Monday, February 23, 2009

FBI Newark Division Celebrates Black History Month

On Friday, February 20, 2009, I was a privileged guest of the FBI Newark Division's black history month celebration titled African Americans Working Together to Make a Change. In a pre-recorded video, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Weysan Dun, unable to attend due to business in Washington, welcomed the 200 plus guests to the celebration. SAC Dun emphasized that diversity is one of our nation's greatest strengths and stressed that the FBI is a primary defender of civil rights. He called attention to Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln as pillars of the advancement of civil rights.

CELEBRATION AGENDA (from the event flyer)

Master of Ceremonies SA Frederick L. Ransom
Welcome SAC Weysan Dun
ASAC David Velasquez
Invocation SA George E. Graves, Jr.
Pledge of Allegiance  
National Anthem Ms. Sarah Dash
Negro National Anthem The Ed Ray Singers
Introduction of Keynote AO Dorisse Shakir-Ullah
      The Honorable Cory A. Booker, Mayor, Newark, NJ
Musical Selection The Ed Ray Singers
Aubrey C.Lewis Award
       Recipient: Lena Nixon, Retired
                           FBI Newark Division
SA Ransom
Musical Selection Mr. Abdur-Raqueeb Shakir-Ullah
Closing Remarks ASAC Aaron T. Ford
Benediction SA George E. Graves, Jr.

Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey delivered the keynote address. Mayor Booker began his remarks by expressing his admiration for the FBI's dedication to make real the promise of our country as "one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all." He then shared the following thoughts:

  • His recent attendance at President Barack Obama's inauguration with members of his family including his own 91 year old grandmother. Her presence at this historic event represented the importance of equality, opportinuity and justice becoming a greater reality for every American.
  • The greatness of America is exemplified through ordinary Americans who have lived with extraordinary determination.
  • The importance of representing the true heroes of our nation, such as the African American children who stood with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in May of 1963 against racism and white supremacy, courageously calling for change in America.
  • America must not tolerate neighborhoods where people fear for their lives and where innocent children are killed. Our nation is called to a new era of change, character and courage.
  • The example of friendship and mutual respect between Abraham Lincoln and Samuel Douglass can and should be taken to heart by today's citizens. This is the work that each American must embark upon so that the promise of our nation becomes a reality for all.

After the event, I was honored to spend a few minutes with Mayor Booker and present him with a copy of my latest book Listen To Their Cries in appreciation for his inspiring service to community and dedication to the people of Newark.

The FBI Newark Division is to be commended for this extraordinary event which allowed the diversity of our nation to be celebrated and the contributions of black Americans to be recognized.


The Frederick Douglass Papers Click here to visit site
We Shall Overcome Click here to visit site—Black History Click here to visit site
Association for the Study of African American Life and History Click here to visit site
Time For Kids—Black History Month Click here to visit site
The King Center Click here to visit site

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