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City of Pawtucket hosts the Second Annual Black History Month Impact Awards

PAWTUCKET, RI - The City of Pawtucket hosted the Second Annual Black History Month Impact Awards yesterday evening. The event included Black-led businesses, organizations, and art, as well as recognizing three local Black leaders for their contributions to the community.

The evening commenced with a welcome from Pawtucket Chief Equity Officer, Charles "Chachi" Carvalho, who expressed gratitude to all attendees for joining in the celebration and the significance of honoring Black excellence in the community. Shortly after, Mayor Donald Grebien delivered remarks, expressing gratitude for the community's presence and acknowledging the nominees for their remarkable achievements. 

"Tonight, we have witnessed the power of community and the profound impact of individuals dedicated to making Pawtucket a better place for all," said Mayor Donald R. Grebien. "I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the award recipients and nominees for their outstanding contributions."

The highlight of the evening was the recognition of the esteemed award recipients. Fatmata Barrie, a Tolman High School senior, was honored with the Pawtucket Exceptional Student Leader Award. Fatmata's unwavering commitment to academic excellence, community service, and cultural enrichment exemplifies the spirit of leadership and resilience. 

Walter "Bunky" Gonzalez received the inaugural John Carter Minkins Community Leader Award, named after the pioneering Civil Rights advocate. Bunky's tireless dedication to youth basketball and mentorship has left an indelible mark on the community, reflecting the spirit of advocacy and service championed by John Carter Minkins. 

Carmen Monteiro was celebrated as the recipient of the Pawtucket Outstanding Business Leader Award, recognizing her journey from immigrant to successful entrepreneur. Carmen's resilience and determination in climbing the corporate ladder and establishing 10 Rocks in Pawtucket as a cultural hub exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship and community empowerment. 

Throughout the evening, attendees enjoyed food from Shea High School’s Get Right Food Truck, music from DJ Edgar Cruz, and a spoken word performance, paying homage to the rich heritage and legacy of Black History Month in Pawtucket. Additionally, guests had the opportunity to explore Pawtucket's first Collaborative Community Art Gallery, featuring art across various mediums, including paintings, film, AI-generated art, and poetry.


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"The birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, Pawtucket is poised to undergo a 21st century evolution into Rhode Island's premier arts and cultural destination, an ideal community to live, work, play, start a business and raise a family."

- Mayor Donald R. Grebien

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