The New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) and the United Social Services, Inc. will honor David N. Dinkins, the 106th Mayor of New York, with the inaugural Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross Public Service Award at 6pm on Thursday, April 3rd. NYSEC will also recognize Rising Star Ms. Mecca Santana, New York State’s Chief Diversity Officer, for her contributions to improving workforce diversity and inclusion in NY State, and leading new initiatives to increase opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses. This first-time benefit will feature tributes from Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City and Chairwoman of The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Randy Levine, President of the NY Yankees, and Harry Belafonte, Jr., Kennedy Center National Medal of Arts recipient; a conversation between Dinkins and Dr. Harrison-Ross, moderated by Harry Smith, Emmy Award Winning Correspondent, NBC; and a performance by Alton Fitzgerald White, currently starring on Broadway as King Mufasa in The Lion King.
Mayor Dinkins’ accomplishments included introducing the “Safe Streets, Safe City” program that helped to reduce the crime rate significantly; negotiating the cleanup and transformation of Times Square; persuading the U.S. Tennis Open to build a highly profitable stadium in New York; improving the standard of overall health services for children and the poor, and bringing Nelson Mandela to New York as the first stop on his US Tour as President of South Africa. “Mayor Dinkins has been a tireless leader and advocate for New York City and its citizens“, said Congressman Charles Rangel, Honorary Chair. “I congratulate my brother for this well-deserved honor.”
For over 100 years, the New York Society for Ethical Culture (NYSEC) and its affiliate United Social Services, Inc. have steadfastly served the New York area community with programs and public service initiatives to help uplift the lives of the underserved. “This award reflects Ethical Culture’s commitment to ethical action in everyday practice and leadership, and is named in honor of NYSEC’s Trustee, and Chairwoman of affiliate United Social Services Inc., Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross – who is an exemplar of that commitment,” says Heather Grady, Award Chair.