(CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y.) – Suffolk County Legislator Sam Gonzalez recently honored eight distinguished students in both the Brentwood and Central Islip school districts with the “Inclusive Leadership Award” at the Town of Islip Branch NAACP’s first Annual Juneteenth Celebration.
Now celebrated as the longest running African American holiday, Juneteenth honors the fight for racial equality in the United States and the tremendous growth we have seen as a nation. Despite our growth, we must use Juneteenth as a reminder to keep fighting against racial injustices.
This year the “Inclusive Leadership Award” went to students who embody the fight for social justice and continue to work towards the betterment of their communities. These students are Brianna Simpkins, Anthony Chica, Javed Chowdhury, and Andrew Whittingham of Brentwood High School, and Ritchelle Exavier, Ocasi Amene, Nahyma Metelus, and Sean McDonald of Central Islip High School.
“Juneteenth is an important date in American history and should be recognized so that everyone can be educated about its significant both at the time and in the present day, said Legislator Gonzalez. “Congratulations to all our winners and thank you for helping to make our community a better place!”
“In order to raise a generation that values inclusive leadership over exclusive leadership and exclusionary leadership, we must start them when they are young,” said Islip Town Branch NAACP President Billy Moss.