Newburgh city street named for late community activist

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A street in Newburgh now honrs a man who turned his life around

NEWBURGH – The section of Lander Street, from the corner of Farrington Street in Newburgh has been officially named Timothy Hayes-El Way, in honor of the late community activist who died in March of 2014.
Hayes-El was a former convict who, after serving time and converting to Islam, spent his remaining life inspiring the disenfranchised youth of the city.
At the street dedication ceremony on Thursday, Mayor Judy Kennedy said the recognition of Hayes-El’s life by the city is an example of how people can change for the better, and have that positive change impact the environment around them.
“This is symbolic, really, of honoring people who are trying to make change,” Kennedy said. “This is a young man who had problems when he was in youth, but as he matured, then he wanted to turn that around. And so, it’s a great example of turning your life around and trying to do better, and trying to help others do better.”
Community activist Omari Shakur, who knew Hayes-EL personally, said he was constantly pushing such changes and is how he most remembers him.
“One of the biggest things he did is, he showed these kids: if I can do it, you can do it. So, he was an example,” Shakur said.
A large crowd of family members, friends and city residents, who came out for the dedication, shared with one another their hopes for this memorialization to be a constant reminder for the entire community to carry the torch for what Hayes-El was promoting: economic development within the city and encouraging youths that they can reach beyond the stigmas society has placed on them.