Honouring Dedicated Influencers To Public Service


Editor in chief: Najaam Lee
Contributing Location Writer: Mitchell Acks
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Kids League

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On November 28th, 2016, The Kids League celebrated their second anniversary at the Redeemers Presbyterian Church on the Upper East Side, New York.

This event was hosted by Daron Pressley of Black Enterprise Magazine. The Kids League takes pride in honouring influencers who dedicate their lives to public service, using their “make it happen” power to invest, rebuild, and bridge the gaps in our communities. This year’s honourees includes:

Tamika D. Mallory, a nationally recognized civil rights leader and anti-violence advocate was honored. Tamika is the NYC co-chair for the Gun Violence Awareness Month Initiative, a statewide program of education and awareness around gun violence intervention and prevention. She is a regular contributor for Essence Magazine and NewsOne.com, and has been featured on national outlets such TV One, CNN, MSNBC and BET.
Rolanda Telesford, a Community Activist and Director of Communications & External Relations at YWCA of Brooklyn. She has led and implemented initiatives with the YWCA such as Stand Against Racism. Rolanda has developed and implemented the 1st Community Festival in Thomas Boyland Park, Brooklyn, NY- the poorest neighborhood in Brooklyn, and the first to collaborate with the Tillary Park Foundation and held its first community festival focusing on today’s youth.
Jerry Migdol, (Friends of Public School Harlem), was awarded for his service that Aaron and Jerry Migdol, provides specialized services in housing, development, security, social work and law in Harlem. Migdol & Migdol LLP provides legal services, specializing in pro-bono legal services for shelter residents and community based organizations like in Safe Hands provides case management, property management, security, housing relocation and brokerage service. They are active in supporting the Friends of Public School Harlem with a family donation of $25,000 that bought 90 iPads for students at the Middle School 129 located in West Harlem.


The organization then next honoured Anthony Wells,(President of SSEU Local 371). Social Service Employees Union (SSEU) Local 371 exists to represent their members who need to secure collective bargaining rights through member engagement and community support. Through political empowerment, they encourage and mobilize their members to become socially conscious and politically active.

Dr. Victor Seltzer,  Executive Director of Project Redirect, was next awarded for services here at Project Redirect that provides emergency supportive housing for families and singles throughout Suffolk County with 24-hour supervision & supportive service with their 14 shelters with 10 for families and rest for single men. He was the Founder and Executive Director of Intersections of the Triad, a 501(C) (3) community based organization. initially in August of 2009 in Winston-Salem NC and opened the Atlanta office in 2011, whose focus includes improving the quality of life of residents in undeserved communities.  Victor was director of nine homeless shelters serving families with and without children referred by the New York City’s Department of Homeless Services (DHS).

Topeka K. Sam, founder of The Ladies of Hope Ministries,(The LOHM), came up with the organization while in federal prison. Their mission is to help disenfranchised and marginalized women transition back into society through education, empowerment, and spiritual development.  She is also a member of The National Council of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls also known as “The Council”.

The last award went to Henry Garrido, Executive Director DC 37 and chairs their Annuity Fund, where he wants to bring organizing culture back to the union. Henry is now a trustee on the city’s Workforce Investment Board, which advises the mayor on jobs and economic development. Also, he serves on the board of the New York City Employees Retirement System, where he is a critic of outlandish investment fees. Besides his active life, Henry is a member of the board of directors of the Dominican Republic Parade, a position that helps the union improve its community ties.


The Kids League is a non-profit organization, that was founded by Surayya Barbee in 2014.  Surayya felt the positive experiences at the Castle Hill Community Center had such a powerful and important impact on her journey that she always felt the urge to pay it forward by guiding and empowering today’s inner-city kids into excellence and success.

This organization creates workshops to educate kids ages 4-16 years old, residing in low-income neighborhoods in Fashion, Music, Film, Health & Wellness, and the Arts.  The organization has approximately 100 resident members enrolled. There are workshops in three public schools, which they implement regular programming.  The S.T.E.A.M. program (science, technology, engineering, arts and math)  is with a community partnership with the Harlem Hospital and Touro Medical School. Also, there is annual workshop on “Kids Cooking” workshop that educates children on healthy choices while preparing their meals. The Kids League is fiscally sponsored by the William Saxon Jr. Foundation.

More about The Kids League can be found at http://www.thekidsleague.net




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