By Michelle D. Winfield
On Sunday, September 17, members from the Samuel J. Tilden Democratic Club and other community residents gathered at the northwest corner of West 71st Street and Columbus Avenue to unveil a street sign co-named for the late MS 104/Simon Baruch Middle School teacher Ponsie B. Hillman. New York State Justice Robert R. Reed moderated the program inside the Hargrave Senior Center. Students from the National Dance Institute, members of the Celebration Team, danced to the theme “Spanish Harlem.”
Hillman was a mathematics teacher at Simon Baruch for 10 years. She died in 2008. Hillman was being honored for her work in the civil rights movement as an educator and labor leader at the United Federation of Teachers and the NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. At the ceremony, letters were received by former Mayor David N. Dinkins, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and former President Barack Obama. Congress Member Jerry Nadler prepared extension remarks in honor of Hillman.
The great-granddaughter of Hillman, Sophie Amara Ponsie, helped unveil the street sign, Mrs. Ponsie B. Hillman Way.
Michelle D. Winfield is the State Committeewoman from the 74th Assembly District and the daughter of Ponsie B. Hillman.