Witt’s World: The Shirley Chisholm Dem Club Celebration

Ingrid Lewis-Martin is accompanied by her son Glenn Martin III who surprised her with flowers after she received the Catalyst Award for being a trailblazer. – Photo credit: Image Ready Media
Stephen Witt

Last month after a particularly long day, I ventured for a night out at the Shirley Chisholm Democratic Club’s (SCDC) 10-year anniversary celebration and First Annual Catalyst Awards Ceremony at Kaché Restaurant, 2192 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.

The evening began with a cocktail hour and dinner followed. Between engrossing conversation with Democratic District Leader Candidate Sabrina Gates, good food and wine, and the Sesame Flyers’ lively steel pan music, I dropped the ball in writing a story about it in a timely fashion.

In my eyes, the evening was in particular a celebration of Shirley Chisholm’s legacy and strong Black women. And in honor of these women, better reported late than never. 

This year’s awardees included Rebeca Lafond, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Blondell Lighty, Benjamin Pinczewski and Emmanuel Vambran.

Rebeca Lafond, recipient of the Shirley A. Chisholm Award accompanied by Assemblymember and Brooklyn County Leader, Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn and the Honorable Judge Dena Douglas. – Photo credit: Image Ready Media

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a decade of community organizing, than by honoring these five individuals, whose everyday work embodies the legacy that the great Shirley Chisholm left us. I am so proud of each of our honorees, and the entire SCDC community who continue to live out our namesake’s values here in Brooklyn,” said Assemblymember and Brooklyn County Leader Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn.

Josue Pierre, District Leader for the 42nd Assembly District in Flatbush noted that for the last ten years the Shirley Chisholm Democratic Club has lived up to the values that Shirley Chisholm is known for by focusing on informing and educating local residents about issues, activating voters, and empowering those that have felt left out.

“The honorees we selected this year are a reflection of those very same values. I congratulate our members for transforming politics in the Flatbush area, and look forward to another ten years,” Pierre said.

Delta Force (left to right) Shawna Green Myles, President, Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.; Sheila Beverly-Skinner, former President, Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta,Inc.; Blondell Lightly recipient of the Legacy Award and member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.; Assemblymember and Brooklyn County Leader Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, and Maria Willis, member, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. – Photo credit: Image Ready Media

Pierre and SCDC President Rona Taylor emceed the awards ceremony. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and State Senator Kevin Parker delivered opening remarks.

“I am so grateful to all the people who came out tonight to show their support for our Club and our incredible honorees,” said Taylor. “Their support will go a long way in helping us continue to be of service to the community. This evening was a true celebration.”