Heritage Celebrations

I Hear You Listening Session in celebration of Kwanzaa

December 18, 2018

"Here is a holiday that put the meaning and the values upfront and really reminded us of our common commitment to each other," Mayor Bill de Blasio stated as he enlightened the crowd about his first encounter celebrating Kwanzaa with First Lady Chirlane McCray's family back when they were dating.

First Lady Chirlane McCray shared how Kwanzaa plays a great role in building more connected communities. She further explained the connection of Kwanzaa and mental health. She said, "Now it is no coincidence that the principles of Kwanzaa are kindred with the mission of ThriveNYC because when it comes to our mental health and wellbeing, we reflect the importance of Umoja [Unity], understanding that we are in this together." ThriveNYC has been working with Black-led organizations to reach even deeper into communities with Sisters Thrive and Brothers Thrive. More info can be found here.

From the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Aletha Maybank, and Assistant Commissioner, Dr. Torian Easterling, were then introduced to speak on the significance of Kwanzaa and poured libations to express thanks. Takeesha White, Senior Director, Office of Strategic Planning and Communications facilitated the listening session along with Dr. Byron Young, a Consultant and Supervising Psychiatrist with ThriveNYC's Mental Health Service Corps.

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Video description: Watch the livestream of the remarks from the I Hear You Listening Session in celebration of Kwanzaa.