The FDA Northeast Region Laboratory (NRL) Jamaica Facility held a Black History Program on Friday, February 18th, to which Councilwoman Viviana Russell was the guest speaker. This annual program celebrated the many contributions of African Americans in science as well as numerous other fields.
The theme for this annual event was entitled “African Americans and the Civil War”. Councilwoman Russell gave a presentation enlightening the audience of details including that Black soldiers served in artillery and infantry and performed all noncombat support functions that sustain an army, as well. Black carpenters, chaplains, cooks, guards, surgeons, as well as other areas to support the war cause. Adding the achievements of Women as it related to the Civil War, Councilwoman added that Black women, though could not formally join the Army, served as nurses, spies, and scouts, the most famous being Harriet Tubman.
The FDA Jamaica Facility is located at 158-15 Liberty Avenue in Southern Queens, NY next door to York College. The Jamaica Complex is FDA’s largest facility that houses the New York District Office, the Northeast Regional Office, and the Northeast Regional Laboratories. The laboratory is comprised of approximately 200 scientists, chemists, microbiologists and our district office has about 250 other staff and investigators. This event was coordinated by Flexton Gardner, a microbiologist at this facility, who also gave the Councilwoman a tour of the laboratory after the event.