Coney Island Hospital Executive Director Arthur Wagner presented Borough President Eric Adams with a plaque on Wednesday, honoring the new beep’s service to the community as an elected official and member of the New York Police Department.
The ceremony was the highlight of the institution’s Black History Month celebration, which also featured presentations and performances by hospital employees.
Adams, who replaced Marty Markowitz in January, is a former state senator and police officer. He co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, a group that provides assistance to community based organizations for neighborhood improvements. As an elected official, he was a leader in the fight against the controversial stop-and-frisk practices.
Before a room of about 75 hospital employees and community members, including Councilmember Mark Treyger, the borough president delivered a 20-minute speech that touched on the borough’s historic diversity, celebrating it but also remarking on the tremendous work still to be done for equality.
“If you look under the fingernails of every ethnic group, you will see the dirt and grime of climbing up the mountain of hope and prosperity to participate in the American Dream. We’re all in this together,” said Adams. “Black history month is the reflection of the human experience, and how do we ensure the periods of subjugation and danger and unfair treatment of groups stops right here and right now under this generation. That’s what this is about.”
You can hear the full audio of Adams’ speech here: