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Dr Jean S. Boonet, Hyde Park Health Associates (Photo: Clifford Bonnet)

CONTACT: Lynese Wallace, p: 617-635-4217
BOSTON—In a historic year for the Boston City Council, the four black members: Councilors Ayanna Pressley, Kim Janey, Lydia Edwards, and the first black Council President Andrea J. Campbell, are set to host a celebration in honor of Black History Month. The event, titled, "The African Diaspora: A Celebration of Black Immigrants" will be held Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at Boston City Hall, Fifth Floor in Iannella Chamber from 5:30-7:30pm and is a direct response to President Trump's inflammatory "shithole" comments last month about Haiti and countries in Africa.

During this annual celebration, the council will highlight the achievements of black immigrants throughout the city with remarks by former state representative Marie St. Fleur and a special recognition of Linda Dorcena Forry, who recently stepped down from her position as a Massachusetts state senator. The event, which is open to the public, will honor four immigrants of the diaspora who have made significant contributions to their neighborhoods and to improving the advancement of their communities, including: Dr. Jean Bonnet of Mattapan; Deeqo Jibril of Roxbury; Yvette Modestin of Colon, Panama; and Natalicia Tracey of East Boston.

"As the Council comes together to celebrate Black History Month, I am incredibly proud to recognize and honor members of Boston's black immigrant community, " said Council President Andrea J. Campbell. "These individuals are tremendous leaders, tireless advocates, and entrepreneurs, whose contributions to our City's vibrancy and economy are invaluable."

"We not only welcome immigrants to this city, we proudly celebrate their achievements," said Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley. "Immigrants are interwoven into every corner of this community. They are our colleagues, our small business and bodega owners, our teachers and medical providers. They have been, and will always be, an indispensable part of this country and that is what we hope to highlight with this event."

"As a Black woman, I am a daughter of the Diaspora. I am also the great-granddaughter of immigrants from Guyana. I have long understood that our fate as a people – whether born in the US, the Caribbean, or the Continent – is interconnected, and that we rise and fall together. And I am thrilled to celebrate the many contributions of my immigrant brothers and sisters in our communities and our great city!" reflected Councilor Kim Janey from District 7.

Councilor Lydia Edwards, who represents District 1, remarked that "Boston is rich with the contributions of its Black immigrant artists, entrepreneurs, influencers and change-makers. Immigrants and members of the diaspora serve our city, grow our economy and enliven our culture. It's essential in these times of a turbulent and unwelcoming political landscape that we celebrate the contributions of Black immigrants to this country. This month, we honor these members of our community who have given us so much."

Who:   Council President, District 4, Andrea J. Campbell

              Councilor, At-Large, Ayanna Pressley

              Counciior, District 7, Kim Janey

              Councilor, District 1, Lydia Edwards


What:  City Council Annual Black History Month Event - "The African Diaspora: A Celebration of Black Immigrants"

When:  February 28, 2018

               5:30 - 7:30pm 

Where: Boston City Hall, 1 City Hall Square, Boston MA 02201 (5th Floor, Iannella Chamber)

Ryan Hand

Communications Director

The Committee To Elect Ayanna Pressley | PO Box 240912

554 Washington Street, Dorchester Center, MA 02124

O) (617) 528-9046 C) (208) 409-0477