place where we can spend some quality time with God. New Jersey is home to many beautiful parks and trails. A good friend recently told me of a quiet place in Hunterdon County, which boasts some of the most scenic trails and paths in the nation. And even in New York City you can find beauty in parks, on the waterfront, libraries, or museums. Check out the Cloisters if you haven’t already. I personally enjoy the beach. Nothing like an early morning stroll on the beach to put life in its proper perspective. A God perspective! We can only see things the way God sees things by sitting in His presence meditating and listening for His still, small voice. Sitting in the presence of God brings about a familiar comfort and sense of wellbeing that lets us know we are in the right place, at the right time, and that we are indeed on the right path. One way we can enter His presence is through meditation. Allowing yourself to be still is a great way to give your mind, body, and spirit rest, and connect on a deeper, more intimate level with God. Meditation is defined as the act or process of spending time in quiet thought. It can be difficult to feel anything but angst and stress when we are accustomed to going nonstop. However, when we are spending time alone with God, we can let go and just be. I read a fantastic quote recently by Sharon Salzburg that said, “Meditation is the ultimate mobile device; you can use it anywhere, anytime, unobtrusively.”

How great it is to know that His presence can be accessed wherever we are. Just the thought of this fills me with joy. Here are some benefits to meditation: • Meditative prayer tames the stresses and emotions that upset our personal lives, opening us to inner calm and well-being. • Meditative prayer deepens our connections with others and with the world around us. • Meditation values inquiry into how we perceive the world, helping us expand beyond the inner stories and emotions that limit our experience. • Meditative prayer helps us connect to God and live in the joy of the salvation offered by way of a relationship with Christ. • When we meditate and quiet our inner man, we will feel stronger and better. One of my favorite scriptures confirms the truth of meditative prayer coupled with the reading of God’s word. Joshua 1:8 teaches, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Prosperity and God given success are available to the one who will make time for God and hear divine instruction and wisdom — wisdom that is given freely if you ask and simply listen. I am pleased to announce we are starting a meditative prayer class at our facility in Somerset, New Jersey on Saturday afternoons. For more information on Serenity Saturdays call 732-921-3746 Peace and Blessings. If you’re interested in a free consultation or more information on FitCare, call 732-921-3746 or email Summer 2017 2017 The Summer ThePositive Positive Community Community

83 83

Another Week, Another Ransomware Attack How You Can Keep Your Data Safe


ast week, less than a month after the WannaCry ransomware attack infected more than 250,000 computers in 150 countries, security experts announced new revelations about a new attack, which originated in the Ukraine and spread to Russia, Poland, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, and the United States, along with nearly 60 other countries. This attack began with a specific target: 12,500 machines running older versions of Microsoft Windows and software owned by M.E.Doc, a tax-accounting company based in Ukraine. Several private companies, including the American pharmaceutical giant Merck, the Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, the British advertising firm WPP, and TNT Express, a global subsidiary of FedEx, were subsequently struck with a message featuring red text on a black screen: “Oops, your important files have been encrypted. If you see this text then your files are no longer accessible because they have been encrypted. Perhaps you are busy looking to recover your files but don’t waste your time.” What made this attack significantly different from past ones, however, was that “waste of time” part — within hours, the hackers’ email address used to collect Bitcoin payment required as ransom was shut down, eliminating their ability to communicate with victims and restore access to encrypted data. As many baffled security experts speculated, if the hackers launched their attack to make money, they failed spectacularly. Instead, some theories now hold that the attack was disguised as ransomware but meant to permanently wipe as much data on as many hard drives as possible. Researchers at


