The Corner House Foundation will present the inaugural James Floyd Community Partner Award at the organization’s annual gala next month.
The award is named in memory of James Floyd, Princeton’s first African-American mayor, who
died in 2018 at the age of 96. Floyd was a community organizer and activist who worked to promote civil rights. He served on numerous boards and committees in the Princeton region and was an advocate for Corner House for more than four decades. The new award honors Floyd’s legacy of compassion and civic duty.
Corner House Executive Director Gary DeBlasio, who spoke about Floyd’s dedication to the nonprofit at his funeral in 2018, said the award came about last fall when people were thinking about ways to honor Floyd for his years of dedication to Corner House.
“He had been a longtime supporter of Corner House and was Mayor when it was created as a municipal department in 1972. He also guided me as I entered Princeton 20 years ago,” DeBlasio said. “He asked, ‘would you like me to teach you how to get things done in this town, how to navigate the town?’ I said yes and we met regularly until his health failed. He was a great teacher for me personally and a tremendous advocate for Corner House around the community as a longtime member of the Corner House Foundation board. He loved that we worked with all students in town and were committed to equalizing the playing field for students of color through our outreach programs.”
The Corner House Foundation voted to honor him with an award in his name after receiving permission from his son, Michael Floyd, to create the James Floyd Community Partnership Award.
This year, the inaugural award will go to the Princeton Police Department for the department’s dedication to the mission of Corner House Behavioral Health. Officers from the Princeton Police Department regularly lead discussions for students participating in Corner House outreach and leadership programs, they co-sponsor and make presentations at community education events, they co-sponsor the All-City Dodgeball Championship Tournament, and they chair the Princeton Alcohol and Drug Alliance. The police department also assists in security for Corner House events.
The award will be presented at the Corner House Foundation’s annual spring benefit at 6:30 p.m. on March 27 at the Chauncey Conference Center. For more information visit cornerhousenj.org.