Nyack College will host its annual Social Justice Day Luncheon on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at 12:30 p.m. at The Nyack Seaport, 21 Burd Street in Nyack.
This tradition is a prelude to celebrating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, which will be observed on Monday, Jan. 20. M&T Bank is the event’s corporate sponsor. M&T recently presented Nyack with a $5,000 donation that continues to grow the 131-year-old college’s M&T Bank Minority Scholarship Fund established in 2004. Through this endowed fund, select minority students enrolled at the college, who maintain more than a 3.5 cumulative GPA and who qualify to receive needs-based financial assistance. The commercial lender’s continuing generosity is a reflection of the bank’s advocacy for higher education and its commitment to the more than two-decade relationship with the college.
This year, two community organizations will receive Social Justice Awards at the luncheon—Leadership Rockland based in New City, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center in Spring Valley. A Rockland County entrepreneur, Maria Luisa Whittingham, owner of Maria Luisa Boutique and ML Gifts & Accessories, both in downtown Nyack, will also receive a Social Justice Award.
Leadership Rockland, a professional development program, offers leaders in local businesses and not-for-profits 11 daylong sessions over a 10-month period, led by knowledgeable and dedicated coordinators, many of whom are alumni of the program. A major objective of the program is to expose “emerging leaders through an educational experience focused on the infrastructure of the County, presented from the unique perspective of the actual leaders. The program engages and challenges its participants to examine issues and seek solutions.”
The Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center has been an invaluable resource in the Rockland community since 1978. A dedicated staff runs programs for the community, helping adults, children, families, and the elderly lead productive, healthy, and informed lives. Some of the outreach programs include New York State licensed after school and summer programs, youth employment programs, nutrition education for the elderly, as well as cultural and recreational programs. The Center advances the ideals that Dr. King advocated: non-violence, peace, human rights, social justice, and equality.
Maria Luisa Whittingham is a Nyack entrepreneur and community leader, who in addition to owning her businesses, is an activist in the community and who has served on the boards of the Nyack Center; the Arts, Crafts, and Antique Dealers Association; and the NAACP (a member since 2001) and a Nyack Chamber member since 1987. She currently serves on the board of Rockland Country Day School.
A fourth honoree, Donovan Richards, Jr., New York City Councilman (District 31), will receive special recognition as an emerging community leader. Richards, who studied at Nyack College, represents voters in Rosedale, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens, and Far Rockaway.
For more information, contact Earl Miller, executive director of community relations at Nyack College at Earl.Miller@nyack.edu or by phone at 845.675.4791. For reservations, contact Nancy Gates at 845.675.4431.
About Nyack College
Nyack College was founded in 1882 by Dr. Albert Benjamin Simpson and currently serves more than 3,100 students in its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. In addition to its residential campus in Nyack, NY and a commuter campus in New York City, an extension site is located in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Nyack is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York.