July 18, 2018
Founded in 1974 by The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce (GHCC), Harlem Week brings millions of people together in celebration of the rich and diverse history and culture of this vibrant community. In honor of Harlem's special place in the history of New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed over twelve hundred guests in celebration of this dynamic community, and to recognize the achievements of Harlem leaders. In his remarks, Mayor Bill de Blasio affirmed, "The people, the culture, and the history is what makes Harlem so great… Be as strong as those generations of Harlemites, who fought whatever was thrown at them, who believed in their ideas and values, and kept coming on strong. Harlem is eternal. Some things are passing, some things will be gone soon, but Harlem is eternal."
Lloyd Williams, President and CEO of GHCC, accepted a proclamation from the Mayor on behalf of GHCC, recognizing GHCC's commitment to ensuring that the Harlem community continues to thrive and protect the diversity and multiculturalism that defines New York City. The proclamation noted, "GHCC's variety of programs and annual events have not only preserved and promoted Harlem's heritage and history, but have also forged a more inclusive and equitable future for its residents."
This commitment to diversity was reflected in the theme of this year's celebration of Harlem Week, "Women Transforming Our World: Past, Present, and Future," and sub-theme of celebrating Harlem's vibrant LGBTQ community, as well as the three awards presented at the event. The first award went to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated (DST), whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. This award was accepted by Rory Mills, President of the North American Chapter, in recognition of DST's work in Harlem leading community service projects and scholarship programs. The second award was given to George Faison, a pioneer in dance, the first African American choreographer to win a Tony Award, and a member of the LGBTQ community. The third award went to Nona Hendryx, a former singer in the trio Labelle and an advocate for LGBTQ rights.
Additionally, with the support of JetBlue Airways and The Shubert Organization, scholarships were awarded to Devin Paschall and Arianne Rowe—two residents of Harlem who attend Potsdam University and Princeton University respectively.
Video description: Watch the livestream of the remarks at the 2018 Harlem Week Reception.
And finally, a performance from Chino Pons Y Grupo Irek brought Gracie Mansion to its feet during the Harlem Week Reception on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/jnmzVCfGY7— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) July 21, 2018