Crowley Hosts 15th Annual Black History Month Celebration with Guest of Honor NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray

February 21, 2014
Press Release
McCray Delivers Keynote Address; Community Leaders Recognized (Queens, N.Y.) – On Wednesday, February 19th, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, was joined by special guest NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray at First Baptist Church in East Elmhurst to celebrate Black History Month. McCray delivered the evening’s keynote address during the annual event which brings the community together to remember the sacrifices made, the struggles overcome, and the achievements of African Americans throughout our history. “Black History Month is a time for us to reflect on the extraordinary contributions of the African American community and to renew and redouble our efforts to fight injustice and inequality,” said Rep. Joe Crowley. “As we take the time to celebrate how far we’ve come as a nation we cannot lose sight of the many challenges we continue to face. New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray has been a leader on so many of these issues, including the need for gender equality. She is an extraordinary woman who has dedicated much of her life to public service and I am honored that she joined us at this year’s celebration.” "I was honored to speak at Rep. Joe Crowley's Black History Month celebration," said First Lady Chirlane McCray. "It was a both a celebration of the progress our nation has made and a reminder of the work we have left to do -- and there was a palpable energy from New Yorkers ready to put in the work to ensure a brighter future for generations to come." Crowley also recognized several local leaders for their contributions to the community. This year’s honorees included Kelly Blue, Program Director at Corona CYO Basketball; Marvin Jeffcoat, Queens County Council Past Commander; and Monique Johnson, Resident Council President of Throggs Neck Houses. “The individuals we chose to recognize this year have all dedicated themselves to their communities and to helping others succeed,” said Crowley. “They have overcome adversity to achieve their goals and they continue to serve as shining role models for our next generation of leaders. Their impact is felt far and wide, and our city is a much brighter place because of their work.” Over 300 attendees were treated to a spiritual medley by the Antioch Baptist Church Choir and a special musical performance from Monique Jeffries. The invocation was led by Pastor Gilbert Pickett, Sr., Mount Horeb Baptist Church, and the benediction was delivered by Reverend Patrick Young, First Baptist Church. Crowley has hosted an annual Black History Month event every year since 2000. Recent guests of honor include former President Bill Clinton, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, civil rights leader and congressman John Lewis, and former NBA great Len Elmore.