On Wednesday, February 27th, Williamsburg’s Dominican population commemorated their success and celebrated the 169th anniversary of their independence from Haitian rule.
The annual event at P.S. 19 Roberto Clemente was hosted by Councilwoman Diana Reyna, who enthused about how meaningful it is to enjoy the history of achievements of the Dominican community in Williamsburg. “We have taken the opportunity to celebrate, reflect and define who we are and what our future will be,” she said.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn participated in the celebration, saying she was glad to join a group that has helped enrich the cultural capital of the world. The mayoral hopeful praised Reyna and the nonprofit organization, Los Sures, for its hard work in the community. “It is amazing: the achievements of the Dominican community, especially of Councilwoman Reyna, who is the first and only elected Dominican woman in New York State,” Quinn commented.
Reyna, in turn, appreciated Quinn’s joining the festivities. “I respect what (Quinn) is doing in courting the Latinos and specifically the Dominican community and knowing, respecting and acknowledging that our vote is meaningful,” said Reyna. According to The Latino Data Project at CUNY, the Dominican population has become the second-largest Latino subgroup behind Puerto Ricans in New York City.
Amongst the singing and dancing, South Side United, HDFC– Los Sures and Alianza Para El Progreso Dominicano (Alliance for Dominican Progress) awarded plaques to five young Dominican adults that have contributed to helping the community of Williamsburg. “I love when we have fun, but enjoy it more when we credit the youth for doing the right stuff in our community,” said Augie Ayala, president of A.B.C Beverage Distributor.