Vice Chair Crowley Hosts 16th Annual Black History Month Celebration

Feb 24, 2015 Issues: In the Community
Rep. Joe Crowley is joined by Rep. Keith Ellison and the 2014 Black History Month Celebration honorees. Photo credit: Dominick Totino Photography
Vice Chair Crowley Hosts 16th Annual Black History Month Celebration

Special Guest Rep. Keith Ellison Delivers Keynote Address; Community Leaders Honored for their Contributions

(Queens, N.Y.) – On Monday, February 23rd Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, was joined by special guest Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) at Bruno’s on the Boulevard in East Elmhurst to commemorate Black History Month with the Bronx-Queens community. Ellison, who serves as the co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus and is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, delivered the keynote address during the annual event which brings local residents together to celebrate the outstanding achievements of African Americans throughout our history. 

“Each year we pause during Black History Month to reflect upon our nation’s struggle for equality, but we also take the time to celebrate the courage and resolve of those who continue to fight injustice wherever it remains,” said Rep. Crowley. “One such individual is my good friend and colleague Congressman Keith Ellison, and I couldn’t be prouder to have him join us at this year’s event. African-Americans continue to play a pivotal role in shaping our society and I’m thrilled Congressman Ellison was able to meet some of the leaders in our own community who are making such a positive impact.”

In addition to honoring Ellison, Crowley recognized several community members for their extraordinary contributions. The honorees included LeFrak City community activist, Ernestine E. McKayle and the founding members of A Child’s Place Day Care Center and Preschool: Gregory Coles, Linda Coles, Brandon Coles and Denice Jeffries-El.

“I want to thank Rep. Joe Crowley for inviting me to speak tonight at his annual celebration of Black History Month,” said Rep. Ellison. “It’s critical that community leaders like Ernestine McKayle and the Coles family are recognized for making their neighborhoods a better place to live for all. We’ve made great progress since that dark day in Selma fifty years ago, and I’m confident with leaders like Rep. Crowley, Ernestine and the Coles we will continue to bend the arc towards justice.”

“Each one of tonight’s honorees identified problems within their own community, and have found ways to come together and solve them,” continued Crowley. “Their stories are inspiring and they continue to serve as shining role models.”

The Antioch Baptist Church Choir of Corona performed several musical and dance selections during the event and the invocation was led by Reverend Victor Gunter from First Baptist Church of Corona.

Crowley has hosted an annual Black History Month event every year since 2000. Past guests of honor include former President Bill Clinton, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis, former NBA great Len Elmore and NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray.

Congressman Crowley is the nine-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.