The Positive Community Summer 2017

Kaspersky Lab speculated that it was a “wiper” attack that used the media frenzy surrounding ransomware as a ploy to drum up attention. Still, that attention is needed to stem the tide of ransomware, one of the most tried and true vehicles for cyberattack. Ransomware relies on locking a victim out of his or her own files until they pay a certain amount for a decryption key. Last year, security researchers estimate that cybercriminals made more than $1 billion via ransomware attacks, with targets ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to independently owned small businesses and even private individuals. But the WannaCry attack and this most recent one, alternately identified as Petya, NotPetya, ExPetr, and GoldenEye, took in only $100,000 combined. Both spread by combining traditional ransomware assaults with an operating system vulnerability left open when software updates for Microsoft Windows were not installed. That allowed the attacks to grow quickly, exploiting lone, unprotected machines to then infect devices across any connected network. WannaCry’s global spread was stymied by a rogue security expert who registered a domain name for $10 and halted the attack in its tracks. Last week, a German email provider shut down the address associated with ransom payments, stopping the so-called Petya assault within a day. Whether ransomware is intended to make money or just wreak havoc, stopping it is the number-one goal for businesses small and large. CMIT Solutions has extensive experience protecting its clients from such incidents, and our 24/7 monitoring and maintenance solutions sprang into action last Tuesday to immediately deploy protections for any clients at risk of infection.

Here’s what we suggest to keep your business safe: Ensure that all software patches and security updates are properly deployed. WannaCry and Petya both took advantage of a publicly acknowledged vulnerability in older versions of Microsoft Windows. Any business with a trusted IT partner by its side would have had that patch deployed earlier this spring. After WannaCry, extra precautions were taken, as well. But in Petya’s case, even one vulnerable system could have taken down any protected ones that were connected on the same network, which makes comprehensive security so critical. Never click any link or download any attachment in a suspicious email. Although the two most recent global ransomware attacks were not spread via the standard phishing email method, all it takes is one errant click on one illicit link or malicious file to put an entire business’ computers at risk. Training your employees to quickly identify and avoid suspicious emails is a baseline for online security. Always back up your data. Creating regular, redundant, and remote backups of your critical business data is one of the most important security measures you can take for continued success. While free solutions exist on the open market that may indicate they’re backing up your entire computer, reliable data backup performed on a regular basis by a trusted IT provider is the safest way to prevent any ransomware attack, virus infection, or data breach from knocking your business out of commissions. Oh, and make sure your backup retrieval procedures are well vetted and regularly tested — if your data is lost, you want to be able to quickly restore it in the event of a cyberattack or natural disaster.

CMIT Solutions of Northern Union 973.325.3663• 800.399.CMIT


New Harlem Village, circa 1765

Harlem: Historical, Personal, Spiritual


nder Dutch colonial occupation during the 1600s A.D., a farming village developed toward the northern portion of Manhattan Island. The Dutch named that village “Nieuw Haarlem,” after the city of Haarlem in Holland, the European homeland of Dutch people. Today’s “Harlem” is located essentially where colonial “Haarlem” had been situated. An urban planner informed me that an African burial ground lies hidden in East Harlem. The presence of that African burial ground suggests that, even before the 20th century, some blacks inhabited Harlem. The overall presence of separate historical burial sites for blacks and whites in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and elsewhere suggest that, at least in the past, white folks did not want black dead bodies integrated with white dead bodies. From the late 18th century through the 20th century, waves of newcomers entered New York City. Most were European immigrants. But during the late 1700s and early 1800s, as slavery ended in the North while continuing in the South, newcomers to New York (and other northern cities) included blacks fleeing southern enslavement. The North won the Civil War in 1865. By 1870, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the U.S. Constitution had outlawed chattel slavery. But when U.S. troops were removed from the conquered South, southern states imposed laws and practices that oppressed southern blacks without technically violating the new antislavery laws, many blacks migrated north. Meanwhile, white immigration from Europe to the United States increased. Since New York City, with its harbor, was a major port city, its European immigrant population grew. As a result of these occurrences, Manhattan’s overall population grew. Since southern Manhattan had the densest population, the growth began to extend northward. Manhattan’s “uptown” became increasingly densely populated and urbanized. Consequently, around the turn of the century speculative residential construction occurred in Harlem. Real estate developers apparently anticipated selling and/or renting the newly-built housing to white folks who had money. But an economic downturn occurred, resulting in far fewer

