JOIN NJ COMMUNITIES UNITED ON MARCH 15TH AT 6:30 FOR THE 2017 SOLIDARITY AWARDS & COCKTAIL PARTY TO HONOR MS VIDA NEIL! GET YOUR TICKETS AT WWW.UNITEDNJ.ORG/2017SOLIDARITYAWARDS!
You will never meet anyone like the incomparable and irrepressible Vida Neil. Vida was one of the very first members of NJ Communities United from Camden, joining even before we opened our South Jersey office. Since that time, she has volunteered an endless amount of time to the mission of NJ Communities United, not only organizing around the fight to protect public schools in Camden, but also working diligently to build the organization, signing up new members and making the organization known where ever she goes. Vida’s reputation as an outspoken community leader pre-dates her time as an NJCU member leader.
Vida – also known as "Momma Dukes" and "Vida, the Daughter of Ida" – was born in Pennsauken, NJ to an equally vivacious mother named Ida who dedicated her free time cooking and feeding children in need through a lunch program in their church. Vida continues her late mother's tradition, cooking almost every day and delivering food to families in need throughout Camden. Through her community service, Vida met – and ended up becoming a “mother” to 8 children who had lost their families and were scraping by on their own. As a single mother of 4 children of her own, Vida didn't need a big bank account, she simply had a big heart and a strong work ethic.
Vida's career is equally impressive. As a proud member of AFSCME Council 10, Vida was dedicated to the City of Camden for more than two decades, shattering glass ceilings everywhere she went. Vida was the first African-American woman to work at the Water Department. She was the first African-American woman to work at the Sewer Department. She was the first African-American woman to work at the Electrical Department. And she was the first African-American woman to work at the Public Works Department.
It is our deepest honor to recognize Vida Neil as a 2017 Revolutionary of the Year.