By Eartha Watts Hicks
Harlem’s Korey Wise is our commodity. Love for the eldest of the ‘Exonerated Five’ has transcended his hometown and permeated every empathetic heart aware of his difficult struggle.
What makes Korey Wise so very special is his attitude and ability to move past the trauma of his life-altering experience, give back to his community, and embrace life with a sheer desire to serve as an encouragement to others.
His work with The Innocence Project now advocates freeing other wrongfully accused and aims to correct their criminal records.
On Saturday, July 31st, 2021, at 2:00 p.m., Korey Wise partnered with Jerry Migdol, at the Migdol Family Foundation, Friends of Public School Harlem, Hon. Councilman Bill Perkins, attorney and District Leader for district 69, Keith Lily is an attorney, elected as the District Leader for District 68, and other Harlem community leaders and returned to support Schomburg Plaza.
The double-tower development on 110th Street (near 5th Avenue) was Korey’s home, from age two until age seventeen when he was wrongfully indicted.
The plaza’s promenade became this summer’s site of a Socially-distanced community block party bringing fun, food, music, activities, and helpful resources to the tenants of this housing complex.
Yes, there was an old-fashioned bar-be-cue, clown, face painting, popcorn, cotton candy, live DJ, Italian Ice, carnival games, a giant inflatable playhouse, and fun activities for the kids. There was also free COVID testing, vaccine registry, resources to help tenants increase their credit score based on their rent payment history, and more.
The highlight of the event itself was Wise, Jerry Migdol and his team at the Migdol Family Foundation, and Friends of Public School Harlem’s give-away of backpacks and an entire year’s worth of school supplies, aptly available for all youth in attendance.
The Migdol Family Foundation partners with Korey Wise to soften the impact of hardship on this community. Since the onset of the Global Pandemic, they have given away backpacks and school supplies on multiple occasions, donated laptop computers, face masks, and groceries to 5000+ families.
The Migdol Family Foundation and Korey Wise provide resources to encourage Harlem families to stay safe during this global crisis. Get vaccinated if recommended by your doctor. Mask up and get tested for COVID-19 periodically until vaccination is permissible for you and your family.
For more information about Korey wise and the Innocence Project, visit https://innocenceproject.org/. For more information about the Migdol Foundation’s Friends of Public School Harlem initiative, visit www.FPSH.nyc.
Eartha Watts Hicks is a winner of the 2013 Just R.E.A.D. Award in the fiction category from NYCHA/NAACP. In 2015, she was classified as a ‘socialprenuer,’ winning the Columbia SBA Business Pitch Competition. In 2017, Eartha Watts Hicks became a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) artist/entrepreneur. She is a past Editor-in-Cheif at Harlem World Magazine. Her books can be purchased on Amazon. https://Author.to/Earthatone
Photo credit: 1-2) Eartha Watts Hicks and Korey Wise By Eartha Watts-Hicks. 3-8) Seitu Oronde.