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Women History Celebration in Mount Vernon By Yoyo Opoku

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March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the contributions of women throughout history and to recognize the ongoing struggle for gender equality. It was a proud moment for the city of Mount Vernon as they too celebrated Women’s History Month at City Hall on March 1st. Honoring the remarkable contributions of trailblazing women with a steadfast commitment to the community. 

The honorees’ unwavering dedication and commitment to the community served as an inspiration to all, making the event a true celebration of the progress made towards gender equality and the recognition of the accomplishments of women in the city. Mayor Shawn Patterson, the first female mayor of Mount Vernon, was also present and recognized for her own trailblazing achievements as the first woman to hold this position in the city. She presented the honorees with a proclamation recognizing their hard work and contributions to the community.

The honorees included Rose Luangisa, the founder and visionary behind the annual community event, the Wakanda Celebration, and Luangisa African Gallery. The Wakanda Festival, scheduled for September 2nd and 3rd of this year, promises to be an exciting event that celebrates African culture and heritage.

Kenyah Miller, moved to Mount Vernon and championed the fight to provide alternative options for education by opening a charter school, Intellectus Prep, in the city. Kenyah’s experience as an educational leader will help scholars at Intellectus Prep receive hands-on learning experiences through a STEAM-based curriculum that emphasizes college and career readiness. 

Leslie Alpert, a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Paul’s Church, had an impressive career in film and television before holding several roles within the City of Mount Vernon and worked in the former Mayor Ernie Davis administration.

Elvira Castillo, Founder and President of Westchester Latinos Unidos, was also honored for her contributions to the city’s Latino community. Formed in 2013, the Westchester Latinos Unidos (WLU) is a diverse organization providing awareness and services assisting Latino/Hispanic communities while serving as a resource and voice for all in need in Westchester County.

The event was further spiced up by soulful performances by some of New York’s most talented artists. Saxophonist Connell Thompson played a mix of Afrobeats and RnB, while songstress Sheila Ingram brought the house down with her soulful voice. The performances were a true testament to the richness of Mount Vernon’s cultural heritage. Light refreshments were provided to guest as well as giveaway bags marking the occasion. 

In conclusion, the Women’s Month celebration at City Hall was a true testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage, the accomplishments of its citizens, and the strides made towards gender equality. The event was a reminder that Mount Vernon is a city that embraces diversity, inclusivity, and progress. We look forward to more women continuing to enhance the rich legacy of our city.

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