New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. might have considered the “age animo” motto Excelsior High School students aspire when he chose New York City journalist Vinette K. Pryce, one of five individuals to be honored during his annual tribute acknowledging the presidential dedication of Caribbean Heritage Month.
The custodian of New York City’s finances selected Pryce from a long list of nominees, demonstrating the “yet higher” mantra alums strive to achieve.
Chosen for her trailblazing role as a broadcast and print journalist who has covered some of the most riveting crime and entertainment stories in a career spanning approximately three decades, Pryce was lauded for “covering” stories from Africa, Asia, South America, Europe and throughout the United States.
From a war in Cote d’Ivoire, Africa and most recently the Millennium Celebrations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to the Academy Awards, Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Awards in California and New York City, Pryce has filed reports to radio, TV, magazines, newspapers and online web portals.
The honor came On Juneteenth Day, June 19 as the comptroller’s office recognized the region’s immigrants who have made a significant contribution to the fabric of New York during Caribbean Heritage Month.
Comptroller Thompson made the presentation in a venue decorated with the colors and flags of the Caribbean and punctuated by performances by a steel pan orchestra and dancers.
In lauding the Excelsior alum, the curator of the city’s finances justified his decision attributing the award to — “her accomplishments and excellence in the field of journalism; for highlighting important issues and stories that are often overlooked and ignored; and for her lasting contributions to both the Caribbean American community and New York City.”
Former Excelsorians Hewitt and Doreen Bailey-Depass and Duane Coombs were among the friends who cheered the achievement of the Excelsior fellow.
“I was surprised when she mentioned us when she thanked the comptroller,” Depass stated. “It was kind of her to mention us. Ironically, last year when Doreen and I visited Ghana during their 50th anniversary of independence Vinette was also there on assignment. Who knew that after all these years our paths would cross, especially in Africa.”
In her wide – ranging acceptance remarks Pryce also saluted the role Excelsior had played in her life. She was particularly grateful she said for the decades-long friendships she had honed with the Depass couple who married after being high school sweethearts. She said she first met them at the Mountain View landmark “when I was 12 years old.”
Pryce is an award-winning journalist who earned a number of honors including first place from the prestigious National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) for coverage of the Central Park Jogger Trial, the Howard Beach Murder Trial and the Bensonhurst Murder Cases (1991); Journalist of the Year Award (1996) from the Caribbean Media Association; the Armstrong-Ellington Award from National Newspaper Publishers Association for editing the best entertainment section in the Amsterdam News (2001); Reggaesoca Music Award for dedication to reporting on the music of the Caribbean (2003); Martin’s Interculture Award of Excellence for entertainment coverage (2003; Woman of Excellence Award from the National Action Network for “tireless effort in securing peace and justice” (2004); Councilman Charles Barron cited her role as a freelance journalist dedicated to the Black Press (2007); as well as consecutive annual honors including best “man on the street” reporter, best radio broadcaster, best photojournalist, best magazine layout editor and for working with electronic media while serving as a journalist with American Forces Radio & Television Network (1975-11991).
Also honored were : Haitian national Rodney Leon, the reputed designer of the African Burial Ground Monument dedicated last year in lower Manhattan; Trinidad & Tobago’s Krisha Marcano who won kudos for her role in the Broadway production of “The Color Purple”; Denise Scott, White House appointee to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Antiguan Dr. Oswald R. Thomas, a hypno-therapist who founded the Thomas Center for Human Development to provide access to computers, counseling and parenting skills training to low-income families.
Pryce will be one of the honorees at the Excelsior Alumni Association’ 39th anniversary dinner dance and awards annual on Sat. Oct. 11, 2008 at Ramada Plaza at JFK in New York.