Over 6,000 runners and walkers took to the streets of Harlem for the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and NY Road Runners Percy E. Sutton 5K Run and NYC Family Health Walk for Peace In Our Communities. Starting at West 135th Street & St. Nicholas Avenue, racers ran along picturesque Harlem taking in the community’s various historic sights. Mikael Tesfaye Kahsay, 25, who clocked in at 14:49 led all runners with Catherine Beck, 26, emerging as the first female runner to cross the finish line at 17:15. WBLS FM radio personalities Dr. Bob Lee and Deja Vu were also on hand leading a crowd of cheering revelers.
Immediately following the race, civic leaders, social organizations, church members, family and friends gathered together for the New York City Family Health Walk for Peace in Our Communities. Hosted by Fox 5 TV personality Antwon Lewis, the event was a collective outcry to bring awareness to and combat gun violence, bullying and domestic violence that is impacting our communities nationwide. Congressman Charles Rangel, NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, City Council members Robert Jackson and Leticia James shared comments encouraging the community to take a stand against violence of any kind Community leaders like Jackie Rowe-Adams, Co-Founder of Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E., Rev. Jacques DeGraff, Associate Pastor, Canaan Baptist Church, Imam Talib Abdur Rashid and others led the crowd in numerous chants and positive mantras reinforcing the message of and commitment to Peace In Our Communities as the walk began. The day concluded with a mini concert featuring various performances by a variety of local acts.
Themed “Harlem: Where the World Meets the World”, this year’s HARLEM WEEK events celebrated Harlem’s global presence and international legacy honoring the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence; the 100th anniversaries of South Africa’s African National Congress and Japan’s Sakura Festival. Activities and events included musical salutes to radio legend Hal Jackson, Reggae Icon Bob Marley, TV pioneer Don Cornelius, South African musical legend Miriam Makeba and more plus The Historic Black College Fair & Expo, Summer In The City, The International Auto Show, NYC Children’s Festival, The HARLEM WEEK/Imagenation Outdoor Film Festival, Harlem Jr Tennis Tournament and much more.
Photo credit (Left to Right): Lloyd Williams; Hon. Bill Perkins; Road Runners’ Mary Wittenberg; Rev. Jacques DeGraff; Hon. Robert Jackson; Marci McCall and musician Joey Morant – Photo By Images Of US.
From Keith L.Forest