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Maria Luisa Owner to Receive Social Justice Award

Maria WhittinghamCommunity activist and Nyack business owner Maria Luisa Whittingham will receive Nyack College’s 2014 Social Justice Award at a luncheon event at the Nyack Seaport on Fri Jan 17.

Whittigham is a Nyack entrepreneur and community leader who has served on the boards of the Nyack Center, ACADA (Arts, Crafts, and Antique Dealers Association), Rockland Country Day School and the Nyack Marketing Association. She’s also been a member of the NAACP since 2001 and a Nyack Chamber member since 1987. Whittingham is owner of two South Broadway businesses, Maria Luisa Boutique and ML by Maria Luisa. Since February, 2013, she has sponsored Local Arts Index, a weekly column on NyackNewsAndViews that profiles local artists.

“Being recognized as the 2014 Rockland County entrepreneur and community activist award recipient by Nyack College is validation of my belief that as individuals, we are each vital and influential in our communities,” said Whittingham. “We all have a choice, and the choices we make really can make a difference.”

Two community organizations will also receive Social Justice awards at the Friday reception as well: New City’s Leadership Rockland and the Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center in Spring Valley. A fourth honoree, Donovan Richards, Jr., New York City Councilman (District 31), will receive special recognition as an emerging community leader.

Nyack College’s Social Justice Day is an annual prelude to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, which will be observed on January 20. This year’s luncheon is sponsored by M&T Bank, which recently presented Nyack College with a $5,000 donation in support of the M&T Bank Minority Scholarship Fund.

Leadership Rockland, a professional development program, which offers training for leaders in local businesses and not-for-profits, will also receive a Social Justice award. A major objective of the program is to expose “emerging leaders through an educational experience focused on the infrastructure of the County, presented from the unique perspective of the actual leaders.” The program engages and challenges its participants to examine issues and seek solutions.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Multipurpose Center will also be honored. The center offers community programs that help adults, children, families, and the elderly to be more productive, healthy, and informed. Outreach programs include after school and summer programs, youth employment programs, nutrition education for the elderly and cultural and recreational programs.

To purchase tickets for the Nyack College Social Justice Luncheon on Friday, January 17  at 12:30p, email or call 845.675.4431.  The Nyack Seaport is located at 21 Burd Street in Nyack.

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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