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County Honors Montclair Resident For Black History Month

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MONTCLAIR, NJ — A Montclair resident is one of four people recently honored by the county in tribute to Black History Month.

Earlier in February, the Essex County Board of County Commissioners held its 2022 African-American History Month Celebration via Zoom. Watch the video below.

The ceremony commemorates the “heritage, culture, resilience and spirit of the African-American community,” and acknowledges the contributions of Essex County’s African-American residents.

This year, the board recognized four outstanding Essex County residents for their leadership: Lionel Leach of Irvington, Annette Strickland of Montclair, Johanna L. Wright of South Orange, and the Honorable Roger M. Yancey, Esq. (posthumously) of Newark.

The board provided the following background about Strickland:

“Annette Strickland is the retiring Executive Director of the Schumann Fund for New Jersey, a private foundation that invests in the areas of early childhood development and public policy with an emphasis on racial and economic equity within the State of New Jersey. Before her time with the Schumann Fund, she served in state and county government in a variety of roles including Director of Community Relations for the Essex County Prosecutor’s office Council of New Jersey Grantmakers For the past 30-years, she has worked to implement the core values ​​of respect for community and community voice, a belief in and focus on racial and economic equity, and fostering authentic relationships with community partners and belief in their resilience.”

“In our communities of color, we continue to lend a sensitive ear, a supportive hand, and a resounding voice to issues affecting those who are marginalized on the local and national front,” Commissioner President Wayne Richardson said.

“We understand the struggle continues,” Richardson said.

“Each February, our nation celebrates the spirit and dynamic leadership of African-Americans, both past and present,” Richardson added. “As a Black man, it is important to me that our contributions are celebrated both large and small because each of us are significant to the success of our communities.”

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