NJPAC Honors Community Heroes

Honorees at the podium: l - r Dr. Zachary Yamba, Dr. Chuck Davies

Dr. A. Zachary Yamba, the immediate past President of Essex County College, Newark New Jersey was honored once again, alongside Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davies and Ms. Lois Ransom Thomas by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in a “Tribute to the Elders” December 17, 2011. The three icons have in their own unique ways positivelyimpacted their communities and beyond. While Zachary Yamba is credited with restructuring Essex County College, Chuck Davies is known to have transformed the Arts in African Theatre/Dance and has been instrumental in evolving Kwanzaa celebrations. Lois Thomas, on the other hand is regarded as the “go-to lady” and walking encyclopedia of her community and the nation. The towering Chuck Davies, popularly called Baba Chuck has been described as an ambassador of humanity and is well known in Africa, especially in the Gambia and Ghana. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of the African American Dance Ensemble and the sui generis of African dance choreography.

In a special audio-visual tribute, Dr. Clement Price, a Professor at Rutgers University and an expert in the socio-economic and political landscape of Newark pointed out that Essex County College was, without doubt, saved by Dr. Yamba, and described the forty-three old community college as “the house that Zach built.” Drs. Yamba and Price met in 1968 as young professors of Essex County College. Rev. Reginald T. Jackson, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Essex County College, praised Dr. Yamba for his tenacity and vision while Dr. Mamie Bridgeforth described Dr. Yamba “a servant of the people.”

Posted by on Jan 17 2012. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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