By Staff –
The new name of the site will be the “Van Robinson Pan-African Village.”
County officials presented Robinson with the honor during his 80th birthday celebration and retirement party in downtown Syracuse recently.
“The happiest of birthdays and warmest congratulations to Common Council President Van Robinson on your retirement!” the county stated in a post on its Facebook page. “It is a great honor to name the Pan-African Village at the New York State Fair in his honor.”
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney; State Assemblyman William Magnarelli; Judge Vanessa Bogan; New York State Sen. John DeFrancisco; County Legislator Monica Williams; and newly-appointed deputy mayor Sharon Owens also attended the event.
Robinson joined Common Council as a councilor-at-large in 1999, before serving for eight years as council president, beginning in 2009.
He’s also previously served in various roles at the Syracuse/Onondaga County Branch of the NAACP, including 12 years as past president.
“Common Council President Van Robinson has always been actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement on a national, state and local level,” Robinson’s bio page on the Common Council website stated. “In 1977, he was instrumental in reactivating the local Syracuse/Onondaga Chapter of the NAACP. He served as the local NAACP branch secretary, chair of the political action committee, first vice president, and was elected to six terms (12 years) as branch president. Van Robinson was also appointed by the president of the New York State NAACP to the title of NYS Western Region Director, where he was responsible for the progress of the NAACP branches throughout Upstate New York.”
Additional photos from Robinson’s celebration are below.
Photo Credit: Lavergne Harden