Yonkers, NY – On March 9th, Office of the City of Yonkers Commission on Human Rights, the oldest human rights commission outside New York City, held “Evening of Black History” at the award winning Black owned restaurant, Off the Hook, located off Getty Square on 47 N. Broadway. The restaurant is owned and run by Avian Dandridge and his brothers. It was opened in 2021
The Office recognized longtime Westchester community leader, Damon K. Jones, for his years of leadership and activism in the community in the area of human rights, in particular criminal justice, in Westchester County. Jones, together with AJ Woodson, founded the online platform and publication, Black Westchester Magazine, an important and indispensable source of news and debate on issues relating to the Black community in Westchester. Woodson was named a special guest for the event and Damon’s work was honored having not only furthering the conversation regarding persistent inequities but emphasizing the accolades and achievements within the Black community.
Mayor Mike Spano, presented a proclamation to Jones, declaring March 9, 2022 as “Damon K. Jones Day” in the City of Yonkers. Spano commemorated his enduring partnership with Jones and highlighted their meaningful work together in the community.
Mark Fang, Executive Director of the Commission thanked Jones for his friendship and partnership in their work together in the community. “No one has been a better friend and offered me more support and insight into the Black community in Westchester County than Damon Jones. I will continue to turn to Damon as together we shine a light on the important local human rights issues in Yonkers.”
The evening was also featured a special tribute, delivered by Yonkers resident Robert Glover, to iconic actor, Sidney Poitier, who passed away in January of this year. Poitier, the star of such celebrated film classics dealing with race, as To Sir with Love and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, was a resident of Mt. Vernon, New York and, as Glover highlighted, a person who used his stardom to further human rights for all.
The Office’s “Evening of Black History” was widely attended. The Office was honored to have in attendance City Council President Lakisha Collins-Bellamy; Majority Leader Tasha Diaz, and Councilmembers Corazon-Pineda, Williams and Rubbo as well as County Legislator Jose Alvarado.
The Office of the Commission on Human Rights was proud to acknowledge the people who continue to make black history today.