FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PHOTOS: Former NYC Mayor David N. Dinkins Receives Humanitarian Award from Bowen Center

PHOTOS: Former NYC Mayor David N. Dinkins Receives Humanitarian Award from Emma L. Bowen Community Services Center; Joins Students at Therapeutic Preschool Graduation Ceremony

Center honored Dinkins’ life-long commitment to New York and passionate support for children, education and community-based mental health care initiatives

HARLEM, NY—Former New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins was honored with the 2016 Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center Humanitarian Award on Thursday, June 22, 2017 before a group that included young students from the Emma L. Bowen Therapeutic Preschool, who graduated later in the day. The students performed “My White Shoes” by Pete the Cat for Mr. Dinkins during the ceremony, which recognized his dedication to children and those with mental health issues.

“The Emma L. Bowen Humanitarian Award is presented to individuals who epitomize the legacy of the late Emma L. Bowen,” said Patricia Jordan, Chair of the Board of Directors. She continued, “Mayor’s Dinkins’ commitment to children and mental health-related issues throughout his career embody the essence of our founder, Ms. Bowen. The Board and I are delighted to recognize his lifetime of distinguished achievements.”

David Norman Dinkins served as NYS Assemblyman, President of the NYC Board of Elections, City Clerk, and Manhattan Borough President prior to being elected the 106th Mayor in 1989. As the first African American Mayor of the City of New York, he increased mental health services and created the “Safe Streets, Safe City: Cops and Kids” program, which incorporated mental health best practices, strengthened communities, and helped reduce crime.

The Emma L. Bowen Community Services Center Therapeutic Preschool Program is year-round program that enhances its curriculum with speech and occupational therapy, physical therapy and mental health services for children aged 3-5 with emotional and behavioral difficulties and cognitive and language delays. The preschool prepares children for entry into public or private school in less-restrictive environments, as well as special education programs.

Ms. Bowen was a strong advocate for community-based mental health and holistic supportive services, often referring to mental health issues as “problems of living.” recognizing the dignity of those who struggle with these issues while coping with the challenges of poverty as well.

Following the awards ceremony, Mayor Dinkins attended the “Moving Up” graduating ceremony of the students and posed for pictures with all the graduates.


Image Captions

Photo 1: Mayor David Dinkins accepts his Humanitarian Award with a special message to the parents of the Emma L. Bowen Therapeutic Preschool, “God bless you…there’s nothing more important than our children. And as a father and grandfather, believe me, I understand it.”

Photo 2: (From left to right) William Witherspoon, Executive Director Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center “Bowen Center”, G. Keith Alexander, Master of Ceremonies, Mayor David Dinkins, Patricia Jordan, Chair of the Board of Directors, Bowen Center. (Back left to right) Lawrence Fowler, Deputy Director, Bowen Center, and Robert Crawford, 2016 Recipient of the Emma L. Bowen Achievement Award.

Photo 3: Mayor David Dinkins sits with parents as students from the Emma L. Bowen Therapeutic Preschool receive their “Moving Up” graduation certificates.

Photo 4: Mayor David Dinkins poses with graduates from the Emma L. Bowen Therapeutic Preschool.

Photo 5: Certified Preschool Teacher Martha Soto, Mayor David Dinkins and G. Keith Alexander.

About David N. Dinkins

Mayor Dinkins joined Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) as a Professor in the Practice of Public Policy in 1994. He has hosted the David N. Dinkins Leadership & Public Policy Forum for 20 years which welcomed Presidential Candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton as Keynote Speaker in 2015 and the US Attorney Loretta Lynch in 2016. Dinkins is a founding member of Candidate Clinton’s ‘Hillary for New York Leadership Council’ and the ‘African American Mayors for Hillary Council.’ Notable in 2015, the landmarked, Centre Street hub of New York City Government was renamed: the David N. Dinkins Municipal Building in October, and the David Dinkins Archives & Oral History collection was opened by Columbia University Libraries in December.

Mayor Dinkins is an active participant on numerous organizational boards – with his primary focus on youth, he also maintains regular engagements as a featured speaker or award recipient around the country. In 2013, Mayor Dinkins became a first-time author when, A Mayor’s Life: Governing New York’s Gorgeous Mosaic, was published chronicling the life of this devoted public servant in love with his city.

Born in Trenton, New Jersey, on July 10, 1927, David Dinkins graduated with honors from Howard University in 1950 with a B.S. in mathematics and an LLB from Brooklyn Law School in 1956. He is a recipient of The Congressional Gold Medal for his service as a Montford Point Marine during World War II. David N. Dinkins resides in New York City with his wife of 62 years, Joyce Burrows Dinkins.

About Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center

The Emma l. Bowen Community Service Center enables individuals and families, regardless of age, to effectively and productively meet the many challenges within today’s scope of “problems of living” by providing comprehensive community services in a caring environment.

The Center consists of highly trained, culturally competent health care professionals that include psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, alcohol/drug counselors, case managers, vocational rehabilitation counselors, and early childhood teachers. We have a multilingual staff fluent in Spanish and French.

The Emma L. Bowen Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community based organization established in 1969 and licensed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York State Office of Mental Health, New York State Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services, and New York State Department of Education.

About Emma L. Bowen

Emma L. Bowen, the founding president of the Upper Manhattan Mental Health Center, Inc was a community activist, fighter for justice, founder, and president of Black Citizens for a Fair Media (BCFM) and co-founder of the Foundation for Minority Interest In Media, a foundation that has been re-named in her honor.

As a mental health professional and being active in the community of Upper Manhattan, Emma worked with William F. Hatcher and the community to help establish the Upper Manhattan Mental Health Center Inc. in 1986, as a not-for-profit, community based organization.

During Mrs. Bowen’s life time, she was a media spokesperson for her many causes, testified at the FCC on minorities and the media, and received many awards for her significant contributions to community health and serving the needs of the mentally challenged. As a grandmother, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University, and continued her active participation as an advocate for equality in the media and for mental health services until her death in 1996.

Her work lives on in the thousands of men and women of color who write, produce, direct, report, perform and manage in the television stations and networks of America, as well as the thousands of families, adults, children and senior citizens who have and continue to receive mental health, substance abuse, food, job skills and other supportive services from the Upper Manhattan Mental Health Center, Inc., now known as the Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center.

Visit the Emma L. Bowen Community Service Center at