Phone: 718.773.3551 | Fax: 347.240.9736

Bed-Stuy Campaign Against hunger is pleased to honor Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her commitment to generating socioeconomic opportunities and combating systemic inequality.

Melissa Mark-Viverito serves as the Speaker of the New York City Council, the first Puerto Rican and Latina to hold citywide office. She worked in local activism, nonprofit organizations and grassroots labor organizing for over a decade before being elected to the City Council in 2005. As Speaker, she has focused on transparency in government and policies that generate socioeconomic opportunity and combat systemic inequality.

As the first woman of color to serve as Speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito has focused on increasing opportunity and equality for young women across New York City. In 2015, Speaker Mark-Viverito launched an initiative to address disparities faced by women. This collaboration with policy experts, service providers, philanthropy, City agencies and young women themselves will assess New York City’s efforts to determine how the Council can support gender equality for women in New York City.

In 2011, she was one of four Council Members to pioneer the first-ever Participatory Budgeting process in New York City, a grassroots process by which residents can vote directly to fund locally-developed projects in their communities. Since Mark-Viverito’s speakership, Participatory Budgeting has spread to over twenty-four districts across New York City and funds $32 million in community projects.

Dr. Olajide Williams is the Founder of Hip Hop Public Health. He currently serves Chief of Staff of Neurology, Director of Acute Stroke Services, and Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University. Dr Williams is a highly regarded NIH researcher and expert in community-based health education interventions targeting economically disadvantaged minorities. He is the author of numerous scholarly peer reviewed publications including the acclaimed book, Stroke Diaries – a collection of patient encounter stories published by Oxford University Press. Dr Williams sits on several prominent boards, including the Partnership for a Healthier America whose honorary chair is First Lady Michelle Obama and the Founders Affiliate board of the American Heart Association.  Dr Williams has received numerous national awards for his work including congressional citations and state proclamations. He has been featured by several major networks which include NBC, ABC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Fox, NPR and the New York Times. Dr. Williams was profiled in Fast Company magazine’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, the Root 100′s most influential, BET’s “A” list, and the 2015 New York Magazine’s Best Doctors list.

Richard Roberts is Managing Director of Acquisitions for Red Stone Equity Partners, LLC assisting in the origination and management of developer relationships in the Northeast and the development of new business strategies for the firm.  Richard has extensive career in affordable housing and urban market investments having worked in these areas for over 19 years.

Prior to joining Red Stone, he worked in the government, for profit and nonprofit sectors including serving as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, one of the largest allocators of Low Income Housing Tax Credits in the country, where he was responsible for the investment of more than $1 billion into New York City’s neighborhoods and the creation of over 30,000 units of affordable housing.  He is also the founding Managing Director of the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group where he devised and led a creative strategy responsible for the establishment of the firm’s community development investment platform.

Richard is active on a number of civic, philanthropic and industry organizations and serves on the boards of  Citizen’s Housing and Planning Council (Chair), the New York State Association for Affordable Housing (executive committee), and Habitat for Humanity-New York City.

Richard holds both a BA and JD from Yale University.