2021 NICYO Black Tie for Black History Salutes ‘The Difference Makers!’

“A lot of people became heroes during this pandemic” reflected NICYO Black Tie For Black History founder and promoter  Marnetta Malcolm .“I’ve seen some very brave people who were out here just  helping where they could regardless of the circumstances.”

This  year’s honorees, she suggested,  in many ways represent those countless heroes among us; making it a special privilege, says Marnetta, to be able to acknowledge them. “These are people who went above and beyond the call. I want to send a shout out to all the workers, cashiers, bus drivers…all the essential workers and front-line people. I appreciate them more than I can say.” 

The NICYO Black Tie for Black History event 2021  is tagged the Virtual COVID Edition.    Marnetta, being the creative spirit that she is, sees that as a plus. “This year ‘s theme will be   ‘Dining With the Difference Makers.’ We’re  actually going to have conversations over dinner. We’ll be talking to the honorees about   what motivated them  during COVID, and give them    the opportunity to   tell their own individual stories  – and each story is unique. We’re doing it in my home complete with social distancing and other safety guidelines.”    

Viewers can tune in to Facebook on Friday February 26 at 6 p.m. Go to the ‘Black Tie For  Black History Extravaganza’   event page. You can search the post and see videos of each honoree posted individually. Access to the event is also available on Marnetta’s personal face book  page.

This year’s select group of honorees include:     

Mia Ayers-Goss, who has won both institutional and widespread respect for her dedication to uplifting working families and communities. During the COVID pandemic Mia  coordinated and conducted multiple Citywide PPE, Masks, Food Distribution and Giveaways for thousands of families in need; she also participated in Voter Registration Drives, and disseminated Census education and registration information.  She was recently appointed as Board member of the Women’s Health Broadcast Network, and the Vice-President of the Courtland Avenue Block Club. Mia has received honors from the Most Valuable Parent organization (MVP) where she is the Deputy Director. Mia is currently working on a 10-Step Empowerment program for young women.

Hollise S. White, MSN, RN-PHN is a master’s prepared Registered Nurse with the Erie County Department of Health. For the past year, Hollise has stepped into various roles during the global pandemic. One role in particular was being the nursing site manager for COVID-19 PCR testing throughout Erie County. Hollise’s nursing career began in 1999 as she worked as a CNA for various nursing homes. She most recently completed her MSN in Nursing Management and Quality Leadership from D’Youville College in May of 2020. During her time at D’Youville College she was inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Hollise has worked in the PACU, a family health clinic, the rehabilitation unit, and a Med-Surg step down trauma/orthopedic unit at a local hospital. Currently, Hollise is working as a Public Health Nurse and rotates from clinical operations to administering COVID-19 vaccines to qualified individuals.

Andrae and Sharifah Kamoche are the senior pastors of Rehoboth House of Prayer.  They have lived a life of mirroring the testimony that “we are the hands that God uses to help someone else.”  They have opened their hearts, life, and home to many in need.   Pastor Andrae and Sharifah are the proud parents of four children and many others that are called sons and daughters.  They started working in ministry together after they married in 1999. Their goal and moto have always been to assist anyone, everyone, out of their hard place and lead that person towards the question of “what must I do to be saved”!   The Pastors are passionate and have devoted their lives to advancing the Kingdom of God.                                                                                                                                   

Tina Allen, MBA, BSN, RN  graduated cum  laude from University at Buffalo with a BS in Nursing  where she was also a member of the Black Student Union and the Minority Nursing Association, served as the President of the Nursing Student Organization. In 2015 Tina started her career at ECMC where she worked 17 years rising form general duty nurse to  eventually becoming assistant VP of Critical Care and Emergency Services. She completed the Executive MBA Program at UB and  is currently the Call Center Director for New York State Contact Tracing Initiative.  In this position she currently leads a team in the thousands of virtual staff and growing who are dedicated to the combating COVID-19. 

“I want to thank those supporters, who despite the pandemic, made this event possible,” said Marnetta. “They include Dr. Catherine Collins, Camellia Foods, Geneva’s Auto, Garner & Associates,  Stop the Violence Coalition, Citizen Action WNY Chapter, WUFO Radio and The Challenger.”

Although she’s looking forward to returning to hosting a “normal” gala next year, she is content with doing what’s necessary to navigate the crisis. And that includes a reimagined summer Funk Fest if need be.

“This will be the way it is until we realize whose world  this is” she concluded philosophically. “Until we pay honor to who has allowed us to go through…This is a lesson.” 

-Staff Writer