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Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión sings gospel favorite, "Take Me Back," with the Greater Faith Temple Choir during the borough's Bronx Black History Month Celebration.

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion and KISS-FM's Nicole Brown of, "KISS Inspirations," welcomed New Yorkers to, “LIFT EVERY VOICE,” a celebration of Black History Month through gospel music.  The event held Saturday, February 7th at 4:00 p.m. at Greater Faith Temple located at 4214 White Plains Road, (between East 233rd and 234th Streets) kicked-off Black History Month in the Bronx featuring choirs from Fellowship Tabernacle, Greater Faith Temple with special selections from the Bronx Mass Choir.


Carrión said,  “This is a wonderful opportunity for the entire borough and city to come together and celebrate the many accomplishments of prominent African-Americans and Caribbean-Americans from our area.

He continued, “We have some of the best in gospel music our borough has to offer so come and enjoy the performances as we also recognize our honorees who have each excelled in their profession and who continuously give back to our communities.”

Seven accomplished African-Americans were celebrated during the event.  They were:

Sam Amoah,
Owner, Sam’s Restaurant (Specializing in Soul Food Cuisine)

Sam Amoah, Owner of Sam's Restaurant on the Grand Concourse receives honors from Bronx Borough resident Adolfo Carrión and KISS-FM's Nicole Brown.

The Bronx is Sam Amoah’s home away from home.  Originally from Ghana, West Africa, Amoah has lived in the borough for 20 years and has spent the last five of them, as owner of the ever-popular Sam's Restaurant located in the heart of the Bronx Cultural Corridor at 596 Grand Concourse.  Specializing in soul food cuisine, Sam’s Restaurant began as a small take out restaurant attracting nearby students from Cardinal Hayes High School.  He then expanded to include fine dining in the evening. Always flexible to the needs of the marketplace, Amoah recently added another attraction to this winning combination by featuring

live music at his restaurant, every Wednesday from February through November.  As someone who continuously finds ways to grow and expand his service, Amoah gets high marks from his customers who also recognize him as a history maker for opening the first African-American business on the Grand Concourse.

Besides running his own business, Amoah finds time to do charity work for several Bronx-based organizations including the Citizens Advice Bureau, SOBRO, Administration for Children’s Services Christmas parties.


David Clifton Banks, Principal,
The Bronx School for Law Government and Justice

David Banks, Principal of Bronx School for Law Government and Justice (center), is honored during Black History Month Celebration

David Clifton Banks sits at the helm of the new $75 million state-of-the-art Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice located in the Downtown Bronx.  As Founding principal of the school that features a new courtroom/video conferencing center, crime lab and forensics science lab, Banks proudly carries the awesome task of providing all 450 of his students with a solid academic foundation to prepare them for future careers in law and government.

The school is part of a complex that includes an adjacent $250 million dollar Bronx Criminal Courthouse now under construction.  The project represents an unprecedented partnership between a criminal justice facility and an inner city high school.

Banks is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.  He received his law degree from St. John’s University, School of Law. He earned his Educational Administration and Supervision certification in Spring of 1995 by attending three colleges; Brooklyn College, City College and Baruch College.


He began his work career as a teacher with the New York City Department of Education at Public School 167 in 1986.  While teaching, he attended St. John’s University School of Law in the evenings.  He left the Department of Education in 1992 to pursue his law career.  He worked at the New York City Law Department– Office of the Corporation Counsel and the New York State Department of Law – Office of the Attorney General.  While with the Attorney General’s office he was appointed Deputy Director of Public Liaison. His love of teaching called him back to the Department of Education where he worked as Assistant Principal at P.S. 191 in Crown Heights.

Banks, who was born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, lives with his wife Marion and four children in Teaneck, New Jersey.

Mark J. Banks, Student, Morris High School

Mark J. Banks, a senior at Morris High School who participated in an expedition to Antarctica in December, was honored by Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión.  Banks was joined by Gary Israel (far right), Teacher and Coordinator of the Morris High School Robotics Team.

Mark J. Banks has made headlines as the winning captain of the nationally recognized Championship Morris High School FIRST Robotics Team.  Already a high-performing senior with a long list of accomplishments throughout his academic career, Banks can now add this one to his list: Explorer. As a recipient of the Student On Ice Scholarship, Banks participated in the December 2003 Expedition to Antarctica where he joined other students from around the world, for an educational mission to the continent. Banks is also Senior Class Vice President of Morris High School, C.E.O. of Morris High School Virtual Enterprise Business Program, Senior Student Mentor Coordinator for Morris High School/McGraw-Hill Mentor Program, Vice-President of the Morris High School ASPIRA Club, High School Coach for the I.S. 162 FIRST Lego League New York State Champions and Winner of the National Jr. Mentor of 2003 FIRST Lego League Competition.


