Bronx River Alliance to honor Herald editor

Frolicking in Hunts Point Riverside Park, the South Bronx gateway to the Bronx River.
The Bronx River Alliance will honor the editor of the Mott Haven Herald at its annual benefit at Hunts Point Riverside Park on Thursday, Sept. 24.

The award will recognize Bernard L. Stein’s work as a journalist and teacher at the Herald and its sister newspaper The Hunts Point Express, as well as his career at The Riverdale Press, which he edited for three decades.

The Alliance will also honor Bronx-based artist Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, whose work as a painter, performance artist and video artist The New York Times recently described as “art with something to say,” focused on “being a Latina in the United States.”

Stein founded The Hunts Point Express in 2006 when he joined the faculty of Hunter College. The newspaper’s reporters are students in a class he teaches at Hunter, which also hosts the paper’s website and pays for it to be printed.

This spring, the Herald, staffed by his students at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, published its first issues.

In announcing the award, Linda Cox, the Alliance’s executive director, and Dart Westphal, its chairman emeritus cited Stein’s “service as an editor, interpreter and voice of conscience for the Bronx, first at The Riverdale Press and now in two extraordinary new newspapers—The Hunts Point Express and the Mott Haven Herald.

“We salute you for the contributions these new initiatives have made—bringing to light the conditions and activities of these neighborhoods, knitting together an informed community, and training a new cadre of young journalists who can learn so much from writing about these communities,” they wrote.

Stein succeeded his father, who founded The Riverdale Press, as the newspaper’s editor in 1978. Under his leadership, The Press won more than 400 state and national awards for journalistic excellence. In 1998, Stein won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.

“I’m thrilled to be honored by the Bronx River Alliance because it is really an award to my students, who work so hard to serve the communities they cover,” said Stein.

Raimundi-Ortiz has gained wide recognition as an artist, including shows around the nation and in Latin America, but she remains rooted in the Bronx, where she has exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos College and the Bronx Museum Project Space in Mott Haven. A two-time winner of the Bronx Council on the Arts BRIO Award, in 2008 she was a Ralph Bunche Fellow.

The Alliance’s annual gala, called “An Upstream Soiree,” will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, music and a silent auction. Tickets are $75 and $150 and may be purchased by 718-430-4613 or on-line.

The Bronx River Alliance works to protect the river and its shores, conducting clean-ups and environmental restoration programs, working with schools and community groups, and sponsoring bicycle and canoe trips that bring people to the river.