Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. was joined by hundreds of proud Bronxites and Bronxites-at-heart today for the official kick-off of 47th Annual Bronx Week at the Mott Haven Bar & Grill.
During the celebration, Borough President Diaz announced that advocate and founder of the #MeToo movement Tarana Burke, “Billions” actor Maggie Siff, and Hip-Hop impresario Slick Rick will be honored as the newest members of the 2018 Bronx Walk of Fame. The Tourism Award will be presented to the New York Botanical Garden by The Bronx Tourism Council.
“Bronx Week is a celebration of everything that makes our borough such an amazing place, and nothing is more important to that celebration than the people who are proud to call Bronx their home,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Once again, we are proud to welcome back the sons and daughters of Bronx to celebrate their accomplishments and induct them to the Bronx Walk of Fame. This year we have three amazing honorees, and I am thrilled to join the people of Bronx in congratulating them on this tremendous honor.”
“It’s exciting to celebrate our Bronx heroes and sheroes during this celebration of The Best of the Borough! I know that we are all inspired by all our honorees. I am also proud to present the New York Botanical Garden with this year’s Tourism Award,” says Olga Luz Tirado, executive director of The Bronx Tourism Council.
The 2018 Bronx Walk of Fame Inductees are:
Tarana Burke has worked in social justice and black arts and culture for more than twenty-five years. Her long and varied professional career started in Selma, Alabama where, over the span of a decade, she worked with: the 21st century youth leadership movement helping to develop hundreds of youth leaders across the country; at the national voting rights museum & institute serving as a curatorial consultant and special projects director helping to organize the annual commemoration and celebration of the Selma voting right struggle known as the bridge crossing jubilee; and as Executive director of the Black Belt Art and cultural center where she created and oversaw cultural community programs designed for underserve youth. Tarana’s work in Selma earned her consulting position with the production of the 2014, Oscar nominated film, SELMA directed by the incomparable Ava Duve nay whom she met while serving as managing director of art sanctuary, a black arts organization based in Philadelphia.
Tarana is passionate about social justice and has made a lifelong commitment to serving the causes of people of color and marginalized groups with a particular focus on youth women and girls. She has done organizing work from the Deep South the east coast dealing with issues ranging from economic justice to police brutality. Her passion for justice has taken her around the country and the world where she has been invited to speak and present at various conference and gatherings in multiple states and countries, including: Senegal, Cuba, Mali and Tunisia as a UN Delegate for the world summit on informational systems. She was recently featured in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
Maggie Stiff is currently starring as the female lead on Showtime’s Billions, opposite Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti. Siff has garnered critical acclaim for her role as “Wendy Rhoades.” Siff is well known to audiences for her role as “Tara Knowles” on the hit FX series Sons of Anarchy, for which she received two Critics’ Choice Award nominations for “Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.” Her other television credits include: Nip/Tuck, Life on Mars, Grey’s Anatomy and Law & Order. On the big screen, Siff recently starred in and executive produced the independent film A Woman, A Part which premiered in competition at the 2017 Rotterdam Film Festival. She also starred in the independent film, The Sweet Life, opposite Chris Messina, which premiered at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival and Columbia Pictures’ The Fifth Wave opposite Chloe Grace Moretz. In 2014, she appeared in Concussion, which premiered in competition at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. At Berlin, the film won a Teddy Award Jury Prize as an outstanding film about LGBT themes and its director Stacie Passon was nominated for Best First Feature by the Independent Spirit Awards. She also starred in Tim Blake Nelson’s Leaves of Grass opposite Edward Norton. Her other film credits include Paul McGuigan’s Push opposite Djimon Hounsou and Judd Apatow’s Funny People opposite Adam Sandler.
Siff is an established theater actress and she mostly recently played the lead role of “Kate” in the Theater for a New Audience’s production of The Taming of The Shrew. Her other credits include the title role in The Escort at the Geffen Playhouse, and the lead in OR at New York’s Women’s Project. She also starred in Ethan Hawke’s Lie of The Mind opposite Alessandro Nivola and Josh Hamilton at the New Group. Siff appeared in Richard Nelson’s Frank’s Home by Playwrights Horizons and Ruby Sunrise performed at the Public. She received a Jefferson Award nomination for her performance in Dollhouse at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and has also worked frequently in Philadelphia, where she won the Barrymore Award for a production of Ghosts.
Slick Rick is a Grammy-nominated rapper known as Hip-Hop’s Greatest Storyteller. He began his career in 1983 as a member of Doug E. Fresh’s Get Fresh Crew, pioneering what is referred to as the “Golden Age of Hip- Hop”. With four albums to his credit – the landmark The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (1988), The Ruler’s Back (1991), Behind Bars (1994) and The Art of Storytelling (1999). Rick has collaborated with a range of musical icons, from Jay-Z and Missy Elliot to Outkast, Jermaine Dupri, Mos Def Common and Aaliyah. His music has been sampled and interpolated over 650 times, by such artists as Eminem, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Beastie Boys, TLC, Nas, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Black Star, The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg and Color Me Badd. In the process, he became the most sampled (0ver 600 times) hip-hop artist ever. Many of the new songs became hit singles, underscoring his timeless influence. Ever the influence, he has been referenced in over 60 songs from the early 1990’s to present day by recording artists such as Nicki Minaj, J Cole, Pitbull, will.i.am, Amy Winehouse, Big Sean and Future. Slick Rick has also acted and cameo’d in 10 movies and videos.
Music is not his only passion; on top of being a uniquely gifted lyricist, Rick is an actor and music producer known his fashion sense and for a growing list of business and philanthropic endeavors. The artist is known for his infamous eye-patch and heavily adorned jewelry. This self-expression through personal style has become his signature and has never been successfully duplicated. Recognizing the need for positive influences, he has devoted his time to mentoring youth on the dangers of violence. Additionally, Rick has partnered with various organizations to raise awareness and funds for the issues impacting underserved communities.
The celebration featured samples of some of the best products Bronx has to offer, including the Mott Haven Bar & Grill, Bronx Brewery, Empanology, Trill Cooker, Verde Flowers and more.
Bronx Week is made possible with the generous support of Gold Sponsor UnitedHealthcare. UnitedHealthcare has played a significant role in supporting health and community initiatives throughout the borough. “UnitedHealthcare is committed to helping Bronx residents live healthier lives by working within the communities where healthcare is delivered and taking a whole person care approach to better understand how each individual’s circumstances impacts their health,” said Pat Celli, CEO for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of New York. “UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this important community event.”
Additional support comes from the largest employer in Bronx, Montefiore Medical Center, who has partnered with the Office of the Bronx Borough President on a multitude of community outreach projects.
Other Bronx Week sponsors include: Advanced Cardiovascular Diagnostics; Altice; Bronx Community College; Citadel Rehabilitation & Nursing Center; ConEdison; HealthFirst, Hostos Community College; Lehman College; Lincoln Hospital; Metro Plus Health Plan; St. Barnabas Hospital; The Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York; Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Uber and WellCare.
For more information about Bronx Week 2018, please visit here.