Keynote Speaker

Medgar Evers College is proud to announce that Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will deliver the 2015 commencement address at 10:00am Tuesday, June 2, 2015 at the Barclays Center.

Eric Leroy Adams was born in Brownsville on September 1st, 1960 to father Leroy, a butcher, and mother Dorothy, a house cleaner and cook at Amstead Day Care. He grew up the fourth of six children, with an early interest in computers. Eric is a proud product of the New York City public school system, graduating from Bayside High School in 1978.

He received his Associate in Arts Degree in Data Processing from New York City Technical College and his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice; later, he received his Masters’ Degree in Public Administration from Marist College. He held several jobs to pay his way through his collegiate studies, working in the mailroom of an accounting firm, as a mechanic and as a clerk in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.

Eric was drawn to public service at an early age, wanting to go into law enforcement as early as age 15 after he and one of his brothers were beaten badly by police officers. This call was echoed by his mentor, Reverend Herbert Daughtry.

In 1984, Eric graduated from the Police Academy as the highest-ranked student in his class. He went on to serve in the New York City Police Department for 22 years, starting in the New York City Transit Police. In Brooklyn, he worked in the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint as well as the 88th Precinct covering Fort Greene and Clinton Hill; he would ultimately retire having attained the rank of captain.

In 1995, he co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an advocacy group for black police officers. In this role, he often spoke out against police brutality and racial profiling, unafraid to challenge One Police Plaza and City Hall. During this period, Eric also served as chair of the Grand Council of Guardians.

In 2006, Eric retired from the NYPD to make a successful run for the New York State Senate. As the four-term representative of the 20th State Senatorial District, covering Borough Park, Crown Heights, Flatbush, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace, he worked on issues that mattered to his constituents, including affordable housing, educational funding and preventative health. He became a champion on statewide matters such as good government, workers’ rights, quality of life concerns and public safety. In particular, Eric effectively organized support against the NYPD’s controversial stop, question and frisk policy and on behalf of gun control. In his district, Eric also became known for initiatives like his “Stop the Sag” campaign, which spoke out against youth wearing low-hanging pants, as well as his efforts to tackle child abuse, conflict resolution, parental empowerment and protecting small businesses.

Eric has also served on the board of the Eastern District Counseling Service, an organization assisting former substance abusers to live productive lives without dependency on drugs or alcohol.

In 2013, Eric was elected by Brooklynites to be the first African-American to serve as Brooklyn Borough President.  

Eric maintains residences in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Prospect Heights, where he has resided for over twenty years. He enjoys riding the streets of Brooklyn on his bicycle, meditation and exploring new cultures and places. Eric is the proud father of Jordan, an aspiring filmmaker and student at American University.