In May Community Board 11 hosted a Unity Rally at Orchard Beach where civic and religious leaders spoke about the need to bring people together.
Afterwards, CB 11 Chairman Al D’Angelo approached Equity Committee Chair Durrell Boahen to see if the committee would be interested in taking up the idea of ongoing “Unity Rally’s.”
D’Angelo was concerned about the divisiveness, equity issues and political divide in the community.
On June 9, the Equity Committee met and decided the unity rally was important, but to make it more inclusive they agreed to turn it into “Community Day.” The committee passed a motion to bring the idea to the full board on June 24.
“I personally believe that to truly unify our community as well as ensure diversity and inclusion we have to come together and invite all cultures to a “Community Day” event to let them know your community board is here for you,” Boahen said. “When you say unity rally it gives the connotation that something is divided. We have divisiveness in communities now because of politics.”
D’Angelo fully supports this plan and feels the board will as well.
Boahen explained to the Bronx Times that the goal would be to make this a seasonal event and take place two to three times a year in different neighborhoods. It could feature food, music, educating people about the community board, back pack giveaways, outreach and most importantly, having a good time.
He also hopes the Community Days attract young adults to either attend meetings or hopefully have the desire to one day be on the board.
“My biggest goal is to get students more involved with the community board,” he stated.
Boahen noted that as an African American being on CB11 he is honored with the task of taking on issues that are in the interest of doing what’s best for the community.
“When I reflect on Juneteenth that’s coming up and how my ancestors were freed slaves by the emancipation proclamation by Abraham Lincoln,” he said. “Which lead to continued strides 100 years later by MLK, to seeing tremendous progress in seeing first black Supreme Court justice in Thurgood Marshall, to seeing our first African American president in Obama, now our first female African American vice-president in Kamala Harris. We seen progress to Voting rights, the civil rights movement, woman pay equality, marriage equality———it goes on and on.”