2019 COMMUNITY VANGUARD HONOREES
Nikoa Evans Hendricks
Strategic Business Consultant + Entrepreneur + Civic Leader
Nikoa Evans-Hendricks is a respected strategy consultant with a focus on strategic brand positioning and economic development in emerging markets in the U.S.
The child of an Air Force intelligence officer and Department of Defense Contracting Specialist, Evans-Hendricks was raised in Germany, Italy and Japan. This diverse upbringing sparked a strong desire to make a difference in the lives of people around the world, a passion that led her to study Economics and Economic Development in Third World Countries at Stanford University and later, to participate in a trade and study mission to Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire while pursuing her MBA at the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Nikoa’s professional expertise includes demonstrated strengths in entrepreneurial start ups, strategic planning, marketing, fundraising, financial reporting, consumer engagement, economic development and strategic partnerships.
Currently a founding board member and Executive Director of social enterprise Harlem Park to Park (HP2P), Nikoa oversees the marketing strategy, consumer engagement and economic development initiatives; as well as strategic partnerships + Strategic Business Consultant + Entrepreneur + Civic Leader
for the organization’s network of 250+ premiere businesses. Under her leadership, HP2P has implemented economic development programs including the Harlem Local Vendor Program, a business accelerator program developed in partnership with Whole Foods Market and Columbia University Business School. Nikoa has also launched HP2P signature marketing and community engagement platforms including Harlem Restaurant Week, Harlem Harvest Festival, Harlem Hospitality & Culinary Conference, Uptown Battle of the Bars, and Shop Harlem Vendor Fairs. Nikoa serves as the sole business alliance representative and strategic community partner for Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Harlem Eat Up! Food Festival.
Prior to founding Harlem Park to Park, Nikoa served as Vice President of Investments for financial lending institution Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ), managing a $3 million restaurant and retail initiative. Her responsibilities included assessing investment opportunities to expand retail and restaurant brands within the Harlem market.
Nikoa has also worked as a corporate executive and strategic business consultant, helping national brands including Nicole Miller, Build-A-Bear Workshop and Anheuser-Busch, as well as premiere retail developer The Rouse Company expand business opportunities in emerging U.S. markets such as New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia.
An accomplished entrepreneur, Nikoa is co-founder and managing partner of Ruby's Vintage Kitchen + Bar located in Harlem/NYC. She also co-founded and served as managing director of NYC retail venture N Boutique. A popular public speaker, Evans-Hendricks has appeared on panels at Columbia University School of Business, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), The Studio Museum of Harlem and other leading institutions. Her business ventures have been featured in the New York Times, New York Magazine, O Magazine, Uptown Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily, USA Today, CNBC, Food Network Special Savoring Harlem, NV Magazine’s Movers and Shakers List and other top publications. Nikoa is also a graduate of the premiere civic leadership training program, Coro New York produced in partnership with NYC Small Business Services.
Evans-Hendricks continues to advise national and international companies seeking to strategically position their businesses in Harlem, NYC’S fastest growing commercial market, as well as other emerging markets throughout the U.S. She has developed and facilitated economic development and consumer engagement initiatives with global companies including Hendrick’s Gin, Hennessy USA and Whole Foods Market. Mrs. Evans-Hendricks lives in New York City with her husband, Garrett Lee Hendricks, a real estate professional and theater, television and film actor. Nikoa and Garrett have a 7 year old daughter named Zuri Alija.
New York African Chorus Ensemble+ Community District 9 Board Member+ Vice president of the 30th Precinct Community Council
Joyce Adewumi is founder of the New York African Chorus Ensemble, the chairperson for the Arts and Culture Committee in Manhattan Community Board 9 and the vice president of the 30th Precinct Community Council.
Adewumi was born in Nigeria and moved to the South Bronx with her family when she was a little girl. She graduated from Music and Arts High School in Harlem. She continued her education in the U.S. and Nigeria. She has had experience working with various artists and teaching college students in Nigeria.
Adewumi founded the NYACE as a nonprofit organization in 2004. Throughout the year, students can participate in the programs’ workshops, conferences, seminars and festivals. The students range from children to adults of different ethnic backgrounds. The NYACE has won many prestigious awards for their conferences and festivals, such as the 2012 Blue Heart Award in Berlin, Germany, for organizing the Celebrate Diversity Celebrate You Multicultural Festival; a 2013 Congressional Proclamation from the United States House of Representatives given by former Congressman Charles Rangel and a 2014 citation from City Council Member Mark Levine. Read More
Jumaane Williams is a New York City Council Member from Brooklyn representing the 45th District. He is now serving his third term after winning re-election in 2013 and again in 2017.
Jumaane is a first-generation Brooklynite of Grenadian heritage. He was diagnosed with Tourette's and ADHD at an early age, but made it through the public school system from pre-school to master’s. He attended Philippa Schuyler Middle School for the Gifted and Talented and Brooklyn Technical High School, then earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brooklyn College. After graduating, Jumaane began his career as a community organizer by serving as the assistant director for the Greater Flatbush Beacon School, then later as the executive director of New York State Tenants & Neighbors, where he fought for truly affordable, income targeted housing across the city and state. In 2009, he began his career as an activist elected official in the New York City Council.
During his time at City Hall, Jumaane has championed landmark legislation that has resulted in transformational change. In his first term, Jumaane aimed to end the abuse of the NYPD’s use of stop, question and frisk by sponsoring the Community Safety Act. The legislation passed despite a veto from then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and reformed the city’s police department by putting an end to unlawful practices typically used in communities of more color, while creating the NYPD’s Office of Inspector General, charged with investigating unlawful or unethical practices within the department.
As Co-Chair of the Council’s Task Force to Combat Gun Violence, he helped create New York’s Crisis Management System, which funds Cure Violence Groups that work to reduce shootings through a multi-pronged approach. Since then, New York has become the safest city it has been in more than 50 years. As Chairman of the Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, he challenged the de Blasio Administration’s affordable housing plan by advocating for more deeply targeted affordable housing to help prevent communities from being priced out of the five boroughs.
Throughout his three terms, Jumaane has stood shoulder to shoulder with marginalized communities fighting for justice and equity for all, and has proven that he is not afraid to get arrested in the process. In fact, he has been arrested more than any other sitting elected official, fighting for women’s rights, immigration rights, housing rights, police injustices and more.
Jumaane recently ran for Lieutenant Governor of New York State, where his progressive campaign received more votes than any other candidate of more color in a statewide primary, and was endorsed by grassroots groups and individuals across the nation, including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, The New York Times, and countless elected officials, unions and advocacy groups. He ran against the political establishment to transform the office of Lieutenant Governor so that it mirrored the office of the New York City Public Advocate--one that served as a true watchdog for New Yorkers, not just a rubber stamp to the Governor.
After serving more than two decades as an advocate for the public, he is now running to officially become New York City’s next Public Advocate.