ers and renters than the developers had anticipated. So they had no choice, so to speak, but to rent to black folks, who were willing to double-up families and such, in order to be able to afford the best housing that had ever been made available to them. Thus, the blackening of Harlem intensified. Throughout much of the 20th century, blacks flocked to Harlem from southern states, the Caribbean, and even from older black neighborhoods in Manhattan, such as the West 60s (a.k.a. “San Juan Hill”) and West 98th & 99th Streets. The Federal Government’s public housing program, begun during the Great Depression, further drew blacks into Harlem. High-rise and mid-rise developments such as the St. Nicholas Project, the Abraham Lincoln Project, and other public housing developments filled quickly. Additionally, a smaller number of similar but more prestigious private sector housing developments, such as the Riverton Houses and Lenox Terrace, attracted higher income blacks. Enhancing the attractiveness of Harlem to many residents has been the presence of high quality church congregations such as Abyssinian Baptist Church, All Saints Catholic Church, Convent Avenue Baptist Church, Metropolitan Methodist Episcopal Church, and too many others to name. Looking back at my growing up in a public housing project in Harlem in the 1950s and 1960s, I notice the majority of the young men who did not succumb to the heroin epidemic that ravaged black New York City neighborhoods during those years and the crimes related to addiction, were those who regularly participated in Christian-related activities. These included fellows who attended Catholic schools, brothers who were active in the Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF), guys who regularly attended Sunday school, high school students busy with Harlem YMCA clubs, and so on. In the present, as gentrification threatens to “whiten” Harlem, let’s decide to hold on to Harlem. We should not discriminate against white folks, just as we don’t want them to discriminate against us. Jesus teaches, “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.” −Luke 6:31 (New American Standard Bible) But at the same time, let’s remember what God has brought us through historically, including how He has been a blessing to so many of us through Harlem, despite much of our own stumbling. Summer 2017 The Positive Community 85 Summer 2017 The Positive Community 85


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Publisher Publisher Publisher Publisher Adrian Adrian Council, Sr. Adrian AdrianA. A.A. A.Council, Council, Council,Sr. Sr. Sr. Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief Editor-in-Chief Jean Jean Nash Wells Jean JeanNash Nash NashWells Wells Wells Associate Associate Editor Associate AssociateEditor Editor Editor R. Witter R.R. R.L. L.L. L.Witter Witter Witter Sales Sales Sales Sales Angela Angela Ridenour Angela AngelaRidenour Ridenour Ridenour Adrian Adrian Council, Adrian AdrianCouncil, Council, Council,Jr. Jr.Jr. Jr. NGS NGS Communications, Communications, Inc. NGS NGSCommunications, Communications,Inc. Inc. Inc. Satori Satori MPR Satori SatoriMPR MPR MPR Marc Marc Williams Marc MarcWilliams Williams Williams Contributing Contributing Writers Contributing ContributingWriters Writers Writers Mwandikaji Mwandikaji Mwanafunzi Mwandikaji MwandikajiK. K.K. K.Mwanafunzi Mwanafunzi Mwanafunzi g.r. g.r. mattox g.r. g.r.mattox mattox mattox Patricia Patricia Baldwin Patricia PatriciaBaldwin Baldwin Baldwin Rev. Rev. Theresa Theresa Nance Rev. Rev.Theresa TheresaNance Nance Nance Glenda Glenda Cadogan Glenda GlendaCadogan Cadogan Cadogan Helene Helene Fox Helene HeleneFox Fox Fox Rev. Rev. Dr. Joanne Noel Rev. Rev.Dr. Dr. Dr.Joanne Joanne JoanneNoel Noel Noel Photographers Photographers Photographers Photographers Bob Bob Gore Bob BobGore Gore Gore Wali Wali Muhammad Wali WaliA. A.A. A.Muhammad Muhammad Muhammad Seitu Seitu Oronde Oronde Seitu SeituOronde Oronde Rev. Rev. Dr. William Watkins, Jr. Rev. Rev.Dr. Dr. Dr.William William WilliamL. L.L. L.Watkins, Watkins, Watkins,Jr. Jr. Jr. Darryl Darryl Hall Hall Darryl DarrylHall Hall Vincent Vincent Bryant Vincent VincentBryant Bryant Bryant Hubert Hubert Williams Williams Hubert HubertWilliams Williams Brian Brian Branch Price Brian BrianBranch Branch BranchPrice Price Price Karen Karen Waters Waters Karen KarenWaters Waters Art Art Direction Layout Art ArtDirection Direction Direction& && &Layout Layout Layout Penguin Penguin Design Design Group Group Penguin PenguinDesign DesignGroup Group Peter Peter Gillo Peter PeterGillo Gillo Gillo The The Positive Community Corp. The ThePositive Positive PositiveCommunity Community CommunityCorp. Corp. Corp. 133 133 Glenridge Avenue 133 133Glenridge Glenridge GlenridgeAvenue Avenue Avenue Montclair, Montclair, NJ 07042 Montclair, Montclair,NJ NJ NJ07042 07042 07042 973-233-9200 973-233-9200 973-233-9200 973-233-9200 Fax: Fax: 973-233-9201 Fax: Fax:973-233-9201 973-233-9201 973-233-9201

