Albany Jazz Fest Shines Spotlight on Henry Johnson, Honoring His Outstanding Achievements

On September 10, 2023, the city of Albany proudly presented Valerie Alexander-Moseley with the 7th Annual Henry Johnson Award for Distinguished Community Service. As an advocate for economic and social justice for the past 25 years, Alexander-Moseley has dedicated herself to promoting affordable housing in disinvested communities. She has actively participated in the Albany Community Land Trust and served on the city’s Commission on Human Rights. The prestigious award ceremony took place during a break in the free Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival, held under I-787 as a rain location.

The Henry Johnson Award is bestowed upon an Albany resident who has made significant contributions to improving the quality of life in the city. These contributions can be in the areas of arts and history, social justice, education, or volunteerism. The award is named in honor of Sgt. Henry Johnson, an Albany World War I hero and Medal of Honor recipient. Sgt. Johnson, who was part of the all-Black 369th Regiment, bravely spoke out against racism even after his military service.

At the award ceremony, Valerie Alexander-Moseley stood out as this year’s recipient of the Henry Johnson Community Service Award. Joining her were Ronald Wilson, district president of Albany’s 369th Veteran’s Association, and Wallis Howe-Rosenzweig, an advisory committee member for the award. The award was presented during the Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival on September 9, 2023, in Albany, NY.

The festival itself was a vibrant celebration of music and community. The Rebirth Brass Band entertained the crowd, with fans joyfully dancing to their infectious tunes. Additionally, Roni Kaspi took the stage and captivated the audience with her performance.

Amidst the festivities, Valerie Alexander-Moseley graciously accepted the Henry Johnson Community Service Award, recognizing her remarkable dedication and commitment to improving the quality of life in Albany. In her speech, she expressed her gratitude and reiterated her resolve to continue making a positive impact on the city.

Overall, the 7th Annual Henry Johnson Award ceremony and the accompanying Albany Riverfront Jazz Festival were a testament to the resilience, creativity, and community spirit that thrives in Albany, NY.


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