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Chief Clerk Charles Small honored Caribbean-American Heritage Month celebration

BP Eric Adams praises Small for positive impact on the community

July 1, 2019 Rob Abruzzese

For 14 years, the Office of the Borough President has celebrated Caribbean-American Heritage Month and current Beep Eric Adams continued that tradition last Thursday and celebrated the court’s top non-judicial employee while he was at it.

Chief Clerk of the Brooklyn Supreme Court, Civil Term, Charles Small was presented with a citation on behalf of the Borough President’s Office. A spokesperson for the borough president explained that Small was honored for the positive impact he has had on community members and his efforts leading the Kings County Supreme Court.

“Borough President Adams applauds him for being appointed to the New York State Unified Court System in 1991 and for being the first minority appointed as chief clerk for civil matters in Kings County Supreme Court in December 2010,” said Sandra Chapman, chief program officer for the Office of the Borough President.

From left: Ian Gaynor, Charles Small, Hon. Sylvia Hinds-Radix and Hon. Lawrence Knipel, the administrative judge of the Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Term.

Chapman also explained that Small showed tremendous leadership when he stepped in for nine months as acting chief clerk of the Supreme Court, Criminal Term in 2017 and 2018.

“Borough President Adams acknowledges him for making a positive impact on the lives of others, and he thanks him for all that he has done to touch and improve the lives of many, helping to move our communities forward as one Brooklyn,” Chapman said.

Small, an immigrant from Barbados, attended Barbados Community College and then Empire State College after he moved to Brooklyn with his brother. Before becoming chief clerk, he held seven different positions within the court system.

Steel drummers playing on the plaza behind Borough Hall.

Small gave a brief speech afterward in which he explained that many people helped him throughout his career to become chief clerk and singled out Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix, who was in attendance, for helping him to get the role.

“This journey did not start here,” Small said. “People know me now as the chief clerk but there are some people who helped me along the way and some people who have done significant things to make this occasion possible. Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix was one person who believed in me when other people had no idea what I was capable of.

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“I want to thank all of the judges including my administrative judge, Judge Knipel, and all of my friends who are here to support me today,” Small said shortly before he walked off stage.

A musical performance inside Borough Hall that took place during the “Taste of the Caribbean” event.

The borough president’s Caribbean-American Heritage Celebration lasted a total of nine hours. It started with a Caribbean Cultural Marketplace on the plaza of Borough Hall at noon and concluded with a concert by Grammy-winning artist Anslem Douglas, who wrote, “Who Let the Dogs Out.”

The event also featured a symposium in the afternoon and a “Taste of the Caribbean” event which featured samplings from various Brooklyn Caribbean eateries.

“This is the 14th annual Caribbean-American Heritage Month celebration here at Borough Hall,” Chapman said. “We’re going strong. And I want to say that today we began at 12, and I see some people who have been here all day. It’s a very rich program.”

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