On Sat., March 31, the Brooklyn Anti-Violence Coalition hosted its Women of Courage luncheon. For the fifth year, the organization honored women who have "dedicated themselves to serving their communities."
The venue was Bishop Eric Figueroa's glorious New Life Tabernacle in Crown Heights, and a host of electeds--including Council Members Charles Barron and Letitia James and Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes--and activists joined the honorees and their family and friends.
The awardees were: Lori H. Luis (president of Lorilu Consulting LLC), who received the Community Service Award; Juanita Scarlett (senior strategic advisor at McKenna Long and Aldridge LLP), Trailblazer Award; Inspector Juanita Holmes (commander at the 81st Precinct), Law Enforcement Award; Tiffany A. Tucker (founder of Redemption Inc.), Anti-Violence Award; Council Member Darlene Mealy, Political Empowerment Award; Kings County Civil Court Judge Wavny Toussaint, Legal Service Award; Karen Z. Cherry (director of community relations for U.S. Rep. Ed Towns; and Nayaba Arinde (Amsterdam News editor), Journalism Award.
All awardees were presented with BAVC plaques; they also received citations from Assembly Members Annette Robinson and Karim Camara, State Sen. Eric Adams, D.A. Charles Hynes and Council Member Letitia James, plus Certificates of Special Recognition from Reps. Ed Towns and Yvette Clarke.
The engaging hostesses were Shawva Green Myles and New York Supreme Court Justice Deborah Dowling. The storming, earth-shattering "beating back the buzzard" keynote was delivered by evangelist Cynthia McInnis from Full Effective Gospel Ministry.
The Brooklyn Anti-Violence Coalition was founded in 2007 by the Rev. Taharka Robinson and Bruce Green. Robinson told the AmNews, "We started BAVC to honor the memory of Chanel Petro Nixon, an honor student from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, who went missing on Father's Day in 2006 and was later found murdered in Crown Heights."
The BAVC deals with all aspects of violence that affect the community: gun violence, gang violence, domestic violence, child abuse and sexual abuse.
Past honorees include Clark, state Assemblywoman Annette M. Robinson, Assemblywoman Inez Barron, former Deputy Borough President Yvonne Graham, Kings County Civil Court Judge Sharen D. Hudson, evangelist Doreen Figueroa, Erica Ford and Lucita Petro Nixon.