WBWPC Celebrates 47 Years of Political Action
NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- October 20, 2023 -- More than 300 well-wishers turned out for the 47th Anniversary Gala of the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus on Friday, October 20th at the Greentree Country Club in New Rochelle, NY. The evening was filled with excitement from the cocktail hour ‘til the end of the evening as the crowd packed the dance floor. Co-chairs Angela Davis Farrish, who served as Mistress of ceremonies, Lisa Marie Nero, and Ghia Clark kept the evening moving.
Local, state, county and national elected officials were in attendance, enjoying the festivities, including NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, Congressmen Jamaal Bowman and Michael Lawler, County Legislators Symra Brandon and Colin Smith, New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, and Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard.
Greenburgh Town Justice Delores Brathwaite spoke of the history of the Westchester Black Women’s Caucus (WBWPC), which was founded in 1976 by two visionary women, Alice Scott of Mount Vernon and Ann Mosley of White Plains, along with other like-minded powerful women, including the Honorable Lois Bronz. Although they are all now deceased, their legacy lives on through the organization. She stated that it was Mrs. Bronz who brought her into the organization of political activists who exercised their voices and knowledge, strength and power to motivate other women to become involved in the political arena, breaking the old stereotype of white men being the only power brokers. Today the WBWPC has six chapters throughout Westchester, White Plains/Greenburgh, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Peekskill, Yonkers, and the Greater Bedford Area, with a membership of over 300 women. Judge Brathwaite encouraged more women to get involved and to seek political office, to support those who are in office, as well as those who will seek to hold office in the future.
Senator Stewart Cousins introduced the keynote speaker for the evening, Lacey Schwartz Delgado, Esq., wife of Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, and a woman of distinguished acclaim on her own. An award winning author, director and producer of Truth Aid Media, Mrs. Delgado is known for her story telling proficiency which she uses to inspire change in the world and is internationally recognized for her documentary, “Little White Lies,” a story of her life and the truth she discovered in the process. She noted that democracy would look different today if not for the efforts of Black women, a system that women are now included in. She added that despite the multiple forms of oppression, Black women are the most consistent voting block in the state. She stated that “As Black women, we belong in every single room where decisions are made and we are here to make that a reality. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Black man and the Black woman in New York have nothing to vote for.” In 2022, less than one-half of New York voters turned out to vote for Governor, thereby giving up their right to decide. She added that “As Black women, we must continue to lead. We must participate in the democratic process and speak out on issues concerning abortion rights, gun violence, and issues that will be decided at the ballot box. We must do all we can to empower our communities…to bridge the divide.” “Truth telling is difficult work but we must commit to overcome fear….together we will remain vigilant in protecting our democracy. Our Constitution states “by the people and for the people” and we must continue the fight. Mrs. Delgado announced that a new documentary on Reparations will be released on January 8, 2024, on PBS, highlighting important coverage of the struggle which continues around the country. She concluded her inspiring conversation by thanking President Macaulay for her incredible work in breaking down barriers and leading a dynamic organization.
A posthumous award was presented by New Rochelle Chapter President, Jean Anderson, to the family of the late Pearl C. Quarles, who was a valued, dedicated member of the New Rochelle Chapter and the New Rochelle community. Mrs. Ernest Quarles, Jr. graciously accepted the award on behalf of the Quarles family. The surprise of the evening came when President Subomi Macaulay was called to front and center stage for a special presentation as the recipient of the Inaugural Pearl C. Quarles Visionary Award for her hard work and dedication to the Caucus. The native Nigerian has been a member of the Caucus for 13 years and now serves as Countywide President.
Story by Yvonne Bert
Ghia Clark presented the honoree with several proclamations from the City of Yonkers, the County Board of Legislators, and the New York State Senate.
Presidents of the chapters of the WBWPC were introduced: Jean Anderson, New Rochelle Chapter; Lisa Marie Nero, White Plains/Greenburgh Chapter; Nora Boggs, Peekskill Chapter; Daniella Jackson, Mount Vernon Chapter; Charlotte Vinson, Yonkers Chapter, and Lakeisha Stapleton, Greater Bedford Area Chapter.
Ms. Antoinette Montague rendered several beautiful selections and the deejay kept the music lively and the dance floor filled throughout the evening. This event was certainly a success and an occasion worth celebrating. Congratulations to the Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus!