Meet Your Neighbor: Maliyah Greene, Key Organizer of the ‘Peace and Unity’ Event in Snug Harbor

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STATEN ISLAND, NY – Maliyah Greene of Mariners Harbor is a force to be reckoned with, especially with the recent success of the Peace and Unity Festival, which was held at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden this past weekend .

The festival was sponsored by the Uncle Chase Foundation / Entertainment and the Waterteam / K Woods Foundation.

Greene, 24, was the coordinator of the event, which featured members of the Wu-Tang Clan Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck and Cappadonna, as well as Redman, Ashanti, Ja Rule and Funkmaster Flex. Hundreds of hip-hop fans of all ages were in attendance.

Event headliner Method Man makes his way onto the Staten Island Peace & Unity Festival stage at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. July 10, 2021 (Staten Island Advance / Jason Paderon)

“I’ve loved music my whole life, so when Chase of the Uncle Chase Foundation / Entertainment and Kay Woods of the Waterteam / K Woods Foundation approached me, it was a dream come true,” said Greene. “I am extremely grateful to Tal Jasmin, who has been a great help to me throughout this process. I learned a lot from her. “

Greene appreciates Chase Gardner and Kay Woods for “seeing my vision and giving me the opportunity of a life I needed to be a part of it.

“So many people consider Staten Island to be ‘the forgotten neighborhood’ so it was a great feeling for us to receive our recognition for a change and to make history,” she added.

Maliyah Greene

Maliyah Greene takes a selfie with Ja Rule before her performance at the Staten Island Peace & Unity Festival at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on July 10, 2021. (Courtesy Maliyah Greene)

INFASSIBLE IN ENERGY AND THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE

Greene, a Mariners Harbor resident and alumnus of Ralph R. McKee High School and Spelman College in Atlanta with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a minor in computer science, works full-time in computer science.

Tireless in energy and limitless in ambition, she also works as a part-time substitute teacher at McKee High School, artist manager of SnoopNotNice, Cosi Pari and JustRiq, and as a digital marketer.

She is the daughter of Melissa Johnson and Michael Greene.

In charge of all press and media for the event, Greene was also responsible for making sure all moving parts were running smoothly, making sure attendees were all in their designated locations, coordinating photographers, videographers and the press; and manage food vendors.

“I coordinated all of the volunteers and made sure everyone involved understood our team’s mission and purpose for this event,” said Greene. “My biggest role has been to work with all the artists and the production team to make sure this show runs smoothly; openings to the main acts.

Maliyah Greene

Young Dirty Bastard takes a selfie with Maliyah Greene at the Staten Island Peace & Unity Festival at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on July 10, 2021. (Courtesy Maliyah Greene)

“I LOVE A CHALLENGE”

Indeed, Greene’s duties were integral to the huge success of the event. Everyone had to be taken into account, from the artists and their teams to obtaining an all-access pass, to clearing the stage during the main acts. But Greene remains modest in his enormous role.

“Everything that was put into this event was done as a team effort,” she said. “Working under pressure is my thing, so I like a challenge. We organized this festival in six weeks at the end of a pandemic; the food industry had taken a huge hit. Therefore, finding food vendors was a challenge.

Granted, Greene said there was a lot of hard work and sleepless nights for this event by everyone involved. But the smiles from everyone in the audience and “seeing people come together after being inside for a year and a half because of COVID and hearing all the positive comments from the community” were worth it.

Maliyah Greene

Maliyah Greene poses with Video Music Box’s Ralph McDaniels at the Staten Island Peace & Unity Festival at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on July 10, 2021. (Maliyah Greene)

NOT ONLY IMPORTANT, BUT NECESSARY

For Greene, the Peace and Unity festival was “not only important, it was very necessary”.

“It was like a family reunion with people all coming together from near and far,” she said. “All of the organizers felt that everyone should come together, put all their differences aside and be the ones to end all this violence in our community.”

Greene is no stranger to coordinating events important to social injustice and racial harmony, having orchestrated the Power of Influence Awards in Washington DC with Mothers of the Movement including Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin) , Gwen Carr (mother of Eric Garner) and Lezley McSpadden (mother of Michael Brown).

Maliyah Greene

Maliyah Greene takes a selfie with Redman before her performance at the Staten Island Peace & Unity Festival at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on July 10, 2021. (Courtesy Maliyah Greene)

“THE RAIN AMPLIFIED THE SENSATION OF HAPPINESS”

“Overall, I enjoyed the whole show. However, my favorite part of that event was when it started to rain for the final song, ”Greene said.

“When Method Man and Red Man dropped the beat of the song ‘Da Rockwilder’ and everyone started screaming and jumping, you would have thought you were at Madison Square Garden and not Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.

“It made me feel like I was at the 1983 Diana Ross performance in Central Park. Despite the rain, no one left the room. Everyone was so happy regardless of the world! a crucial moment for me and for everyone on the island.

“The rain amplified the feeling of happiness and excitement that was present throughout the day. This festival really put Staten Island on the map and I can’t wait for everyone to see more of what’s in store for next year.

“We are stronger united than divided. Let’s all make peace with each other and unite.

Learn more about Maliyah Greene here.

Maliyah Greene

Ghostface Killah poses with Maliayh Greene at the Staten Island Peace & Unity Festival at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on July 10, 2021. (Maliyah Greene)

Maliyah Greene

Scene from the Staten Island Peace & Unity Festival at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on July 10, 2021. (Maliyah Greene)


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