Colleagues, friends, and family of New York City educator and activist Wimberly Edwards gathered on Sunday, April 9, to celebrate her 90th birthday with a great home-cooked dinner served at Bed Stuy’s Sista’s Place and an evening of great music, memories, and conversation. Speakers took to the microphone to shower praise on Edwards, co-founder of the occupational therapy program at York College.
As folk revelled in her 90-year life and people-centered careers, Edwards reflected upon her work in the community and her commitment to aiding and educating young people in all the various avenues she has taken.
Speakers included fellow members of the Board for Education of People of African Ancestry (BEPAA), the Harlem-based nonprofit organization that purchased Clarke House at 286 Convent Avenue, Harlem, 20 years ago. The educational space was named after scholar historian Dr. John Henrik Clarke, and is used by members and the community to expand and teach African culture through cultural and educational workshops and programs.
Calling in from afar was educator Dr. Adelaide Sanford, former vice chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, and activist Betty Dobson, co-founder of the Committee to Eliminate Media Offensive to African People (CEMOTAP).
Adding to the tributes were former Assembly and City Councilmember Inez Barron and the December 12th Movement’s Viola Plummer, Roger Wareham, Omowale Clay, and Shaheed Muhammad.
Edwards received not one but two delicious cakes, a framed Harriet Tubman picture, and a Dr. John Henrik Clarke T-shirt by hosts Lateefa Carter and Omowale Clay. Everyone in the packed room wished her the best, and 90 more years of a life well-lived.