Reverend Carmen Hernandez
The Reverend Carmen Hernandez is the President and Founder of the 1st NYC LGBTQS Chamber of Commerce. She is also the CEO, founder, and pastor at the Christ 4U Youth Outreach Services and changed the name to Stratford Community Services, Inc. (Giving Kids/Youth a Chance). For the past 30 years, Rev. Carmen has served as an advocate and activist in the Soundview section of the Bronx where she has helped empower at-risk, inner city youth. Through these community outreach efforts, Rev. Carmen has proven to be a vital part of the South East Bronx community. She has also coordinated Stratford’s Annual Back 2 School Jam Block Parties for two decades.
Over ten years ago, Rev. Carmen co-founded and was the Senior Vice President of the Bronx Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Inc. She also played an important role as the co- founder of the Latin Hip Hop Summit at Lehman College, with the music mogul and CEO of Rush Communications, Mr. Russell Simmons. Furthermore, through her efforts, Rev. Carmen has helped organize small business owners, persuading each business and community to work together as one family. She realized that the future of the community depended greatly on building a stronger business environment, which in turn would empower small business owners so that they could create a positive environment in the neighborhood.
The Tenants of 1471-73 Watson Ave nominated Rev. Carmen Hernandez to be their tenant President, a position she has held from 2013 until today. When she won the position for the first time in a NYCHA development for Watson Ave, she incorporated it as a 501c3 non-profit association. The 1471-73 Watson Avenue Resident Council helps tenants fight for their rights; it was developed because the NYCHA was not getting things done for their development and their was even abuse. Today, Rev. Carmen is working with elected officials to improve its infrastructure, including a new roof and rehabilitating the inside of the building. She also registered their garden for the first time in its history and is actively promoting its environmental sustainability. Rev. Carmen has also helped to build other organizations, including the Bronx Christmas Parade. She is currently working towards having the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in the Bronx.