Renee Ortiz: "A Moment of Overwhelming Pride"

“Today I had the privilege of attending the 24th Annual Suffolk County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, Inc. Awards Luncheon. It was a lovely tribute to the legacy of Dr. King. But what I wanted to share with you was the moment of overwhelming pride I experienced there.

First, a member of the Central Islip Concert Choir sang the National Anthem followed by our very own LEEP* family member Kaliah (Princess of Zamunda) Greene who sang ‘Lift Every Voice & Sing’ and finally a performance by the entire Central Islip Concert Choir.

With each POWERFUL performance I was overcome with pride and moved to tears. So many negative stereotypes and stigmas are often permeated about our community.

Still, it's moments like this, when the best of the best from our community are before you…when you see the committed, talented representation I saw today, and you just fill with pride. And you remember why you chose to come back to what is truly your home. And why as long as you call this home, you will fight with all you have to make this the best community it could possibly be for our families and all our children.”

Chief Deputy Clerk
Suffolk County Legislature

* Leadership towards Empowerment through Education and Participation is a Central Islip, Brentwood and Bay Shore forum for civic engagement and leadership development. 

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