In keeping with the holiday season, Marvin Amazan is grateful.
He has come through his growing-up years, living in Hempstead while attending Uniondale schools. He has earned a college degree in business with an emphasis in marketing, put in years of independent community activism, and arrived to the present, where he is a man with a young family and his own consulting firm.
“I’m grateful for all the opportunities,” Amazan said, “for the people in my life that have shown me the pathways — the Uniondale school district, the coaches, the teachers, the community leaders. And my parents, who are my first teachers, mentors, and role models. And my family, my partner Janaia Jenkins, my son, Marvin Jr., the spirit that he has to motivate me to make a better future for him than we have ourselves. Without them, I don’t know if I would be the driven person that I am, looking out for opportunities.”
Amazan still lives in Hempstead, in the portion of the village that falls within the Uniondale school district. He locates his consulting firm, Amazan Strategies, LLC, within Uniondale, and his time is spent either on the phone or out in the communities that he loves.
“Mine is a consulting firm for public affairs, outreach marketing, and stakeholder engagement,” said Amazan. “I’m there for business developers, clients from school districts, political agencies, anybody looking to connect with stakeholders within the community.”
Three of Amazan’s major clients are the Urban League of Long Island, Sands New York, and Opportunities Long Island.
“I’m part of the Sands outreach team,” said Amazan. “I set up meetings for different businesses or stakeholders within the community. We’ve reached out to all the different civics, the religious bodies, the small businesses and the school districts as well. It’s a lot of phone calling and we have partnered with the Uniondale Chamber of Commerce.”
The point of the outreach is to link the communities of Uniondale and Hempstead to Sands New York, because the firm aims to employ locally. Amazan’s outreach to school districts targets upcoming job opportunities for students now in high school.
To help move those opportunities in reach of students and the wider community, Amazan is also doing outreach for Opportunities Long Island, which, according to its website, “works to connect individuals from underserved communities with union construction.”
“We’re trying to increase the representation in the unions for Hempstead and Uniondale,” said Amazan, “offering a direct pipeline into the Opportunities Long Island pre-apprenticeship program, which is the direct pipeline to the apprenticeship program for any trade union — people 18 years and older looking for careers in construction and the trades.”
The certifications offered by the apprenticeship programs can open doors to well-paying careers, Amazan said.
“And you come out of these apprenticeship programs with no school debt,” he added.
Meanwhile, Amazan continues the path of community advocacy onto which he stepped when rapper, entrepreneur, and community activist Nipsy Hussle died in 2019 at age 33.
“I was looking at my community and seeing all of the media that was going out in the news,” Amazan told interviewer Nicole Burke on her “Voice of Uniondale” radio program. “I know in Uniondale we have amazing things that are happening, amazing people, and in the media I wasn’t really seeing that. So I wanted to do everything on my part to make sure that we continue to build our communities up.”
Amazan tackled the problem of low voter turnout. He has even gone to area schools to exhort the scholars to put the learning into influencing their communities, and to make sure they vote.
“I’ve worked as a coach in the Uniondale district, a teacher’s assistant, and a substitute teacher,” he told Burke, “and the children of today have so much to contribute to our future. I would love to see what would happen if we bring the youth into these community round tables and really take their input seriously.”