During these unprecedented, turbulent and historic times, there are people with the courage to stand up and speak their truth. The Eastern Queens Alliance celebrates some of those brave leaders…people who use their voices and their community works for good, even during the most challenging times.

“Speaking Our Truth” is the theme for the 13th annual 2020 Idlewild Park Preserve Benefit and Awards Gala, to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17. This year’s gala will be a virtual event. Join us as we honor an exceptional group of some of the most compelling social and environmental justice voices in the national and community-based landscape today. Your participation will also help raise funds for our long-awaited Environmental Science Center, scheduled to open in early 2021.

National honorees include Texas Southern University distinguished professor, Dr. Robert D. Bullard, often referred to as the “father of environmental justice,” 2020 Pulitzer Prize award winner/New York Times investigative reporter and creator of the landmark “1619 Project” Nikole Hannah-Jones and Dr. Neelakshi Hudda, environmental research professor from Tufts University.

The 2020 community-based honorees are well-known leaders hailing from six of the Southeast Queens local civic associations. They include George Bradley (Spring-Gar Civic Association, Inc.), Crystal Brown (Springfield Rosedale Community Action Association), Rene Hill (Addisleigh Park Civic Organization, Inc.), Dwight Johnson (Federated Blocks of Laurelton), Marcia O’Brien (Rosedale Civic Association, Inc.) and Darlene Peoples (Springfield Gardens Taxpayers & Citizens Association).

To purchase tickets, go to www.easternqueensalliance.org and click the 2020 Virtual Gala button. For more information on the luncheon, or to purchase online journal ad space, write to Luncheoncom@easternqueensalliance.org

The Eastern Queens Alliance, a not-for-profit coalition of Southeast Queens civic associations, has been an outspoken voice in that community for 30 years, advocating for the health, safety and quality of life issues that matter most to its residents. The organization serves as steward of the 225-acre Idlewild Preserve and has worked closely with local electeds and agencies to build an environmental nature center and hiking trails scheduled to open later this year. Barbara E. Brown is the organization’s highly-regarded chairperson.