New York Women’s Foundation (NYWF) Annual Neighborhood Dinner Honors The Change Makers Of Queens

November 24, 2023

The 29th Annual Neighborhood Dinner of The New York Women’s Foundation was held in Queens this year.

This annual event celebrates the diverse cultures in New York City and honors exceptional women whose courage and leadership have transformed their local communities for women and families.

…philanthropy means “the love of humankind.”

An inspiring evening for conversation, connections, and action, the event was aptly held on National Philanthropy Day® (NPD), which is one day set aside each year for the purpose of recognizing the great contribution philanthropy makes to our society and to honor individuals, businesses and support organizations that are active in the philanthropic community. In Latin and Greek, philanthropy means “the love of humankind.” That love and inspiration was palpable in the room last night, where over 150 guests joined us to honor and support these incredible leaders. It was a Neighborhood Dinner that had a strong feeling of warmth and community. There was an embrace of everyone, inspiring honorees and their speeches, delicious food provided by a local, women-owned catering company, and a beautiful performance by the Bangladesh Academy of Fine Arts.

This year the Foundation gave the Neighborhood Leadership Award to Dr. Althea Taylor the Executive Director of Hour Children, who has done phenomenal work on incarceration reform and in helping women with substance use and mental health disorders who were formally incarcerated and to Carina Kaufman-Gutierrez of Street Vendor Project, who has as worked to pass city and state legislation to reform the street vendor industry and to create a relief fund for excluded workers. Both organizations are The New York Women’s Foundation’s Grantee Partners.
The Foundation presented the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award to Yanki Tshering, Founder and Executive Director of Accompany Capital, whose microlending for immigrants and refugee-owned micro and small businesses has enriched the community and demonstrated a deep level of commitment to the neighborhood. 
Additionally, This year Irma Rodriguez was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Irma has dedicated her life and career to the Queens Community House; she served as its Executive Director of the Queens Community House (QCH) from 2008-2015, after serving more than 25 years as Associate Director. QCH grew from a locally serving community center into a borough-wide organization with 25 sites in 11 neighborhoods, serving 25,000 children, families, and older adults.  Under Irma’s guidance, QCH developed expertise in organizing, neighborhood preservation, and community building. She has been acknowledged for her efforts to promote human service provision as a vehicle for social change.
The Jack and Dorothy Kupferberg Family Foundation was honored with the inaugural Queens Champion Award for the family’s dedication to the well-being of Queen’s neighborhoods and communities.

“… shift our consciousness toward justice and equity,”

“We are privileged to recognize the important work of these honorees who are working to make their communities a better place for all,” said Ana L. Oliveira, President and CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation. “Through their work, they are able to shift our consciousness toward justice and equity, which is essential to bring about the progress that our city so desperately needs.” 
Notable attendees included: Dr. Althea Taylor, Carina Kaufman-Gutierrez, Yanki Tshering, Irma Rodriguez, Ana L. Oliveira, and Councilwomen Linda Lee. Executives from Alstom Group and JP Morgan were also present, while Saeeda Dunstan of Elmcor emceed the event.

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The 2023 Neighborhood Dinner event chairs include BJ Sung, Elizabeth Wang, Monique Edwards, Michelle Henry, and Gloria Pitagorsky. They were supported on the committee by Antoinette Ahibo, Zoe Bogan, Dexlene Maxwell, and Victoria Morgan.

Photo credit: 1-2) 3)Jean Shafiroff. Shutterstock / Andrew H. Walker)

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