A cultural celebration! Brooklyn Chamber hosts annual Black History Month event in Weeksville

The event was a celebration of Black joy and excellence.
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s Black History Month event on Feb. 21 was a celebration of Black joy and excellence.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce honored four community leaders at its annual Black History Month Celebration, held at the historic Weeksville Heritage Center on Feb. 21. 

Chamber members joined with friends of the neighborhood to dine on locally made treats, watch an energetic drum performance and award the four honorees for their various contributions to Brooklyn. 

“Per capita, Brooklyn has the most Black-owned businesses anywhere in the United States. What a fitting way to celebrate and honor that here at historic Weeksville,” Randy Peers, CEO and president of the Chamber, told Brooklyn Paper. “I always feel great about this night. It’s just a wonderful way to celebrate.”

Tiffany Joy Murchison smiled with members of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce after receiving her award.
Tiffany Joy Murchison smiled with members of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce after receiving her award.Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

Among the honorees was Lishawn Alexander, who took home the Small Business Leader Award. Alexander said she is a businesswoman at her core, which is what helped her found a consulting organization and launch a booming cupcake business despite not being a baker before opening the shop. 

“You work 24 hours, you work all day every day and you just have an attitude of working and now someone is actually acknowledging all the work that you do. It’s amazing,” Alexander told Brooklyn Paper. “You don’t do this for the honor but when it does come your way, it feels really gratifying that it’s not all in vain.”

Tiffany Joy Murchison, founder of TJM & Co. Media Boutique, was honored with the Samuel L. Dunston Award for business excellence.

“He embodied commitment to the community and building his business but at the same time never forgetting where he came from and never forgetting the people that helped him get there,” Murchison said. “To receive that award is truly an honor.” 

The celebration was made even more special for Murchison because her family was in the audience.

“My mom doesn’t get to see me in this light quite often but I feel like she sacrificed so much of her dream to have me live out mine and to be an entrepreneur,” she said. “I couldn’t have done this without her inspiring me while I was growing up and allowing me to be who I am.”

Other awardees included Atiba Edwards, CEO and president of Brooklyn Children’s Museum and New York State Senator Zellnor Myrie.

Edwards recently made history as the first Black man to hold the dual position at BCM. The Chamber of Commerce honored him with the community leader award. 

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce recognized four civic leaders at their annual Black History Month Celebration.
Brooklyn Chamber President and CEO Randy Peers with Brian Chin.Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

“I’m just an embodiment of the community, so this is just a pinpoint moment to celebrate the work that I’ve been able to do in part because of everybody who came before me,” Edwards said. “My success is really a paramount of the seeds that my parents planted and that the community cultivated.”

The celebration kicked off a schedule of other major upcoming Chamber events, listed here

(Update 2/26/24 at 2:38 p.m.): A previous version of this story misspelled Murchison’s last name.