On the evening of Monday, March 3rd, 2014 the Harlem Arts Alliance (“HAA”), the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce (“GHCC”) and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture hosted “Twelve Women of Distinction” Twelve Women of Distinction program to kick off Women’s History Month.
The event chairpersons were five women who are all noteworthy in their own right: the Hon. Inez E. Dickens Member of New York City Council; Patricia Ricketts, Vice President GHCC; Tamara Tunie, Acclaimed Stage and Screen Actor; Pat Stevenson, Publisher Harlem News Group and Linda Walton, Executive Director HAA.
Welcoming remarks were made by Patricia Ricketts, Vice President GHCC, and Linda Walton, Executive Director HAA. A brief video clip was played highlighting some past Women History Month events that have taken place at the Schomburg before Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf, the Schomburg Center’s Manager of Programs and Special Events came out and spoke a few words.
A distinguished elder presentation was made showing a short video presentation created by Voza Rivers, Chairman of HAA as a tribute to Gertrude Jeannette, a 99 year old actress that is one of the founding members of the HADLEY Players.
Pat Stevenson, Publisher Harlem News Group spoke briefly about the power of women, particularly in their starting businesses within the Harlem community. Voza Rivers came on stage to speak briefly about the video tribute and to introduce the person responsible for funding the video, the Hon. Inez E. Dickens. She energized the crowd when she spoke about “women who misbehave” who don’t accept the status quo and who create new opportunities for their selves and our community.
The awards presentation section of the program began by saluting the extraordinary contributions that three women have made in each of the following four categories:
- Mary Wittenberg – President, New York Road Runners
- Lebogang Mokwena – Consul Political, South African Consulate General
- Henrietta Lyles – Chairperson, Manhattan Community Board #10
- Cheryl Wills – Senior Reporter, NY1 News
- Flo Wiley – Host, Black Beat NY, WHCR-FM
- Angie Hancock – President, Experience Harlem
- Cheryl McKissack Daniel – President, CEO, McKissack & McKissack
- Faith Hope Consolo – Chairman, The Retail Group, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
- Aliyyah Baylor – President, Co-Owner, Make My Cake
- Laura Greer – Associate Producer, Apollo Theater
- Aleathia Brown – Visual Arts Coordinator, Harlem Arts Alliance
- Dyane Harvey – Renowned Performing Artist and Choreographer
The evening ended with a dance performance by the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Closing remarks were given by Lloyd Williams, President GHCC and Linda Walton, Executive Director HAA.