FDNY Celebrates Black History Month

Published: February 10, 2016

FDNY CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH

FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro delivers remarks at the Black History Month program.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro delivers remarks at the Black History Month program.

Wednesday, February 10, FDNY celebrated Black History month at FDNY Headquarters in Brooklyn. The program was organized by the African Heritage Society for the 22nd consecutive year.

“We must all learn from our past so that we can make our department better in the future,” said FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “I believe that we are stronger and that we accomplish more when every voice is heard. Through a renewed focus on every event that celebrates the heritage of our members, we continue to create a more inclusive department.”

The program featured musical performances and a guest speaker – Ginger Adams Otis, whose bookFirefight discusses the efforts of the Vulcan Society and Black firefighters towards a more diverse and inclusive Fire Department.

“The time taken during this month each year to observe Black history, still, as President Obama has said – gives us the chance to examine the evolution of our country and understand how African Americans help draw us closer to becoming a more perfect union,” said John Dove from the Fire Inspection Unit, who served as master of ceremonies for the program.

 FDNY African Heritage Society Member opened and closed the Black History Month program in song.
FDNY African Heritage Society Member opened and closed the Black History Month program in song.

“In 1994, about 20 of us civilians got together and organized the first event because it was important to us that our heritage be represented – here, where we work. Even with most of the original members gone, we are still doing what we first organized to do and we haven’t missed a year,” said Marilyn Gipson, a 40-year employee of FDNY and an original member of the FDNY African Heritage Society. “Everyone throughout the Department has been very supportive of our efforts.”