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hile hile summer summer summerisis isisstill still stillinin in infull full full hile hile summer still full swing, swing,IIIIcan can canhear hear hearfall fall fallsneaksneaksneakswing, swing, can hear fall sneaking ingup up upbehind behind behindus us usand and andpeekpeekpeeking ing up behind us and peeking ing around around corners. corners. Nights Nights are are getgeting around around corners. corners. Nights Nights are aregetgetting tingcooler; cooler; cooler;pumpkin pumpkin pumpkinspice spice spiceisis isisbeginbeginbeginting cooler; pumpkin spice beginning ningto to toappear appear appearin in inlattes, lattes, lattes,cookies, cookies, cookies,and and and ning to appear in lattes, cookies, and other other forms; forms; and and I’m I’m seeing seeing people people other forms; forms; and and I’m I’m seeing seeingpeople people sporting sporting jerseys, jerseys, jerseys, hats, hats, hats,and and andt-shirts t-shirts t-shirts sporting sporting jerseys, hats, and t-shirts boasting boasting their their their favorite favorite favoriteNFL NFL NFLteams’ teams’ teams’ boasting boasting their favorite NFL teams’ names namesand and andlogos. logos. logos.Yes, Yes, Yes,pre-season pre-season pre-seasonpropropronames and logos. Yes, pre-season professional fessional football football has has arrived arrived and and fessional fessional football football has has arrived arrived and and before before we we know know it, it, the the regular regular season season before before we we know know it, it,the theregular regularseason season will will begin begin begin the the the multi-billion multi-billion multi-billiondollar dollar dollar will begin the multi-billion dollar year year for for for the the the American American Americansport sport sportthat that that year for the American sport that often often competes competes with with pastors pastors nationnationoften competes competes with with pastors pastors nationnationwide wideon on onSundays Sundays Sundaysfrom from fromSeptember September Septembertoto to wide on Sundays from September to February. February. February. February. One Oneman man manof of offaith faith faithwho who whowill will willseemseemseemOne One man of faith who will seemingly ingly be be able able to to attend attend Sunday Sunday servicservicingly be be able able to to attend attendSunday Sundayservicservices es without without without conflict conflict conflict isis former formerNFL NFL NFL es without conflict isisformer former NFL quarterback quarterback Colin Colin Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick. Kaepernick.He He He quarterback quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He literally literallywears wears wearshis his hisfaith faith faithon on onhis his hissleeve, sleeve, sleeve, literally literally wears his faith on his sleeve, sporting sportingseveral several severalreligious religious religioustattoos tattoos tattooson on on sporting sporting several religious tattoos on his his arms arms depicting depicting crosses, crosses, bible bible versvershis arms arms depicting depictingcrosses, crosses,bible bibleversverses, es, and and and simply simply simply the the the word word word“faith.” “faith.” “faith.” es, and simply the word “faith.” Despite Despite having having having taken taken taken the the the San San San Despite Despite having taken the San Francisco Francisco 49ers 49ers to to the the Super Super Bowl Bowl in Francisco Francisco 49ers 49ers to to the theSuper SuperBowl Bowlinin in 2013, 2013, and and boasting boasting the the NFL’s NFL’s top-selltop-sell2013, and and boasting boastingthe theNFL’s NFL’stop-selltop-selling ingjersey jersey jerseyin in in2016, 2016, 2016,he he heisis isisunsigned unsigned unsignedfor for for ing jersey in 2016, he unsigned for the the 2017 2017 2017 season. season. season. While While Whilesome some somecite cite cite the 2017 season. While some cite Kaepernick’s Kaepernick’sdeclining declining decliningathletic athletic athleticabiliabiliabiliKaepernick’s Kaepernick’s declining athletic ability, ty, others others cite cite his his social social activism activism both both ty, others others cite cite his his social socialactivism activismboth both on onand and andoff off offthe the thefield. field. field. on and off the field. During Duringthe the the2016 2016 2016season, season, season,he he hebegan began began During During the 2016 season, he began kneeling kneeling during during the the National National kneeling kneeling during during the the National National Anthem Anthemin in inprotest protest protestof of ofpolice police policebrutality brutality brutality Anthem Anthem in protest of police brutality and andhow how howpeople people peopleof of ofcolor color colorare are aretreated treated treated and how people of color are treated in inAmerica. America. America.Kaepernick’s Kaepernick’s Kaepernick’sprotest protest protestwas was was in America. Kaepernick’s protest was considered considered polarizing polarizing as as many many found found considered considered polarizing polarizingas asmany manyfound found his his refusal refusal refusalto to tostand stand standfor for forthe the theanthem anthem anthem his refusal to stand for the anthem disrespectful, disrespectful, while while while others—mainly others—mainly others—mainly disrespectful, disrespectful, while others—mainly people people of of ofcolor—found color—found color—founditit inspiring inspiring people people of color—found ititinspiring inspiring and and empowering. empowering. Kaepernick Kaepernick and empowering. empowering. Kaepernick Kaepernick isis isis seemingly seemingly being being punished punished for for speakspeakseemingly seemingly being being punished punishedfor forspeakspeaking ingout out outagainst against againstracism racism racismand and andpolice police police brubruing out against racism and police brubrutality, tality, while while while running running running aaaafoundation foundation foundation tality, while running foundation whose whosemission mission missionisis “to “tofight fight fightoppression oppression oppression whose mission isis“to “to fight oppression of of all all kinds kinds globally, globally, through through educaeducaof all kinds kinds globally, globally, through througheducaeducation tionand and andsocial social socialactivism.” activism.” activism.” tion and social activism.” Many Manyhave have havequestioned questioned questionedhow how howhe he hecan can can Many Many have questioned how he can jeopardize jeopardize his his livelihood, livelihood, his his ability ability jeopardize jeopardize his his livelihood, livelihood, his his ability ability to to earn earn earn millions millions millionsof of ofdollars dollars dollarsplaying playing playing to earn millions of dollars playing football football and and and garner garner garner lucrative lucrative lucrative football football and garner lucrative

