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The Phyllis Harrison-Ross Awards Page

Dr. Phyllis Harrison Ross Awards April 30 2015
Champions of Change Forum, April 30,2015

Harlem News Coverage Article

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Dr. Phyllis Harrison Ross Awards
April 3, 2014

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First Lady, Chirlane McCray, Congressman Charles Rangel, John McEnroe, Randy Levine, Harry Belafonte Jr.,
Pay Tribute to David N. Dinkins at Event at New York Society for Ethical Culture

On April 3rd, The New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) and affiliate United Social Services, Inc. honored David N. Dinkins, the 106th Mayor of New York, with the inaugural Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross Public Service Award. The program featured tributes and anecdotes from First Lady Chirlane McCray, Congressman Charles Rangel, tennis legend John McEnroe, Randy Levine, President of the NY Yankees, and Harry Belafonte, Jr., Kennedy Center National Medal of Arts recipient. WABC TV Correspondents Nina Pineda and Sarah Wallace, served as emcees.

The benefit kicked off with an exciting performance by Alton Fitzgerald White, starring on Broadway for the past 12 years as King Mufasa in The Lion King singing “A Whole New World” and “They Live in You”, and culminated in a performance by Pilar Hill on violin. Pilar is 8 years old and attends the Noel Pointer Foundation School of Music dedicated to training young people in classical music.

Elinor Tatum, Editor of The Amsterdam News, presented the Rising Star Award to Mecca Santana, New York State's Chief Diversity Officer, for her contributions to improving workforce diversity and inclusion in NY State, and leading new initiatives to increase opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses. Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross, NYSEC’s Trustee, Chairwoman of affiliate United Social Services Inc., and public servant, presented the award for public service to her friend, David N. Dinkins. “This award is named for Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross - who is an exemplar of that commitment,” said NYSEC Board Member Heather Grady, Award Chair.

Mayor Dinkins’ accomplishments included introducing the “Safe Streets, Safe City” program that helped to reduce the crime rate significantly; negotiating the cleanup and transformation of Times Square; persuading the U.S. Tennis Open to build a highly profitable stadium in New York; improving the standard of overall health services for children and the poor; and bringing Nelson Mandela to New York as the first stop on his US trip after being released from decades of prison. “Mayor Dinkins has been a tireless leader and advocate for New York City and its citizens“, said Congressman Charles Rangel, Honorary Chair. “I congratulate my brother for this well-deserved honor.”

The program culminated in a conversation between Mr. Dinkins and Dr. Harrison-Ross, moderated by Harry Smith, Emmy Award Winning Correspondent for NBC.

Colgate Palmolive and The New York Yankees generously served as presenting sponsors. Additional sponsors included ING, Cisco, HealthFirst, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Wines of South Africa and The Harlem Brewery.

For over 130 years, the New York Society for Ethical Culture and its affiliate United Social Services, Inc. have consistently served the New York area community with programs and public service initiatives to help uplift the lives of the under-served.