Photo Spotlight: Columbia's President Honored at the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce’s 125th Anniversary Gala

The community-driven celebration commemorated over a century of service and uplifted the work of local changemakers.

Columbia Neighbors Team
April 04, 2023

Since its inception in 1896, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce has served as a pillar within Uptown’s ecosystem; leading an array of initiatives designed to economically, socially, and culturally empower Harlemites with an overarching mission of preserving and strengthening the community. The nonprofit marked a historic milestone in February by ushering in its 125th year of service.

The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Anniversary Gala was hosted on February 26 at City College’s Shepard Hall. Among the esteemed honorees that were celebrated for their contributions across education, social justice, and politics were Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger, civil rights pioneer Dr. Hazel N. Dukes, who serves as the President of the NAACP New York State Conference, and political powerhouse former U.S. Rep. Charles B. Rangel. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Carver Federal Savings Bank were among the institutions honored by GHCC for their community-driven efforts. Lewis Katsos, president of the real estate firm Jekmar Associates and Betty Park, who owns the beloved Harlem-based soul food chain Manna's, were recognized as board honorees.

During his speech, President Bollinger reflected on collaborative community impact projects he’s led with the GHCC and paid homage to the legacy of the late David Dinkins—the first African American to serve as the mayor of New York City—whom he credits with introducing him to the Chamber and playing an instrumental role in building a bridge between the organization and Columbia.

“Going back decades, Columbia has been one of the Chamber’s strongest and most dedicated collaborators,” President Bollinger shared during his speech. “I have greatly enjoyed my time and benefited enormously from the partnerships and associations with the Chamber over the past two decades of my presidency at Columbia. I really look forward with enthusiasm and optimism for what will follow on what we have built.”

Learn more about the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.

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