CCCADI Appointments Harlem’s Luther A. Smith As Chairman Of Board Of Directors

August 12, 2020

The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Luther A. Smith to the position of Chairman of its Board of Directors. Smith, who joined the Center board in 2015 succeeds Kelly Vilar who assumed the position of Interim Chair in 2020 and steps down from the board this August.

CCCADI Executive Director Melody Capote had this to say, “On behalf of myself and the other members of the board, we want to express our gratitude to Kelly Vilar for her dedicated board service. We will miss her invaluable insights, but know that she will continue to contribute to our city’s well being through her work as the founder and CEO of the Staten Island Urban Center.” She also shared the following, ” I am delighted to welcome Luther Smith to the position of Board Chair, and I am looking forward to working closely with him as CCCADI continues to serve our community during this most challenging time. Luther brings great organizational, strategic planning, and leadership skills to our board and we are most grateful.”

Related: Melody Capote Talks COVID-19, The Protests, The Arts And More On The Danny Tisdale Show.

In response, Luther A. Smith had this to say, “It is a great honor and responsibility to lead such an important institution like the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. Over the course of the Center’s more than 40-year history, I have watched with great admiration the organization’s tremendous growth, development, and tenacity. I share with CCCADI the belief that the arts are powerful forces for racial and social justice, capable of creating positive change. I am committed to utilizing my experience, resources, and skills to ensure the Center’s future.”

Luther A. Smith is a veteran Government Affairs professional and political organizer with over twenty years of experience working in a variety of capacities in the New York government and politics. Mr. Smith has a diverse background in government service, electoral politics, and strategic planning.

He began his political career as a legislative aide to a member of the New York City Council where he worked on a wide range of legislative, policy, and land-use issues. He went on to serve as Director of Community Affairs in the Manhattan Borough President’s office and ultimately was promoted to Chief-of-Staff. He also has extensive political campaign experience having worked on over a dozen political campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels.

Mr. Smith has served as Senior Vice President for Corporate and Government Affairs at Bill Lynch Associates, LLC, government affairs and political consulting firm, where he developed and implemented lobbying strategies for a wide range of clients that included labor unions, non-profit organizations and real estate companies. Mr. Smith has represented clients on Capital Hill, before the New York State Assembly, New York City Council, and the Governor’s Office.

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Currently, he works in the real estate industry as an asset manager responsible for a portfolio of mixed-use properties.

A native New Yorker born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx, Luther attended NYU School of Law, the City College of New York and the Bronx High School of Science.

A native New Yorker born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx, Luther attended NYU School of Law, the City College of New York and the Bronx High School of Science. Luther is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He currently serves on the board of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of New York, and Harlem Grown. He resides in Harlem, NY with his wife Keisha and two daughters, Sais and Asali.

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The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute is an arts, culture, education, and media nonprofit organization that advances cultural equity, racial and social justice for African descendant communities. As reflected in CCCADI’s mission, the programs and activities of the Center are defined as four broad categories: Expressions, Learning, Spirituality and Exchange. This past Juneteenth, CCCADI launched the #ArtsGoBlack campaign to challenge the arts and culture field to actively address racial inequality.

For more information, please visit:

For additional information and to access virtual exhibitions and programs please visit: / / This past June, CCCADI

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