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Who We Are

While We Are Still Here is a 501(c)(3) corporation that includes long-term residents of 409 and 555 Edgecombe Avenue—the average number of years of residence is thirty. Non-resident members are interested in helping to preserve the grand history of these important sites.


WWSH was formed as a response to the threat that each building’s history would be lost and gone forever, partially due to the passing of time, and partially due to  “gentrification,” which is rapidly altering the environment. 


WWSH is proud to be a community partner of Barnard College's Harlem Semester 2017.


​Board of Directors*

June Watson Benjamin, Secretary

     Retiree, United Auto Workers

Yvonne Dennis

     Founder, Nitchen, Inc.; award-winning children’s book author

Marline Martin, Treasurer

     Executive director, Leroy Neiman Arts Center/arts horizon

Henry L. McCurtis, MD

     Private practitioner

Stephanie Renee Payne, President

     Instructor, University of Southern California; Writer

Paulette J. Tabb

     Educator, New York City Department of Education

Karen D. Taylor, ex-officio


Steering Committee Members*

Herb Boyd, Project “Scholar-Historian-In-Residence;” Professor, City University of New York;    Journalist, Book Author and Editor
Monica L. Gray, Conference and Event Planning Director, National Urban League;
National Minority Suppliers Development Council
Joseph Harris, MD, Member, Doctors without Borders
Stephen Robinson, MD, MPH
Cheryl Scott, MD, MPH
Judith Stafford, Educator (In Memoriam)


Board of Advisors*

Alexa Birdsong, co-founder Jazz at Lincoln Center; member, Harlem Community Board 11

Marie Dutton Brown, literary agent, Marie Brown Associates

Carmen Cruz, Curator; fine artist; graphic designer

Jamal Joseph, professor, Columbia University; Academy Award nominee; activist

Rosemari Mealy, Ph.D., professor, City University of New York

Mark Naison, Ph.D., professor, Fordham University

Vera E. Sims, educator, New York City Department of Education; board member, African          Voices Magazine

Michael Thelwell, professor emeritus, founding chairman of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department      of Afro-American Studies, University of  Massachusetts, Amherst College

*Institutions Listed for Affiliation Only



Our Team