endorsements endorsementsthat that thatwill will willfurther further further endorsements endorsements that will further endear endear him him to existing existing fans fans and and likelikeendear endear him him toto to existing existing fans fans and and likelikely ly inspire inspire some some new new ones. ones. I I don’t don’t lylyinspire inspiresome somenew newones. ones.I don’t I don’t question questionit,it, it,because because because despite despite never never question question it, because despite despite never never having having met met Kaepernick, Kaepernick, share share and and having having met met Kaepernick, Kaepernick, I share IIIshare and and understand understand his his commitment commitment to his understand understand his his commitment commitment to to to hishis his faith. faith. Romans Romans 14:20 14:20 tells tells us, us, “Do “Do not not faith. faith.Romans Romans14:20 14:20 tells tells us,us, “Do “Do notnot tear tear down down the the work work of God God for the tear tear down down the the work work ofof of God God forfor for thethe the sake sake of of food. food. All All things things indeed indeed are are sake sake ofof food. food. AllAll things things indeed indeed areare clean, clean, but but they they are are evil evil for the man man clean, clean, but but they they are are evil evil forfor for thethe the man man who who eats eats and and gives gives offense.” offense.” Romans Romans who who eats eats and and gives gives offense.” offense.” Romans Romans 14:22 14:22 and and 23 23 continue continue with, with, “The “The 14:22 14:22and and2323continue continuewith, with,“The “The faith faithwhich which which you you have, have, have have as as your your faith faith which you you have, have, have have as as your your own own conviction conviction before before God. God. Happy Happy own own conviction conviction before before God. God. Happy Happy he he who who does does not not condemn condemn himself himself isis isis he he who who does does not not condemn condemn himself himself in in what what he he approves. approves. But But he he who who ininwhat whatheheapproves. approves.But Buthehewho who doubts doubtsisis isiscondemned condemned condemned ifif he he eats, eats, doubts doubts condemned if if hehe eats, eats, because because his eating eating is not not from from faith; faith; because because hishis his eating eating is is isnot not from from faith; faith; and and whatever whatever is is not not from from faith faith and andwhatever whateveris isnot notfrom fromfaith faithis is isis sin.” sin.” It It seems seems that that Colin Colin Kaepernick Kaepernick sin.” sin.”ItItseems seemsthat thatColin Colin Kaepernick Kaepernick would would rather rather not not eat, eat, or or prefer prefer to togo go go would would rather rather not not eat, eat, oror prefer prefer to to go without without ahefty hefty contract, contract, rather rather than than without without a aahefty hefty contract, contract, rather rather than than offend offend his his God God or his convictions. convictions. offend offend his his God God oror or hishis his convictions. convictions. A A group group of of pastors pastors from from Madison, Madison, AAgroup groupofofpastors pastors from from Madison, Madison, AL AL are are behind behind him. him. They’ve They’ve organorganAL AL are are behind behind him. him. They’ve They’ve organorganized izeda aaa“blackout” “blackout” “blackout”where where where they they are ized ized “blackout” where they they areare are refusing refusing to to watch watch NFL NFL football football until until refusing refusingtotowatch