DISTRICT ATTORNEY MELINDA KATZ CO-HOSTS BLACK HISTORY MONTH CELEBRATION WITH AWARDS FOR NOTABLE QUEENS LEADERS AND A TRIBUTE TO THE OFFICE’S FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN ASSISTANT
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, joined by Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, hosted a celebration of Black History Month yesterday evening in the Helen Marshall Cultural Center in Borough Hall with music, dances and awards to several outstanding individuals who exemplify the best of Queens, including Karlton Jarrett, an assistant district attorney with the Queens DA’s Office.
District Attorney Katz also surprised the family of William Tucker Garvin, who was the Office’s first African-American Assistant District Attorney. Garvin joined the office in 1952 and after a distinguished career retired in July 1966. Denise Jordan and other family members accepted the plaque in his honor.
DA Katz also presented the Office’s first African American Community Partnerships Award – named after the DA’s newly-established Community Partnerships Division – to ADA Karlton Jarrett. Before joining the Queens DA’s Office more than 10 years ago, Jarrett served in the military and was a runner up for the New York State Soldier of the Year. He is an immigrant from Jamaica and currently works in the Integrity Bureau.
The guest of honor for the evening was former New York City Councilman Archie Spigner, who served from 1974 through 2011 representing South Ozone Park in the 1970s and later St. Albans, Hollis, Jamaica, Springfield Gardens, Cambria Heights and Rosedale. He authored numerous legislation related to construction of the Air Train, the Parsons Boulevard Subway Extension and secured funding for numerous community projects.
The other honorees included:
• Fred “Bugsy” Buggs, a radio legend honored for his contributions in communications and media.
• Dorita Clarke, who has worked tirelessly taking high school students on college tours.
• Ayanna Cole, is a dedicated leader doing community outreach and anti-poverty advocacy and is the founder of Life Light Street Productions.
• Jovoda Cooper, honored for her community service as an officer with the NYPD’s 105th Precinct.
• Damien Escobar, a world renowned violinist, author, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Jamaica, Queens.
• Madeline Johnson, an award-winning producer at QPTV who also serves on numerous boards related to the arts, uplifting women and more.
• Dawn Kelly, a public relations professional and entrepreneur who is also the CEO of the Nourish Spot Inc. in Queens.
• Roslyn Nieves, the Community Development Manager at QPTV and liaison between the residents of Queens and various government, nonprofits and community organizations.
• Brianna Young, a registered nurse and a role model for students in the Health Occupations and Profession Exploration program.
There were dynamic performances by the Devore Dance Center and music provided by the Bartlett Contemporaries.