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UFT African Heritage Committee annual awards dinner

Miles to go

Una Cameron Lee, a teacher at PS 40 in Brooklyn (left) and Allen Kinard, a teachMiller PhotographyUna Cameron Lee, a teacher at PS 40 in Brooklyn (left) and Allen Kinard, a teacher at PS 257 in Brooklyn, pose with UFT Vice President Karen Alford.

Nearly 300 members and friends of the UFT African-American Heritage Committee gathered on Feb. 3 to kick off Black History Month at the committee’s 14th annual dinner dance and awards ceremony. The theme of this year’s event, held at a Queens catering hall, was “Miles to Go.” Evelyn DeJesus, the union’s vice president for education, received the committee’s Trailblazer Award for her work on behalf of English language learners and the Latino community. “What’s going on in our country right now is surely awakening the inner activist in all of us who stand for truth, the rule of law and compassion and respect for all people,” DeJesus said in accepting the award. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams received the Frederick Douglass Award for Civil and Human Rights for his continued support for public education and, in particular, for the UFT community learning schools. Una Cameron Lee, a teacher at PS 40 in Brooklyn, and Allen Kinard, a teacher at PS 257 in Brooklyn, were joint recipients of the Mary McLeod Bethune Award for Teaching Excellence. The committee gave $1,000 scholarships to two deserving high school students. The dinner dance is “one of our most successful events of the year and always proves to be the highlight of the year,” said committee chair Anthony Harmon, who is also the UFT director for parent and community outreach.

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