Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer and the Department of Human Services recently hosted the Town’s 26th Annual Black History Month Celebration at Amityville Memorial High School. This year’s event focused on civil rights in the United States and featured a variety of performances, as well as local honorees. The Mistress of Ceremonies was Rev. Sister Seretta C. McKnight, Associate Minister of the Union Baptist Church and a keynote address was delivered by Dr. Jermaine Archer, Assistant Professor of American Studies at SUNY Old Westbury. Also in attendance for the event were Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez, Councilman Tom Donnelly and Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory.
Honored at the event were:
• Special Recognition Award: Reynolds E. Hawkins, Jr. – Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Track & Field Coach at Amityville Memorial High School.
• Community Service Award: North Amityville Fire Company Inc. • Special Recognition Award: Deborah Payton-Jones – Volunteer Coordinator at the Fashion Institute of Technology and Coordinator at the Suffolk County Board of Elections.
• Excellence in Education Award: Dr. Pamela C. Robinson Allen – Retired Teacher and Administrator at Hempstead Public School District.
• Unity Award: Amityville Memorial High School’s Rotary Interact Club.
• Economics Award: Dr. Eliza Townsend – Naturopathic Doctor.
The invocation was delivered by Pastor Keith Hayward of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Copiague. Performing the “Star Spangled Banner” was Aristine Norris, a retired educator. The event also featured live performances by musician Brandon E. Daniels, the Amityville Memorial High School Step Team, the Amityville Memorial High School Jazz Ensemble, musicians AJ Spence, production group The Sanaa Movement and the North Amityville Senior Center Choir. A video tribute to the late Nelson Mandela was also shown.
For more photos of the event, “like” the Town of Babylon on Facebook at www.facebook.com/babylontown.ny.
Supervisor Rich Schaffer is pictured welcoming guests to the celebration.