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Rockville Centre resident is an ally in the fight against racism

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Rockville Centre resident John D. Cameron Jr., managing partner of Cameron Engineering & Associates, LLP, will receive The ERASE Racism Corporate Leadership Award on June 7, at the organization’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration and Benefit Reception at the Garden City Hotel.

“I am very proud to support this vital organization and humbled that they have decided to honor me,” said Cameron.

The Corporate Leadership award will also be presented to Omni New York, LLC for its commitment to increasing quality affordable housing on Long Island. Former major league baseball player and Omni Managing Director Maurice “Mo” Vaughn will accept the award. Among the more than 4,000 affordable housing units renovated and owned by Omni in recent years is the Mill River complex in the west end of the incorporated Village of Rockville Centre.

Cameron, a long time resident of the village, has been active in ERASE Racism for a number of years, attending its symposia, workshops and events.

He describes ERASE Racism as a dedicated organization with quality leadership committed to removing the barriers to equity in areas of education, housing, health care and business opportunities on Long Island.

Among ERASE Racism’s notable accomplishments are:

-Strengthening civil rights laws, particularly with respect to fair housing;

- Changing the public perception of race and racism with a documentary, “A Tale of Two Schools: Race and Education on Long Island” that followed two black students with similar GPAs and family backgrounds — David from South Side High School who had a host of resources available to him and Owen who attended Wyandanch Memorial High.

The film contrasted the educational opportunities available to each student, highlighting the racial disparity between the schools as well as the structural and systematic racism that continues to widen the achievement gap between white and minority students at many schools on Long Island, and elsewhere.

-Attracting such national philanthropies as the Ford Foundation, producing significant statistical surveys and research reports, and attracting national attention by presenting at such conferences as the Aspen Institute

-Influencing regional leadership by helping to change policy priorities and inform decisions by key organizations, including the Long Island Regional Planning Council (which Cameron chairs), the Long Island Index and the Energeia Partnership at Molloy College.

Others slated to receive awards that evening include Howard A. Glickstein, dean emeritus of the Touro Law Center and Dr. Ruth J. Simmons, president of Brown University, who will both be honored with the Abraham Krasnoff Courage and Commitment Award for 2011 for their deep commitment to racial equality.