Opening Night Of Women’s History Month At Mount Vernon City Hall


Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and the City of Mount Vernon Recreation Department kicked off their Women’s History Month festivities, on Monday, March 4th, featuring Sage, the Women’s Collective of Lewis & Kirk entertaining all in attendance in Mount Vernon’s Rotunda.

The ceremony featured the honoring of four local sheroes of Mount Vernon, Mary Kingsley, Joann Dunn, Emily Fida, and Claudette Gyles, for their outstanding service to the Mount Vernon community.

After the presentation of the proclamations, the crowd was thrilled to an incredible dance performance called The Revelators who performed to jazz singer, composer, pianist, and arranger Nina Simone’s “Four Women,” off the former Mount Vernon residents’s 1966 album, “Wild Is the Wind.” It tells the story of four African American women. Each of the four characters represents an African-American stereotype in society.  Thulani Davis of The Village Voice called the song “an instantly accessible analysis of the damning legacy of slavery, that made iconographic the real women we knew and would become.”

There was an amazing exhibition of handmade quilts from the Ladies of The Doles Center Quilting Club on display.

The headliners, Sage, the Women’s Collective of Lewis & Kirk consisting of Jodi Melendez (vocalist), Taylor Moore (drummer), Yayoi Ikawa (pianist), and Charisa The Violin Diva (violinist), entertained the crowd at the end of the ceremony. Jodiwho also performed at the Mayor’s 2nd Inaugural Ball-sang several songs including a great rendition of Lauryn Hill’s “Killing Me Softly.”

“Recreation Commissioner Kathleen Walker-Pinckney and her team brought the heat tonight,” Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard shared with Black Westchester after the event.

All photos by Devon Louis of the Mount Vernon Recreation Department. The ceremony was catered by food vendor and caterer, Sassy’s Fishcakes, who brought the taste of Barbados to Mount Vernon City Hall. Follow them on Instagram.

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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