Black History Month celebrated in Middletown

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Members of the YMCA kids choir from Monroe perform
(Photos: Jerry Kleiner)

MIDDLETOWN – It was a celebration of life and the African-American
culture as the community came our Saturday evening for a Black History
Month event at the Middletown YMCA.

The message from keynote speaker Hans Hageman was people should tell their
story as to who they are.

Hageman is a social entrepreneur having developed solutions to improve
education from Harlem to India. He grew up in Spanish Harlem. His home
was Exodus House, a drug treatment center started by his father.


In the early 1990s, Hageman founded the East Harlem School of Exodus,
aimed at working with children who have been underserved by the education

In 2014, he became the interim executive director of Jitegemee, Inc.,
a program that works with homeless children in Kenya.

He currently helps small businesses with their brand storytelling and
also serves as executive director of Children of Conservation,.

Song and dance also highlighted the evening and James Rollins spoke of
the Hudson Valley Minority Enterprise with a mission to forge economic
and social alliances to build value and develop minority businesses in
the region.