President and CEO of the 25 Bough Street development Idrees Lanre Ajakaiye, Pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Providence Rev. Howard M. Jenkins, Jr., and Vice President, Executive Director of Equity Leadership at the Rhode Island Foundation Angela Bannerman Ankoma to be Inducted
Monday, January 31, 2022
PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza will join members of the Providence City Council, Providence Human Relations Commissioners, faith leaders and community members to induct Idrees Lanre Ajakaiye, President and CEO of the 25 Bough Street development, Rev. Howard M. Jenkins, Jr., Pastor of Bethel A.M.E. (African Methodist Episcopal) Church in Providence, and Angela Bannerman Ankoma, Vice President, Executive Director of Equity Leadership at the Rhode Island Foundation, into the City’s Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hall of Fame. The 19th annual induction ceremony will be held virtually via Zoom and streamed live on the Providence Human Relations Commission Facebook on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 at 5:30 PM.
“It brings me great joy to celebrate the commitment of those who carry on the powerful legacy of justice, equality, and service of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Mayor Elorza. “I invite residents from across the city to join us tomorrow to commemorate the impactful work of Dr. King and honor Lanre Ajakaiye, Rev. Howard M. Jenkins, Jr., and Angela Bannerman Ankoma for all that they have done for our communities.”
The ceremony is sponsored by the Providence Human Relations Commission and the Office of Mayor Elorza. The ceremony will also feature performances by students from Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts and a reading by Councilwoman Nirva LaFortune. In addition, artist Joel Rosario-Tapia will provide a land acknowledgement, water blessing ceremony and traditional song performance.
“This year’s honorees embody the spirit of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through their good work in our community,” said LaJuan Allen, Chair of the Providence Human Relations Commission. “On behalf of the Human Relations Commission, I congratulate our three inductees and thank them for their commitment to Providence.”
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who carry on the legacy of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. within the community. Inductees were nominated by members of the public and chosen by Mayor Elorza for their substantial contributions to acceptance, social justice, civil rights and equality in the City of Providence.
Idrees “Lanre” Ajakaiye, a Providence native, is the President and CEO of the 25 Bough Street development, an innovative mixed-use commercial space in the heart of Olneyville. Ajakaiye has helped to develop and host events such as the New England Family Fun Festival and the R.I.S.E. Women’s Leadership Conference in partnership with his wife, Hilina. Ajakaiye serves as a mentor through Year Up, College LRI and local schools, and has been involved in youth basketball in Providence.
Rev. Howard M. Jenkins, Jr. has served as the Pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Providence for over ten years. Originally from Portsmouth, Virginia, Rev. Jenkins is retired from General Dynamics Electric Boat after a 31-year career. Rev. Jenkins is the president of the Rhode Island Ministers Alliance and a member of several community organizations.
Angela Bannerman Ankoma is the Vice President, Executive Director of Equity Leadership at the Rhode Island Foundation. Ankoma previously served as Executive Vice President, Director of Community Investment at United Way of Rhode Island (UWRI) and the Rhode Island Department of Health, where she was a founding Co-Director of the Health Equity Institute. Ankoma is a board member of the West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation (WEHDC) and a founding member of the WEHDC’s Sankofa Initiative, in addition to her roles on the advisory boards of the Latino Policy Institute and Amos House.