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Southeast Queens Community Gathers to Commemorate Beloved Barber at Street Co-Naming Ceremony

In June, the City Council passed Local Law 139, which included the proposal by Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Hollis) to co-name the street corner at 99th Avenue and Hollis Avenue in memoriam to the famed Strictly Skillz barbershop co-owner and master barber, who was gunned down last year in a botched robbery attempt.



September 18, 2018Hollis, NY – Last Sunday, local representatives and community members joined the family of the late Zanu Glenroy Simpson to unveil the street sign for Zanu G. Simpson Way.


In June, the City Council passed Local Law 139, which included the proposal by Council Member I. Daneek Miller (D-Hollis) to co-name the street corner at 99th Avenue and Hollis Avenue in memoriam to the famed Strictly Skillz barbershop co-owner and master barber, who was gunned down last year in a botched robbery attempt.


His parents’ pursuit of the American Dream brought Mr. Simpson to Hollis from his family’s home in Hanover, Jamaica, one year following his birth. The principles they instilled in him were the driving force for all of Zanu’s achievements; first as as a star athlete in football and basketball with the Springfield Rifles, then later at Bayside High School where he was selected for the New York City Coaches Association All-City Football Team.


Mr. Simpson hung up his jersey after high school to learn the trade of barbering under his brother and Strictly Skillz founder Sam “Sneed” Simpson, and went on to become a master at the trade with a clientele that included celebrities like hip-hop artists Mobb Deep, Meek Mills, Bow Wow, and NBA All-Star Kevin Durant.


Affectionately known in the community as Z Da Great, Zanu was especially adored for the charitable works he performed, including the free haircuts he offered to neighborhood kids and annual back-to-school giveaway at Peters Field that he and his brother organized.


“I offer my condolences to the family of Zanu Simpson,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “A street naming is symbolic of a neighborhood’s identity and tells future generations its story. The dedication of Zanu G. Simpson Way will reflect that Z was a man of initiative who never lost his humility despite his success, and gave unsparingly to his community.”


“I thank Councilman Miller for his efforts in providing this street co-naming,” said brother Sam ‘Sneed’ Simpson. “Zanu was truly genuine, and losing him was devastating to our family. Though my baby brother, best friend, and co-worker is gone, Zanu’s death will not be in vain. I will honor his legacy by continuing the work we did together, including Z Da Great Day at Peters Field. This is just the beginning.”


“Zanu Simpson was a successful, beloved community member with a network of friends, family, and customers that stretched far beyond Southeast Queens,” said Senator Leroy Comrie. “His death shook so many and reminded us of the terrible toll that gun violence takes on communities of color. I commend Council Member Miller for his efforts to rename the street outside of Strictly Skillz in memory of Zanu.”


“In renaming this street after Zanu G. Simpson, we memorialize him as a beloved community leader, a successful barber, and generous neighbor,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks. “This street will serve as a reminder to us all of the cost of senseless violence, and will allow us to honor Mr. Simpson as it stands at the center of the community he so loved and served. Our thoughts continue to be with his family and loved ones.”


“We celebrate and honor Zanu G. Simpson,” said Assemblyman Clyde Vanel. “He was a gem in this neighborhood and a community leader. May his legacy live on.”


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Jamaica, Queens, August 13, 2019 – The Jamaica Center BID will host their second Weekend Walks event of the summer, “Family Fun on the Ave”, this Saturday, August 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Jamaica Avenue between Parsons Boulevard and 162nd Street.


Weekend Walks, a NYC Department of Transportation initiative, are multi-block, multi-day events on commercial corridors that promote the use of streets as public space and highlight local cultural institutions, businesses, and neighborhood resources. Community organizations are invited to apply for Weekend Walks funding.


On Saturday, all vehicle traffic will be diverted off of Jamaica Avenue from Parsons Boulevard to 162nd Street allowing the street to be transformed into a unique playground with plenty to do for all ages. The day’s entertainment will include a musical performance by the Afro-Latineers, a dance performance by Omar Edwards and a musical educational performance by Miss Keila’s Jukebox.  The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning will provide art workshops throughout the day in the event footprint.


