Suzanne Clary and Jay Heritage Center Receive Visionary Award from AAMW

Pictured Eric D. Eller, Lawrence C. Salley, Suzanne Clary, Melvin A. Burruss, Cyprian II, and Ken Jenkins (Photo by Joy Malone)

Rye resident Suzanne Clary was honored to accept an award this past November 4, 2011 by the African American Men’s Association of Westchester (AAMW) recognizing the work of the Jay Heritage Center and the work of her staff and board to expand their educational programs and outreach, particular those that help with interpretation of the site as a member of the historic African American Heritage Trail.

“This award is designed not only to recognize exceptional individuals, but also their achievements that inspire all of us to take bold steps toward our own dreams and goals,” Lawrence Salley of White Plains and co-chair of the Gala stated. “We are proud to honor these three outstanding business and community leaders, their contributions are unparalleled as they continue to raise the bar for excellency and improving the quality of life for Westchester families”

Clary in turn applauded the work of the AAMW as successful mentors to youth in our community quoting Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, “None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher…bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

The AAMW is an all-volunteer non-profit organization founded in 1987 to provide activities that strengthen family values and programs that enrich the educational experience of young people and foster economic development to build strong communities and improve the lives of Westchester County families. Clary was recognized with two others: Ozzie Moore, CEO of AFCO AvPORTS Management, LLC from Silver Spring, MD and Robert P. Weisz, President and CEO of RPW Group from Purchase, NY.

The Jay Heritage Center and AAMW have partnered along with the YWCA of White Plains and other NY organizations on a variety of programs including “Stand Against Racism” and more recently a family oral history and research project for students to document the lives of some of the first free black landowners and businessmen in Westchester, particularly Rye, Rye Neck and Mamaroneck.