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YWCA Bergen County
2 University Plaza
Suite 208
Hackensack, NJ 07601

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Release Date: Monday, April 21, 2014

Media Contact: Caryl Bixon-Gordon (201) 796-7788

Civil Rights Activist Theodora Lacey and Bergen/Passaic Chapter of National Coalition of 100 Black Women to be honored

HACKENSACK, N.J., April 21, 2014 – In line with its mission to eliminate racism, YWCA Bergen County annually takes part in the national YWCA’s Stand Against RacismTM. Held on the last Friday in April, the observance encourages conversations across diverse communities to address the root causes of racism. This year, YWCA Bergen County’s participation will include continuing diversity training for its staff and volunteers, as well as hosting its first annual Racial Justice Awards honoring community leaders for their efforts to promote racial equality.

The awards program will take place on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, from 6 – 8:30 p.m. at World of Wings in Teaneck, N.J. Civil rights activist and Teaneck resident Theodora Lacey and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW), Bergen/Passaic Chapter, will be recognized for their leadership in working to eliminate racism and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people.

“YWCA Bergen County is committed to building collaborative community partnerships to identify specific racial injustices and create positive change,” said Helen Archontou, Chief Executive Officer. “It is our privilege to honor Ms. Lacey for her life’s work in combating oppression and promoting racial understanding, and the Bergen/Passaic Chapter of the NCBW, our long-time partners in working towards racial, gender and social equality.”

Theodora Lacey moved north from the racial segregation of Louisiana in the 1950s and has spent her life advocating for change as an activist in the civil rights movement. In Bergen County, Lacey has fought discrimination in the school system as well as the housing market. She acknowledges the racial divide that exists in her community today and continues her efforts to bridge the gap of inequality.

Lacey currently serves as co-chair of the Bergen County Martin Luther King Jr. Monument Committee, which formed in 2010 to commemorate the life and work of Dr. King through the collaborative funding, design and construction of a life size bronze statue in his honor. The monument, which is scheduled for installation in June, will be located on the Hackensack River Pathway as it crosses the Fairleigh Dickinson University campus in Hackensack. The Monument Committee has raised more than $250,000 to fund the project and is continuing to accept donations. A portion of the proceeds from the YWCA awards event will go towards supporting the committee’s efforts.

The NCBW is a national non-partisan women’s network that promotes awareness of black culture and economic development, as well as advocates for equal rights, education and the development of effective leaders. “As we celebrate 28 years of women making a difference, the Bergen/Passaic Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women prides itself on the work that we have done to ensure that Black women and girls are empowered through education and awareness,” said Yvonne L. Witter, PHR, President. “We are honored to receive the Racial Justice Award and will continue to be the voice in our communities advocating for social and racial issues at the local, state and federal level.”

The evening will feature hor d’oeuvres by chef Kenneth Collins and wine education by sommelier Dennis Bulluck. Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased at ywca-rj-awards.eventbrite.com; for more information contact Karen Wynn at 201-881-1701.


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