Dr. Robert Chin M.D., Director of Emergency Medicine, North Central Bronx Hospital

Dr. Robert Chin, MD, Director of Emergency Medicine, North Central Bronx Hospital (2nd from left) is introduced to the podium by Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión and Joe S. Orlando, Senior VP North Bronx Healthcare Network, at borough’s Black History Month Celebration. Nicole Brown of Kiss Inspirations is on the left.

Dr. Robert Chin has served as the Medical Director of Emergency Services at the North Central Bronx Hospital (NCBH) since February 2003.  In his role, Dr. Chin has focused special effort in two specific areas in the delivery of emergency medial care: Bio-terrorism preparedness and the provision of enhanced care for the survivors of sexual assault.

Dr. Chin attended medical school at Cornell University Medical College, where he received numerous awards for excellence in clinical medicine. He completed specialty training in Internal Medicine at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan and Emergency Medicine at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx and is board-certified in both sub-specialties.

Dr. Chin is a Fellow of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and a member of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.  An Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Long Island University School of Nursing, Dr. Chin is active in teaching, training new physicians and in research.

A devoted husband and father, Dr. Chin resides in Rockland County with his wife, Ricarda, and their three young children.  He is an active member of his church where he serves as Elder.  In his spare time, Dr. Chin is an avid cyclist.

Jean Hodge, Director, Station Services & Community Affairs

Jean Hodge, Director of Station Services and Community Affairs at WCBS-TV, is honored by Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión (right) and Nicole Brown of KISS Inspirations at the Borough's Black History Month Celebration.

Jean Hodge is the Director of Station Services and Community Affairs at WCBS-TV.  She was appointed to the position in 1991, with the responsibility of overseeing outreach efforts, programs and special projects.

She has developed and implemented a number of programs at WCBS-TV that have had a special impact on the community including, "Learn About AIDS," a public service awareness campaign aimed at teenagers, "A Time To Read," focused on the importance of parent and child bonding through education and "Fulfilling The Dream," a unique initiative that honored individuals and programs from multi-ethnic communities across the New York tri-state area in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday.  In addition, Ms. Hodge provides technical assistance to non-profit organizations on media relations and public awareness including Bronxnet Cable Access where she serves as board member.

Before joining WCBS-TV, Hodge served as Director of Community Affairs at WCBS-AM Newsradio.  In this capacity she implemented several programs such as "Heart Month," a healthy heart awareness campaign, the "Volunteer" campaign that outlined a variety of activities to match one's interest while making a difference and "A World of Difference," a prejudice reduction campaign encouraging tolerance. 

In addition, she produced the public affairs broadcast "Access," winning several awards including one from the New York State Broadcasters Association, the National Broadcast Association for Community Affairs and the New York Council of Churches. An active participant in the community throughout her career, Hodge has graciously volunteered her time and expertise to a wide variety of organizations and efforts. She presently serves on the board of The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and Nontraditional Employment for Women. She spent several years on the board of trustees at Marymount Manhattan College, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Louise Wise Services for Children where she continues to be involved in committee work. 

Hodge is a graduate of Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration.


Naomi Silie, Esq., Partner, Johnson & Silie, LLP

Naomi Silie, Esq., Partner at Johnson & Silie, LLP, located on East 149th Street in the Bronx, was honored by Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión and Nicole Brown of KISS Inspirations.

Naomi Silie, Esq. opened the Law Offices of Johnson & Silie, LLP on East 149th Street in the Bronx with her partner Sauda S. Johnson, Esq. shortly after being admitted to the New York Bar in April 2003. Her area of practice is Real Estate, Entertainment, Wills and Business Law.

Silie, a first generation Dominican-American, was born in Manhattan and raised in the Bronx.  After graduating from the High School of Art and Design, Silie attended SUNY Purchase in Westchester where she received a BA in Political Science and graduated with honors. 

Subsequently, she worked as a paralegal at the large New York City Firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher, while she applied for law school.  In 1999, Silie started her legal education at the University at Buffalo Law School and completed her studies at Brooklyn Law School where she earned a Juris Doctorate Degree.  Silie was admitted to the New York Bar in April 2003.

Sauda S. Johnson, Esq., Partner, Johnson & Silie

Sauda S. Johnson, Esq. opened the Law Offices of Johnson & Silie, LLP on East 149th Street in the Bronx with her partner Naomi Silie, Esq. shortly after being admitted to the New York Bar.

Johnson who was born in Oakland, California, moved with her parents to Brooklyn when she was four-years-old.  She graduated from a prep school in Connecticut and attended the University of California where she studied theater, ran track, joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha organization and graduated with honors.  Although Johnson’s primary passion is acting, she attended Brooklyn Law School and received her Juris Doctorate Degree in 2002.  Sauda was admitted into the New York Bar in June 2003


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