Over 400 people filled and partied at the Bridge Multicultural Advocacy Project Center, 1894 Flatbush Avenue, on Sunday for its “Annual Unity In Action Event,” honoring the international and diplomatic communities of Haiti and, Israel.
With Felina Backer & the Artistique Sound Band providing the best live music this reporter has seen in Brooklyn for some time, strong emotions and energy were visible from all the guests in attendance.
This year’s event highlighted the unity and the close bond between the Haitian, Jewish and Muslim communities, whose leaders represent the largest concentration of Haitians, Jews and Muslim here, in the metropolitan area.
The Diplomats and Consul Generals of the two countries: Israel, Haiti and standing together in unity brought tears and great joy to all attendees.
Also in attendance were U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D), Brooklyn District attorney Eric Gonzales, Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and City Council Members Chaim Deutsch (D) and Mathieu Eugene (D). Haitan community leader Farah Louis served as MC and members of the American jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League of New York were also in attendance.
Consul General of Haiti Gandi Thomas spoke eloquently of the history of the Haitian People and its rich cultural contribution to America. “I am so proud to be here tonight, in the presence of such magnificent crowd and to be able to express our common vision that we must all work together as one, to achieve unity among all people, of all race and faith,” he said.
Consul Thomas also expressed his strong admiration and recognized the contribution of Israel, during the most recent devastating earthquake in Haiti, for being one of the first respondent countries to provide support.
In a very emotional address, Deputy Consul General of Israel Israel Nitzan gave gratitude to the warm reception and recognized the close working relationship between Haiti and Israel. “The work at the Bridge uniting all of New York diverse communities is a great model and I applaud Mark Meyer Appel founder of this great organization for his amazing vision, Nitzan said.
Closing off a remarkable and awesome evening, Mr. Appel, in a fiery speech, expressed his appreciation to the honorees, political leaders and Unity in Action Team who had made the special trip with him to Israel last summer and all the guests at the event.
Mr. Appel shared the success of The Bridge which over a decade has provided a venue in ther city where multicultural events for all diverse groups working collectively as one voice to break and eradicate racism and bigotry from our communities have taken place.
Furthermore, he pointed out how The Bridge MCP has become a home and a central headquarters for all of New York diverse population. According to Mr. Appel, the vision for the Bridge has and always will be to have a community space where leaders meet to collaborate ideas with community driven events for change
Mr. Appel reminded those in attendance of the current plight of the nation where cities have been torn apart with too many episodes of race wars, gang violence, anti-Semitism, anti-Christian, Islamicphobia and how we as a group can continue to collaborate to make effective changes and bring unity to light. He proclaimed, “the flames of hate must be extinguished. We have worked hard as Americans to make our country a democracy and must continue to fight hard to preserve it.”
Mr. Appel hope that the collaborative efforts of The Bridge Multicultural and Advocacy Project working as one voice in unity with all culture and faith could be duplicated all across America to bring tangible changes in communities.
Check out the video from the event: