AFHG Keynote Speaker
New York City Councilman
Council Member Charles Barron has been a community activist for 25 years. He has extensive experience on the local and national levels. In 1969, in need of a vehicle to express his desire for justice, Barron joined the Harlem branch of the Black Panther Party. After his Black Panther experience, he attended New York City Community College, now known as New York Technical College, where he obtained an Associate's Degree. He then attended Hunter College where he acquired his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with a minor in Elementary Education.
In 1979, Barron joined the National Black United Front (NBUF) and became the founding chairperson of NBUF'S Harlem Chapter. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Reverend Herbert Daughtry, chairperson of the National Black United Front. From 1982-87 he served as Secretary General of African Peoples Christian Organization (APCO). He traveled across the United States visiting many college campuses, churches, prisons and communities organizing around international, national and local issues.
In 2001, Barron was elected to the New York City Council. He serves as Chair of the Higher Education Committee and is a member of the committees on Land Use, Consumer Affairs, Women s Issues, Landmarks, Public Siting and Maritime Uses. In this role, he has sponsored and cosponsored significant pieces of legislation that have impacted the quality of life of all New Yorkers. In the winter and spring of 2003, Barron delivered $280,000 to senior citizen programs in his district. He also played an integral role in getting the Meals on Wheels program restored to the city budget for seniors in his district. Barron, in collaboration with the New York City Housing Authority, secured $12.5 million for an East New York Recreation Center. In addition, he fought to obtain $1.2 million for the renovation of Linden/George Gershwin Park in his district. As chair of the Higher Education Committee, Barron spearheaded the restoration of over $10 million for students at City University of New York colleges. Additionally, he was successful in maintaining the Peter Vallone Scholarship awards for CUNY students.