KEYNOTE Address to be given by Noted Author, PR Expert, and Mental Health Advocate Terrie M. Williams
Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo to Be Honored
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 4, 2013 — On June 8, 2013, Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY) will host its 36th
annual commencement ceremony at 4:00 PM at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. This year, the college will present degrees to more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students. Noted author, entrepreneur and mental health advocate Terrie Williams will deliver the keynote address. Most recently, Williams was named to the 2013 theGrio 100 list for her trailblazing efforts in bringing national attention to the issue of depression in the African American community. It was her personal story in Essencemagazine in 2005 that catapulted the discussion into the news.
An honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters will be conferred upon Councilwoman Carmen del Arroyo for her accomplishments as an agent of change in social services.
“This is always a very special day for MCNY faculty and students,” said Dr. Vinton Thompson, president of Metropolitan College of New York. “Our graduates have earned the tools they need to become more productive leaders in the community, and our keynote speaker and honoree will share their visions of strength, courage and social service. They are true leaders our graduates can proudly emulate.”
This year’s keynote speaker and 2004 MCNY commencement honoree, Terrie Williams, is one of Ebony magazine’s “Power 150 for Activism” and Woman’s Day magazine’s “50 Women on a Mission to Change the World.” An advocate for change and empowerment, Williams has used her influence and communications expertise for more than 30 years to educate and engage audiences in social causes. Williams launched The Terrie Williams Agency, a PR firm, in 1988 with superstar Eddie Murphy and the late jazz legend Miles Davis as her first clients, and has continued to represent some of the biggest personalities and enterprises in entertainment, sports, business and politics.
Terrie’s latest book, the critically acclaimed Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting, is credited with starting an unprecedented national dialogue that recounts her personal struggles with depression and the impact the stigma of mental illnesses has, particularly on the African American community. Her initiative has led to a national mental health advocacy campaign called “Sharing Ourselves . . . Healing Starts with Us” in collaboration with the Ad Council’s and SAMHSA’s campaign, “Mental Health Recovery.” To date, this campaign has garnered $2.5 million in donated national advertising space and 11 million media impressions to significantly heighten the awareness and importance of mental and emotional health.
Most recently, Williams spoke at the United Nations’ World Mental Health Day, where she provided a global perspective on mental health and depression.
Councilwoman Carmen del Arroyo pursued higher education goals after receiving her GED in 1978. While working as a receptionist she realized that without a college education, she would not be able to make a difference in the system of delivering social services. She went on to graduate from Hostos Community College in 1989 with an Associate of Arts degree, from Lehman College in 1991 with a Bachelor of Health Service Administration cum laude, and from New York University’s Robert Wagner Graduate School of Public Service in 1994 with a Master of Public Administration.
Over her twenty-eight-year career, she served as Executive Director at Segundo Ruiz Belvis Diagnostic and Treatment Center (where she began as a receptionist), as Senior Director of Operations for Narco Freedom, Inc., and as volunteer Executive Director of the South Bronx Community Corporation. All three organizations provide much-needed services to residents of the South Bronx community where she was raised. She is a New York City Councilmember representing District 17 in the Bronx.
About Metropolitan College of New York
Audrey Cohen, educational visionary and activist, founded the Women’s Talent Corps in 1964. Through development and training for new professional positions, the Talent Corps created employment for thousands of people. It became The College for Human Services, later Audrey Cohen College, and today Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY). MCNY continues the tradition of offering highly motivated learners an education that combines applied skills and professional knowledge to effect personal transformation and positive change in the workplace and community. MCNY is a not-for-profit, accredited, independent college. Full year-round offerings accelerate degree completion, and a unique approach to learning permits close integration of workplace activities and study. MCNY is conveniently located in Hudson Square where SoHo meets TriBeCa at 431 Canal Street, NY, NY 10013. For more information on MCNY, visit www.mcny.edu or call 800.33.THINK.