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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Ninth Annual NAACP Long Island Gala


The Islip Town Branch of the NAACP gathered on Saturday, January 14, to honor men and women who have built or continue to build legacies on Long Island.

The legacies celebrated, as attendees would note, are inclusive of achievements in the realms of music, culture, politics, community and more. Showcasing this diversity of legacies was the keynote speaker, Roxanne Shante, who has helped contribute to Hip Hop music’s 50-year history.

“The road to establishing and protecting civil rights and human rights has been paved by the hard work of many who deserve to have their efforts recognized and emulated,” said William Moss III, president of the Islip Chapter of the NAACP. “The Legacy Gala aims to celebrate people who created a humanitarian legacy or continue a humanitarian legacy on Long Island.”

Founded in 1958, the NAACP of Islip has been working to address civil rights issues for local community members of color and supporting the advancement of all people for more than six decades.

Five Long Islanders won the Beacon of Hope Award, including Michaelle Solages, Deputy Majority Leader of the New York State Assembly; Senator James Sanders, Assemblyman Fred Theile, Assemblyman Keith Brown, and Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre.

Legacy Award Winners include the following:

Drs. Deborah DuPrey-Murphy & Cleadous Murphy

Together the Doctors own a women’s health practice consisting of three locations and over thirty staff. DuPrey-Murphy, the product of two HBCUs, started her private practice of obstetrics and gynecology in 1991 after earning her M.D. degree from Meharry Medical College. Murphy started off his career as an accountant, specializing in computerized accounting, before transitioning into medicine. Eventually, he enrolled in Dowling College and then SUNY Stony Brook for his M.D. He completed training in Ob-GYN at the Albert Einstein College of medicine.

Kevin Livingston

Livingston is the founder and president of 100 Suits, a not-for-profit that provides suits to men and resources that aid them in securing housing and employment. Remembering the importance of how a suit made him feel, he founded the organization in 2010 and, in 2015, expanded it to include housing and employment services. 100 Suits now has three locations in Queens, and one will open in Brooklyn in the near future.

Serena Liguori

Liguori is the executive director of New Hour for Women and Children – Long Island, a not-for-profit dedicated to supporting women and children impacted by incarceration. The organization provides direct-service programming across Long Island’s three jails and re-entry support to women across the state returning to Long Island.

Dr. Donna Jones

As superintendent of schools for the Patchogue-Medford School District, she strives daily to improve the learning experiences for students and staff members as she continues to foster strong relationships with the community.

She has been a member of the Greater New York Chapter of the Links.

Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Suffolk County Chapter (Local Organization)

Consisting of 262 chapters nationwide, Jack and Jill Inc. is concerned with creating mediums of growth for children. The organization creates opportunities for different learning environments, fostering interest in STEM, along with other subjects.

Waldo Cabrera

Cabrera is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and television producer. Additionally, he is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic and was raised in the Bronx. He is also the president of The Islip Arts Council. His work has highlighted the outstanding accomplishments of people from the community.

Patricia A. Waite, Esq.

A Seton Hall graduate, Waite has worked in both public and private practice. Her career began as a prosecutor for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, and after four years, she entered private practice as a litigator.

In addition to being a longtime member of the Islip Branch of the NAACP, she is a member of the Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association, the Suffolk County Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association, Women in the Courts, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Reverend Roderick Pearson

Pastor Pearson is the founder and organizer of St. Mark Remnant Ministries, Inc., located in Central Islip, founded in 2009. Recently retired as Suffolk County Executive’s Executive Director of Community Services Division, Pearson has also offered invocations for opening the U.S. House of Representatives. He is also the former president of the Islip branch of the NAACP.

Honorable Alonzo Jacobs

First elected as a District Court Judge for the Town of Islip’s 5th District on November 3, 2020, he is currently in the middle of a six-year term. Before his time on the bench, he was in private practice, where he frequently took on pro bono cases. He has had numerous public speaking engagements for youth on topics such as finance, politics, government and law enforcement.

In October 2020, he completed a four-year term as a committeeman on the New York State Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District.

Jason Richberg

Richberg serves as the Minority Leader of the Suffolk County Legislature. He began his career in government in 2010 when he was named chief of staff to the previous legislator of the 15th Legislative District, DuWayne Gregory. As Gregory became the presiding officer in 2014, Richberg became the clerk of the legislature. In this capacity, he started a 12-week intensive internship program called the page program for college students, teaching them the particulars of county government and procedure.

An Eagle Scout, Richberg has served as a member of the NAACP, the Urban League of Young Professionals, The Concerned Fathers of Wheatley Heights and The 100 Black Men of Long Island.

Rodney Harrison

The current Suffolk County Police Commissioner, Harrison, began his career in 1991 as a cadet with the New York City Police Department. Quickly rising through the ranks of the department, in 1995, Harrison was awarded the Combat Cross for extraordinary heroism.

In 2018, as Chief of Patrol, he helped to create neighborhood policing.

Appointed by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, the Suffolk County Legislature unanimously approved his appointment on December 23, 2021.

Alton Byrd

As senior vice president of Growth Prosperities for the Long Island Nets and Nets GC, Byrd Oversees strategic and operational activities for the NBA League team of the Brooklyn Nets and Nets Gaming Crew of the NBA 2K League.

With 25 years of sports and brand marketing experience as a European Professional Basketball player, coach and entrepreneur and business executive, Byrd has won numerous awards and accommodations for his work.

The Islip Town Branch of the NAACP has numerous events planned for the year with various themes as well. The theme for February is Black History Month, Black Lives Matter and Racism.

Brian R. Monahan
Brian R. Monahan
News Editor for The Messenger Papers.