watchNFL NFL football football until until Kaepernick Kaepernick issigned signed to aaateam. team. And And Kaepernick Kaepernick is is issigned signed toto to a team. team. And And the thehours hours hours they they would’ve would’ve spent spent tailtailthe the hours they they would’ve would’ve spent spent tailtailgating gatingoror or in front front of the the television television gating gating or inin in front front ofof of the the television television will will be spent spent mentoring mentoring youth youth indisdiswill will bebe be spent spent mentoring mentoring youth youth in in in disdisadvantaged advantaged neighborhoods. neighborhoods. advantaged advantagedneighborhoods. neighborhoods. By Byprotesting protesting protestingracial racial racialinjustice, injustice, injustice, ByBy protesting racial injustice, Kaepernick Kaepernick joining joining the the ranks ranks of Kaepernick Kaepernick is is isis joining joining the the ranks ranks of of of Muhammad Muhammad Ali, Ali, Mahmoud Mahmoud AbdulAbdulMuhammad MuhammadAli, Ali,Mahmoud MahmoudAbdulAbdulRauf, Rauf,Tommie Tommie TommieSmith, Smith, Smith,and and and John John Rauf, Rauf, Tommie Smith, and John John Carlos. Carlos.These These These are are men men whose whose conconCarlos. Carlos. These are are men men whose whose conconvictions victions outweighed outweighed their their desire desire for victions victions outweighed outweighed their their desire desire forfor for money money and and fame, fame, and and I I respect respect and and money moneyand andfame, fame,and and I respect I respect and and honor honor them them for for that. that. We, We, collectivecollectivehonor honor them them for for that. that. We, We, collectivecollectively, ly,need need needtoto to to take take a page page page from from their their ly,ly, need take take a aapage from from their their books booksand and andwithhold withhold withhold our our financial financial books books and withhold our our financial financial support support from from yet another another institution institution support support from from yetyet yet another another institution institution that that fails fails to to support support our our best best interinterthat thatfails failstotosupport supportour ourbest best interinterests. ests. This This summer summer we we saw saw unmasked unmasked ests. ests. This This summer summer wewe saw saw unmasked unmasked white whitenationalists nationalists nationalistsmarch march march across across white white nationalists march across across a aaa Virginia Virginia college college campus campus and and an Virginia Virginiacollege collegecampus campusand andanan an American American President President equate equate them them American AmericanPresident Presidentequate equatethem them with withthe the thepeople people peoplethere there there to to protest protest with with the people there toto protest protest them, them, so not not now, now, when? when? III won’t won’t them, them, soso so if if ifif not not now, now, when? when? I won’t won’t be be watching watching football football this this season season and and bebewatching watchingfootball football this this season season and and I I pray pray many many will will join join me. me. I’ll I’ll save save you you I Ipray praymany manywill will join join me. me. I’llI’ll save save you you aseat seat seat in in church. church. a aaseat inin church. church.

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Summer 2017  

Annual Harlem Summer Issue Harlem Restaurateur Fueled by Faith & Love Hire. Buy. Live. Newark Harlem Moving Forward Harlem’s Own Congressm...