New York City Mayor Nick de Blasio with Dennis Rahiim Watson
New York City Mayor Nick de Blasio with Dennis Rahiim Watson

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio gave Bermudian motivational speaker Dennis Rahiim Watson a proclamation for his efforts to reduce gun violence among black males.

Mr Watson was previously honoured by New York by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2010.

The Proclamation states, “Where as a great city is only as great as those organizations and individuals  that perform exemplary service on behalf of their community. And where as, that the Mayor of New York, joins those gathered tonight in recognizing and paying tribute to Dennis Rahiim Watson for his four decades of leadership and his tireless efforts to stop gun violence among black men in the five boroughs of New York. Where as, Youth Activist, Motivational Speaker and Chairman of the National Youth and Gang Violence Task Force, Dennis Rahiim Watson, has used his many gifts and talents to raise awareness nationwide about the deadly consequences throughout the City, State and Nation. And where as, Watson has delivered his powerful message of self-respect, personal responsibility and concern for others by visiting high schools, correctional facilities, juvenile detention centers, colleges and universities and domestic violence centers offering hope and inspiration. Where as, Dennis Rahiim Watson has received tremendous positive feedback from every major black organization in New York for the hundreds of seminars and workshops on conflict resolution, forgiveness and respect for life.

Where as, Watson has overcome extraordinary challenges since his student days at Harlem Preparatory School, Fordham University, Pace University and New York University. And in spite of all, he continues to work selflessly on his mission to protect black and latino males from gun violence, incarceration, crime, injury, ignorance and death; May it hear by be resolved that I, Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York, recognize Dennis Rahiim Watson as a leader in the effort to stop youth violence and for his contribution to the safety and prosperity of our great City.”  

Mr Watson said by the grace of God he could very well this day be in prison or even dead if not for having a supportive father, wonderful uncles and hundreds of strong male figures and big brother types who kept him in check during his adolescent years.

He said “I am forever thankful, Watson stated, to such Bermudian icons as Dr. Pauulu Kamarakafego/Dr Roosevelt Brown, Alma ‘Champ’ Hunt, Lloyd James, Earl Gabby Hart, Ivan Clarke, Mansfield Brock, Albert Jackson, Ottiwell Simmons and Walter Robinson.

Mr Watson is currently travelling throughout the US with his Stop the Gun Violence Campaign, called “STOPPING THE WAR OF WORDS TOUR —No Excuses/No BS—Think, Talk, Dress and Act Like Winners in a Globally Competitive World.”