Celebrating Bronx’s Power Women

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Schneps Media will once again celebrate the strong, female leadership involved in the Bronx’s political, business, cultural, healthcare, and other sectors at the Power Women of the Bronx Virtual Event. A “star power” Bronx woman is Debbian Fletcher-Blake of the healthcare organization Vocational Instruction Project (VIP) Community Services, Inc.

As CEO, Fletcher-Blake has provided steady leadership to VIP as the Bronx community battles the global fight against COVID-19. Fletcher-Blake has worked collaboratively both internally and externally to ensure that VIP remains open to serve patients and clients, including providing COVID testing to the community. Under DOH guidance, VIP began providing COVID-19 vaccinations at the end of December and will continue through the pandemic.

Fletcher-Blake has been active in building culturally competent workforces, tackling healthcare inequities and focusing on strategies to eliminate disparities, and working to ensure community members are active participants in deciding systems of care. Her vision and commitment to improve the health and well-being of the community is strengthened by her belief that we are partners and together we can heal, plan and work to achieve great things. Under Fletcher-Blake’s leadership and determination, VIP remains a reliable and critical resource for the Bronx and the surrounding areas.

In the realm of media strategy, one Bronx native has made quite the splash. Jennifer Blatus, a proud Mount Saint Vincent graduate and former Bronx journalist is a successful media strategist at Stu Loeser & Co. In addition to previously working on presidential campaigns, Blatus was instrumental in Congressman Max Rose’s successful election campaign some years ago. For Blatus, she wants to lead by example to show that women have and deserve positions of power not only in New York City, but everywhere.
One honoree looks to historically change the Bronx’s political landscape by running for borough president – Assemblywoman Nathalia Fernandez.

“You must fight for the next day,” she said, adding that it’s important to women to realize they have a right “to be in these rooms” of high power.

As the Bronx’s 80th District Assemblywoman, Fernandez previously championed funding for Bronx schools for those students of special needs, supported non-profit organizations for formerly incarcerated youth, along with other progressive policies for the borough. Shanequa Moore created I’Raise Girls and Boys International Corporation as a youth mentoring program in the north Bronx eight years ago, since that time she has exponentially grown her “vision” to serve over 8,000 families and seven different schools, working with public schools, teachers, students, to provide mental health, counseling, and art services to New York City.

Moore said being named a Bronx power woman “came at a time that was very needed,” explaining that she has lately been overwhelmed in wanting to keep seeing change in both the Bronx and city for underserved youth – particularly during COVID-19.

It was during then that her organization actually found a way to expand its own services, creating a COVID-19 hotline and pandemic-related mental health services as well. I’Raise Girls and Boys also created a STEM program along with computer coding courses for girls.

You can pay tribute to these – and other – amazing Bronx women on Thursday, January 14 at 7pm. Register today at https://www.schnepsmedia.com/power-women-of-the-bronx/.