Photo courtesy of Richard St. Paul
From art and media to medical and real estate industries, Westchester County’s Black leaders make a lasting impact in the region.
After reflecting on 2020, looking at the challenges and suffering may be the first thought that comes to mind. During a time of devastation, it was also a time that put race at the center of society. The Black community, as well as many supporters, took the stage to push for racial equality. During the push for social justice, a select group of leaders among this Black community have been named to Crain’s New York Business’ Notable Black Leaders and Executives for their overall accomplishments and community involvement.
Here are the Westchester notables who have been awarded with the prestigious honor.
An executive director of Black Public Media BPM — a Harlem-based non-profit focused on getting stories by and about people from the global African Diaspora made and nurturing Black creatives — has continued to grow with the evolving media landscape, developing programs including talent incubator 360 Incubator+; BPMplus, which trains creatives in emerging media such as virtual reality and XR; curating its flagship public television series AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange; and supporting new projects such as Mr. Soul! and Ailey. Closer to home, Fields-Cruz is a resident of Cortlandt Manor and serves as a board member for the youth arts center, New Era Creative Space, in Peekskill.
American contemporary dancer and choreographer, Abraham is known for his company A.I.M by Kyle Abraham. He received his B.F.A. in 2000 at the State University of New York Purchase College, where he was spotted as the lead performer in An Untitled Love by ArtsWestchester. His choreography is known for its influences by R&B and soul music, and continues to touch the hearts of his audience members through his passion for dancing.
Mecca Mitchell is the Senior Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement and Chief Diversity Officer at the Westchester Medical Center Health Network. Mitchell oversees the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement and leads the development and implementation of the organization’s strategic diversity, inclusion, equity, and community engagement initiatives designed to promote comprehensive patient-centered care, create enriched work environments, ensure health equity, and support local communities. She is also on the board of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam.
Phillip Ozuah is the President and CEO of Montefiore Medicine, the umbrella organization for Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Montefiore Medicine treats patients across the Bronx, Westchester, and the Hudson Valley.
G. Lamont Blackstone
Chairman of The Real Estate Associate Program (Project REAP), Blackstone is known for his award-winning commercial real estate services. He has sourced, structured, negotiated, and implemented retail real estate development deals in urban markets ranging from free-standing supermarkets to supermarket-anchored shopping centers. You can also typically find him working out of Mount Vernon and the surrounding New York area.
Founder of the namesake law firm, St. Paul has sought justice for clients throughout New York City and the Westchester area. He has also served as the legal advisor to the New Rochelle chapter of the NAACP and as Counsel to the New Rochelle Voters Rights Defense Fund, as well as an adjunct professor at Monroe College in New Rochelle. St. Paul received recognition for his pro bono legal services in the City of Mount Vernon.