Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke Celebrates Greatness at Her Fourth Annual Shining Star Awards


On Saturday, June 4th, 2016 Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke hosted her fourth annual Shining Star Awards to celebrate 15 outstanding socially aware men and women. Dozens, including local elected officials and public figures, were in attendance at the Milk River Restaurant to witness the honorees receive their awards.

Clarke established the annual Shining Stars award in 2012 to honor 18 to 40 year old New Yorkers for their outstanding work in their fields and their contribution to their communities. In addition, she wanted to encourage these young professionals to bring about social change.

“They are already leaders in their community,” Clarke said. “These are the voices of social change and development. I want to make their names resonate outside of their communities, and for them to use this spotlight to become more politically involved so they can make progressive changes in the country.”

Clarke is a true example of one who has actively brought social change. She has improved the lives of her constituents and fellow New Yorkers. She has worked tirelessly to help increase access to affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families, protect the rights of small business owners and improve the quality of education in her district.

“It’s an honor to receive the Shining Star award by Congresswoman Yvette Clarke,” said Honoree James Clement, Assistant Director of Community Affairs at the New York City Fire Department. “Congresswoman Yvette Clarke is a star that shines bright from Brooklyn to DC. Receiving this award is confirmation that I should continue the work I do to make a positive impact in the communities in which I serve.”

Joining Clement in this year’s list of outstanding honorees are Melissa Noel, Joshua E. Humbert, Jahmila Joseph, Rachel Lauter and Malikka D. Karteron. Aside from their shared dedication and involvement in their communities, they represent a variety of professions across New York State, including public servants, entrepreneurs, journalists and many more.

“I feel deeply honored to be a recipient of this award,” Melissa Noel, a freelance multimedia journalist, said. “As a reporter who focuses on the Caribbean and African Diaspora, there are times where you question if your work is making a significant impact on the communities you cover. This is a reminder that the stories done and the light being shined on issues does not go unnoticed.”

“I want to thank Congresswoman Clarke for this recognition,” said Rachel Lauter, Director at Mayor’s Office of Appointments. “It is an honor to work for a Mayor who is deeply committed to diversity in New York City’s workforce, and I am thrilled to be able to help enact that vision. Congratulations to all the other talented, young stars. It is a privilege to be among them.”

Past honorees of the Yvette D. Clarke Shining Star Award have included Founder of Black Girls Rock! Beverly Bond, Deputy Commissioner of NYC Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs Harold Miller, Community Activist and Founder of Mallory Consulting Tamika Mallory, and New York State Political Director of Hillary for America, Erin Stevens.