44 THE QUEENS COURIER • FEBRUARY 22, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Outstanding community members to be
honored at Katz’s Black History Month ceremony
BY THE QUEENS COURIER STAFF
firstname.lastname@example.org / @QNS
From civic leaders to students with
promising futures, a number of outstanding
Queens residents will be recognized
during Queens Borough President
Melinda Katz’s Black History Month celebration
later this month.
Th e borough president’s celebration of
African-American heritage will take place
at 6 p.m. on Monday night, Feb. 26, in
the Helen Marshall Cultural Center at
Queens Borough Hall, located at 120-55
Queens Blvd. in Kew Gardens.
During the ceremony, Katz and members
of the African-American Heritage
Committee will recognize eight men and
women who have dedicated themselves
to making Queens a better place to live
and grow. Th ey include Laurelton cardiologist
Dr. Olakunle Akinboboye; Queens
Village activist Dwight Leland Johnson;
business leader Harold Dow; Harriet
Diaz, principal of I.S. 192 in St. Albans;
Michelle Stoddart, director of public relations
and community development of
Resorts World Casino New York City in
South Ozone Park; Jamaica entrepreneur
Patricia Dorothy Chin; Rev. Dr. Leslie
Mullings, founder and CEO of Challenger
Preparatory Charter School; and Th omas
Crater Jr., publisher of the Queens-based
New York Page.
Chaired by Andrew P. Jackson (Sekou
Molefi Baako), the African-American
Heritage Committee members include
Dr. Sonia Banks; Pastor John Boyd II of
New Greater Bethel Ministries; Cedric
Dew of the Jamaica YMCA; Marc A.
Haken of Community Board 8; John
Harrison of Community Mediation
Services; Harbachan Singh of Community
Board 8; and Roslin Spigner of Delta
Sigma Th eta Sorority.
Event co-sponsors include Community
Mediation Services; Con Edison; Delta
Sigma Th eta Sorority; the Flushing
YMCA; the Greater Jamaica Development
Corporation; H&N Insurance Agency &
Financial Group; the Jamaica YMCA;
JetBlue Airways; New Greater Bethel
Ministries; Resorts World Casino New
York City; and Ridgewood Savings Bank.
To attend, RSVP at queensbp.org/rsvp
or call 718-286-2661.
Dr. Ola Akinboboye, MD, MBA, FACC,
MPH, FACP–Science Award
Dr. Olakunle Akinboboye is a cardiologist
in Laurelton, New York and is affi liated with
multiple hospitals in the area, including Mercy
Medical Center and NYU Langone Medical
Center. He received his medical degree from
University of Ibadan and has been in practice
for more than 20 years. He is one of 204 doctors
at Mercy Medical Center and one of 218
at NYU Langone Medical Center who specialize
in Cardiovascular Disease. He also speaks multiple
languages, including Spanish.
Dr. Akinboboye is a prominent US medical
practitioner, an award-winning nuclear cardiologist.
He is an associate professor of clinical
medicine at the Weill Medical College of Cornell
He is the national President of the Association of Black Cardiologists in the USA.
He also serves on the International Board of Governors of the American College of
Cardiology. He is currently the Chairman of Cardiovascular Disease Board of the
American Board of Internal Medicine. Th is is the organization that confers “Board-
Certifi ed Status” on deserving cardiologists throughout the country.
Harold Dow – Business Award
Born in Queens, twin brothers Harold and
Norman Dow began their long career as event
specialists and entrepreneurs while obtaining
their B.S. at St. John’s University. Th ey established
themselves as a smart management team
in the 70’s while orchestrating social events at
Othello’s and Leviticus, celebrated New York
nightspots. Justine’s, formerly Othello’s, became
home to the Dow Twins as well as the ‘fl agship’
of a golden era in Black nightlife in the tristate
Social venues in New York, where their business
began and established a foothold include:
Studio 54; the South Street Seaport; Th e Red
Parrot; Th e Waldorf-Astoria; Th e Iron Horse
at Penn Station; Th e Palladium; and Th e Old &
New Copacabana. One of the most celebrated
and broadly attended special events created by the Dow Twins was the annual fete
aboard the USS Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum’s Aircraft Carrier docked in
New York City. Th ey ran this event from 1985-2010.
Harold Dow also facilitates two scholarships: the Reginald N. Dow Memorial
Scholarship in memory of the twins’ father and the Norman S. Dow Scholarship/
Fundraiser in honor of his late twin brother who passed away in 2005.
Harold Dow’s next major project will be “Th e Book” to highlight the lives and
social activities of African Americans and Hispanics during the 70’s, 80’s & 90’s in
NYC and other major cities.
Dwight Leland Johnson–Borough
Dwight Leland Johnson is a native of Queens. He
received his primary education in the NYC public school
system. He is a graduate of Queensborough Community
College where he earned an Associate’s degree in Electrical
and Computer technology while working full time for New
York City Transit Authority at night.
During his career with the City, he fought for the rights
of workers. As shop steward for DC-37 union, he worked
to get proper safety equipment for employees working with
hazardous materials. Dwight retired in 2005 as a railroad
signal specialist 11.
He was active with Whitoff Association in Queens Village from 1978-1987. While
a member, he helped senior citizens with electric work free of charge.
Dwight moved to Laurelton in 1987 and joined the Federated Blocks of Laurelton
in 1997 and quickly became very active. In 2010, he became president of FBOL. In
this role as a leader, he was required to work with several other organizations to
maintain the community.
He is a representative of the Eastern Queens Alliance, Friends of the Laurelton
Library, P.S. 156, and the 105th Precinct. He visits blocks and works to correct situations
that aff ect the quality of the life of the residents of Laurelton. He strives diligently
to meet the needs of the community.
Harriet Diaz—Education Award
Harriet Diaz was born and raised in Jamaica, New
York where she attended the public schools within
Community School District 29. As a life-long learner,
she believes that learning never stops. She has earned
a B.A. in Government and Public Administration; a
M.A. in Elementary Education; a M.S. in Instructional
Technology and a Professional Diploma in Supervision
Harriet has planted roots in the communities of
Southeast Queens. She accepted her fi rst teaching
assignment at PS 116Q, Th e William C. Hughley
School, which was the elementary school she attended as a child. She was fortunate
to work side by side with several of her own elementary school teachers at PS 116.
Harriet joined the IS 192 administrative team in 1999 as an Assistant Principal. She
proudly serves the community as the Principal of the Renaissances Middle School, IS
192 in St. Albans. Over the past 16 years, she has redesigned the school into smaller
learning communities by securing numerous grants and partnerships with St.
John’s University, Queensborough Community College, Black Spectrum Th eatre,
and (ESS) Every Student Succeeds Organization.
Because of Harriet’s educational experiences, she serves as President of the
National Association of University Women, Queens Branch; Vice-President of Phi
Delta Kappa International, St. John’s University; Scholarship Chairperson for the
African-American/Caribbean Education Association, Inc. and conducts workshops
for various professional organizations.
She is a member of the Greater Allen Cathedral, where she receives her strength
and spiritual guidance which enables her to provide leadership to so many.
black history month