36 years ago Daoud David Williams founded the Community Awareness Series of the Jersey City Free Public Library (CAS). Much to Daoud's credit CAS has been serving the JC community at large as Cultural Arts department of the Library. We are a proud institution that boasts of hosting The Spirit of Life Ensemble (SOLE) as Artist in Residence. They are household names in the worldwide Jazz community and world-class musicians who keep America's Original art form- (Jazz) alive in the Public Schools, Public Concerts, J C Library & many venues. We play the music of Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and our own original brand. We teach people to play acoustic instruments at the master level, while teaching them of the legends aforementioned. Many in the community know of the fierce struggle to keep this music playing and of the recent loss of Robert "Kwame" Daughtry our last CAS staffer just a few months ago. Kwame's death could have signaled the end of this beloved program.
Many of you don't know that Team Fulop has supported us. Initially Fulop loyalist Eugene Mc Knight became a CAS consultant/ Volunteer who wasn't paid due to budget cuts (over 2 years ago). He came in 9 to 5 and helped our struggling program keep going. He invited the Councilman Steven Fulop who championed our program at the City level. He stopped numerous attempts to disengage CAS. Then came Councilman Rolando Lavarro and Nidia Lopez who stood up for us at every battle. Eugene then became the Campaign Manager for Diane Coleman who won the interim battle for Ward F Councilperson and as team Fulop evolved we were supported by candidates Joyce Watterman, Khemraj “Chico” Ramchal, Daniel Rivera and Candace Osborne. When they were elected Steve's Chief of Staff Muhammad Akil stepped in and restored our budget, hired a new Director (longtime CAS Consultant David Sanders) and is hands on to our road to recovery. When we needed your help we were constantly at city council meetings. Now we are telling the public and you all that we are grateful you've been there, you all have our eternal gratitude. I have been personally involved with this vital, irreplaceable program for 24 years. It is my place to make a difference. Know that I will be there for you all as well.
Senior Friend of CAS since 1989
Community Awareness Series of the Jersey City Free Public Library