Celebrating Black History Month And The Impact Of A Friend

February 2, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,

As we kick off Black History Month, I wanted to take a moment to share with you the accomplishments of our beloved colleague, Rep. Q Williams, who we lost tragically last year.

His time in the legislature may have been brief, but his impact was felt across the state and indeed, across the nation. When my colleagues and I attend conferences and legislators from around the U.S. find out we are from Connecticut, they invariably want to speak with us about Q.
He was the first-ever Black person to be elected to represent the 100th House district in the Connecticut General Assembly. He was a trailblazer in so many ways and a fierce advocate for education, housing, and feeding the hungry. Please join me this Black History Month in honoring and celebrating his life.

Here are some of the incredible accomplishments Q achieved during his short time with us:
  • A Middletown Public Schools grad
  • Earned a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Bryant University
  •  Earned a Master’s of Public Administration from Villanova University Villanova University
  • Earned an Inclusion and Diversity Certificate from Cornell University
  • The first Black person to be elected to represent the 100th house district in the State of Connecticut General Assembly
  • House Chair of the Labor Committee
  • Co-founder of the educational nonprofit Equity CT
  • An adjunct professor at the University of Hartford
  • A proud member of the CT Black and Puerto Rican Caucus
  • A proud member of Beta Sigma Lambda, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Beta Sigma Lambda Chapter, Hartford, CT

Please join me in keeping Q’s philanthropic spirit alive. The Q Fund will support the charitable causes and nonprofit missions he cared about.


Black History Month is a time when we celebrate the many achievements and contributions of individuals from the Black diaspora, as well as reckon with the systemic racism from our past that is still prevalent today.

The theme for this year's month-long celebration is “African Americans and the Arts,” which spotlights Black Americans who excelled in various fields of creative expression, and the influence they have on our country's culture.

Connecticut was home to several notable moments in Black history. The Canterbury Female Boarding School, the first boarding school for young Black girls in the country, was in Canterbury. Abolitionist John Brown was born in Torrington. The 29th Colored Regiment, an all-Black regiment based out of Fair Haven during the Civil War, was one of the first units to enter Richmond, Virginia after it was abandoned by the Confederate Army.

Please click here to read more about Black history in our state.

Thanks to the tireless work of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and other colleagues in the General Assembly in 2019, Connecticut became the first state to require public schools to include Black and Latino history in their curriculums. Black history is American history, and this law ensures that the stories and triumphs of Black Americans will be taught throughout the school year. 

I encourage you to take some time to celebrate and learn more about Black history, locally and throughout America. Connecticut is home to several organizations that honor and celebrate the Black experience, such as the

Amistad Center for Art & Culture in Hartford, and the Ruby and Calvin Fletcher African American Museum in Stratford.
here to find more places that honor and support Black history and culture in our state.
Transit Equity Day is observed annually on February 4 to commemorate the life and legacy of Rosa Parks on her birthday.


Eleni Kavros DeGraw
State Representative


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