The “Yes We Can” Community Center in Westbury recently held a celebration in honor of Black History month with the theme Celebrating African American Achievements in Arts, Science and Education. The event honored Town of North Hempstead residents who have displayed generosity in their community service.
Honorees included Director of Adult Education for Great Neck Public Schools Dr. Errin Hatwood, Manhasset resident Esther Blocker, Roslyn resident and founder of E Joy Community Resource Center Audrey Lewis, Westbury resident Brumsic Brandon III and Port Washington resident Angelena McGuire.
“It was very exciting. I was very fortunate to receive this award from Supervisor Bosworth,” said Hatwood. “She was someone here on the Board of Education when I was hired, so it was an honor to be selected by her. I’ve been in education for more than 20 years and have worked in middle and high schools. I’ve had the privilege of being able to serve a wide array of families in Great Neck. It was my first time receiving this award, and I’m grateful they chose to honor me.”
Throughout the month of February, the community center displayed two exhibits from the Nassau County African American Museum, Women in NASA and African Genius. Featured artists included Brumsic Brandon, Jr., and Barbara Brandon Croft, who was the first nationally syndicated African-American female cartoonist.
“Black History Month is an opportunity for all of us in North Hempstead to learn about and reflect on some of the extraordinary contributions by African Americans in our country and right here in our town,” said Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “Honoring several of our local residents for the wonderful work they do in our community is always inspirational and uplifting.”
Councilwoman Viviana Russell, who became the first African-American female Town Board member when she was first elected in 2009, added, “This is definitely an event I look forward to every year. Not only will the art displayed here be both important and educational, but we’ll also once again reflect on these great contributions by our honorees and illustrate how appreciative we are for all they have done for us.”