Jamaica Center BID’s Family Fun on the Ave will also include free face-painting, a variety of games ranging from giant Jenga to huge checkers, the schoolyard favorite: double dutch jump-roping, and a coloring area where adults and children alike can enjoy the relaxing activity of coloring using a selection of quirky and cute coloring books. The Uni Project will be in attendance providing children of all ages an interactive learning experience.


“We are excited to bring Family Fun on the Avenue back to Jamaica this weekend,” said Jennifer Furioli, Executive Director of the Jamaica Center BID. “July’s event was a hit and we are grateful to NYC DOT for the Weekend Walks Grant funding, which allows for this unique placemaking experience bringing neighbors together to create summer memories while attracting additional foot traffic to local business.”


The Jamaica Center BID decided to coordinate “Family Fun on the Avenue” after merchants, shoppers, and residents revealed in a recent market study that they would like more family-friendly community events in Jamaica. In addition to the event this Saturday, the Ave will also have Sidewalk Sales Days at various stores for shoppers that will be out.


To learn more about the Jamaica Center BID and stay up-to-date on all happenings on Jamaica Avenue, make sure to visit, sign up for our weekly newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District (BID)

Founded as the Jamaica District Management Association in 1979, the Jamaica Center BID is central to one of New York City’s fastest growing communities. Jamaica Center BID is the proud home to national and regional retailers, several major cultural and educational institutions as well as City, State and Federal Offices, and more than 400 businesses. The Jamaica Center BID seeks to maintain Jamaica Center as a thriving business hub and premier destination to shop, work, live and play. For more info visit


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Our World Hour of Power with Special Guest – Brendez Wineglass (Social Broker)



A native New Yorker and Howard University graduate, Wineglass is a dedicated and proven leader with 10 years of professional experience in the healthcare, tech, and events industries. Upon graduation, Wineglass elected to expand her horizons launching a
diverse career excelling in the areas she was most passionate; community advocacy, social engagement, and event production.

After earning her Sports Medicine degree at Howard, Wineglass began her professional career climbing the ranks in the healthcare field. She rose from volunteer to Manager of Patient Transportation at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in an impressive four-year timespan in which she was the youngest person in a management role at the hospital. Brendez was trusted by the Center’s Senior Executive and Executive teams to revise hospital policies, implementing effective healthcare practices to improve the overall quality of the hospital. Wineglass’ drive to expand her career brought her to Black Enterprise, holding a pivotal role as Events Producer independently coordinating events and working with top brands like Nationwide, State Farm, AT&T, Morgan Stanley, FedEx, and PepsiCo. She also worked with celebrities and important community leaders including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Judith Smith, Don Thompson, Susan Taylor, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Audrey Smaltz, Don Thompson, Michael Lee-Chin, Steve Harvey and Mellody Hobson to name a few. These successful experiences strengthened her capacity to build relationships and connect leaders, companies, and consumers through life-changing events across the nation. Since 2017, Wineglass has held the impressive position of Project Manager at the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, leading the community of Jamaica in New York to one of strength and stability through several impressive initiatives. She has secured several hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants and donations from some of the nation’s top companies – Goldman Sachs and Con Edison respectively – and has leveraged those funds into large scale small business improvement projects and neighborhood revitalization programs.

Wineglass serves on several boards including the executive board of the Howard University Alumni Club of Greater New York , Community Mediation Services of NYC, Is a 2018 Art Commissioning Producer with the Queens Council, a 2018 Innovative
Cultural Fellow, and a member of influential organizations such as For (bes) The Culture, Google Partners, BWOI (Black Women of Influence), ColorComm, Silicon Harlem, and Black Tech Women. She has been a thought leader and advocates in the areas of
community engagement, arts & culture, fiscal equity, entrepreneurship, leadership & development, and technology. Wineglass continues to build her legacy of giving back to younger generations and contributes to improving the world around her.

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Dawn Kelly – 2019 Microbusiness Person of the Year



Dawn Kelly - 2019 Microbusiness Person of the Year
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