(l to r): Kevin Chavers, Chairman of the Board, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation; Christoper Williams and Janice Williams, co-founders, The Williams Capital Group; Maurice DuBois, anchor, CBS 2 News; Spike Lee, film director, producer, writer, actor and community activist; Rosie Perez, actor, author, activist and co-host of ABCs The View; Bruce Gordon, business leader and former NAACP president; Colvin Grannum, President and CEO, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Monday night, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation honored Rosie Perez, the Honorable William Thompson Sr. and Bruce Gordon at the annual “Restore Brooklyn” Benefit Dinner held at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The evening featured a special performance by Grammy Award-winning R&B singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele and was emceed by CBS anchorman Maurice DuBois.

The benefit celebrated Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration), the nations first community development organization, working to strengthen the community for nearly 50 years. Proceeds from the evening will support Restorations Economic Solutions Center, a comprehensive programmatic approach that strengthens the economic stability and well-being of families throughout Brooklyn.

When I was a young girl, no one believed in me or gave me a chance to accomplish anything, said Rosie Perez, author, actress, activist and co-host of The View.

It was a local organization like the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation that changed everything for me and provided me with opportunities I never thought I would have. For me to be here tonight to receive this award is humbling and so meaningful because Restoration does for families today what was done for me when I was a young kid. Im so proud to be here tonight to support this organization.

For nearly 50 years, Restoration has helped shape and preserve the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood with an incredible array of cultural and arts programming and offerings, while building a healthy and vibrant community and fostering family stability and economic self-sufficiency.

While Brooklyn is in the midst of a revitalization, pockets of extreme poverty have left many residents behind. Restoration works to ensure that Brooklyns economic boom offers all residents opportunity for advancement.

Spike Lee and Rosie Perez
Spike Lee and Rosie Perez

I’m honored to present Rosie with this award for her public service and commitment to Brooklyn, said director Spike Lee. It is incredibly important to support organizations like Restoration that work to preserve the cultural integrity of Brooklyn while also providing services to help families survive and thrive.

As the nations first community development corporation, the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation has influenced thousands of similar nonprofit organizations across the country. By implementing a pioneering and community based approach, the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation has catalyzed a wide variety of economic, educational, professional, residential, recreational and cultural improvements throughout Brooklyn.

“Ive spent much of my career as an activist and a business leader fighting to ensure that equality and diversity remain the hallmark of our communities. I believe the work and the mission of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation is critical if we are to sustain the fight for economic equality and opportunity, said Bruce Gordon, business leader and former President of the NAACP.

Restoration is building every day what Dr. King called the Beloved Community. I am proud to stand alongside them and support their efforts tonight.”

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