On the evening of Tuesday, December 2, Community Voices Heard (CVH) presented Local 79 Business Manager Mike Prohaska with one of its Shirley Chisholm “Lights of Freedom” Awards at its annual gala. Other honorees receiving awards were NYS Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Elias Foundation Founder and Director Jackie Mann.

Rene Companioni, a member of CVH, a past participant in Local 79’s “Pre-Apprenticeship Navigation Program,” and currently an apprentice at Local 79, presented the honor to Prohaska, thanking him and Local 79 for helping him to gain an understanding of the union, labor history,  and the apprenticeship program. Prohaska spoke of the powerful partnership that Local 79 has with CVH, specifically regarding CVH’s role in helping to identify NYCHA residents who are eligible under Section 3 to join the union and are at the same time community activists. Prohaska also spoke about how fitting it was “that this event is named after the great Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, because like her, Community Voices Heard and Local 79 are relentless in their fight for social, economic, and racial justice.”