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Board Celebrates Community Leaders at Caribbean-American Heritage Month Observance

White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators marked Caribbean-American Heritage Month on Monday, June 28, with a special ceremony and video presentation honoring two prominent community figures: Patrick Maitland of Mount Vernon and Bishop Joan E. Whittaker of Ossining.

In his opening remarks, Chairman Ben Boykin (D – White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison) said, “With the Governor lifting the COVID-19 State of Emergency last Friday, our meetings are open in-person to the public once again. Tonight it is indeed great to see the people of Westchester returning to the people’s house for this special occasion … Residents of the islands have endured much in their history -- hurricanes, earthquakes, political unrest, and poverty. This has fostered within them a resilience, strength, and determination to survive in the face of terrible adversity. Prominent, serious individuals are often born of these circumstances, and we are proud to honor two of them this evening.”

Legislator Tyrae Woodson-Samuels (D- Mount Vernon) said, “This is my first opportunity, as the County’s newest legislator, to be participating in the Board’s Heritage celebrations, and I am honored to do so. I could think of no one better to recognize for Caribbean-American Heritage than Patrick Maitland from my hometown of Mount Vernon. Patrick is the heart and soul of the Caribbean – Westchester connection in the multiple roles he plays in the community.”

Patrick Maitland thanked the Legislator for the honor and acknowledgement of his work. “At Street Hype, our aim is to educate, inform and entertain the community with positivity. Sometimes there has to be some negativity because we want to make sure that people understand the need to act right and perform in a way that society deems acceptable … I am proud to serve as an ambassador for Westchester, for Mount Vernon and for the entire community and hope to do so in years to come.”

The Board has declared Tuesday, June 29, 2021, “Patrick Maitland Day” in Westchester County. His name will appear on the marquee at the County Center.

Watch the video presentation to Patrick Maitland here:

Legislator Catherine Borgia (D - Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt, Croton, Ossining, Peekskill) presented the second proclamation of the evening to Bishop Joan Whittaker of HORAC Ministries, who was the first honoree in 15 months to be able to attend in person.

Borgia said, “In her role of leading HORAC Ministries for almost 20 years here in Ossining, Bishop Joan brings so much dedication and passion … HORAC is vital community center that has provided so many important services to empower the people of Ossining, especially during COVID, and is a mentoring center for the youth of Ossining and the surrounding communities.”

Bishop Whittaker said, “I am humbled, delighted and honored to receive this special award … despite life’s challenges, I have always dreamed of becoming someone who would impact the world for the greater good … joy and fulfillment are finding your purpose and working in your purpose.”

The Board has declared Wednesday, June 30, 2021, “Bishop Joan E. Whittaker Day” in Westchester County. Her name will appear on the marquee at the County Center.

Watch the video presentation to Bishop Whittaker here:


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