Albert Einstein once said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” Donald P. Vernon certainly lives by this tenet.
Born in Jamaica, West Indies, Donald Vernon immigrated to the United States in January 1973, with his parents and siblings. After graduating from Alexander Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, Mr. Vernon answered the call to service and joined the United States Army.
Upon honorable discharge from the military, Mr. Vernon enrolled at York College/CUNY, in Jamaica, Queens where he majored in Marketing. While a student at York College, Mr. Vernon was actively involved with campus life, serving as Student Government President for three years. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing with honors. Mr. Vernon then attended New York Law School, where he served as President of the Black Law Student’s Association (BLSA), and earned his Juris Doctorate degree.
Mr. Vernon has consistently given service to the residents of Queens, NY. After graduating from law school, Mr. Vernon joined then New York State Senator Alton L. Waldon’s team as a constituent representative. Mr. Vernon has managed the campaigns of candidates for the New York City Council and New York State Senate, and has worked closely with various labor unions throughout New York State.
In 1996, Mr. Vernon founded Vernon & Associates, PC, a general practice law firm in Jamaica, New York. In addition to running a busy law practice, Mr. Vernon founded and serves as President of Center for Caribbean Progress, a non-profit public policy research organization dedicated to strengthening and preserving Caribbean-American culture. Center For Caribbean Progress regularly hosts free Immigration and Health Seminars for the community, while advocating for Immigration reform.
A community organizer at heart, Mr. Vernon served as President of The United Black Men of Queens County from 2014-2018, a now 40-year-old civic organization, dedicating to mentoring African-American youth, from 2014-2018. Additionally, Mr. Vernon is a member of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, past President of the Macon B. Allen Black Bar Association, and he serves as a board member to the Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club.
In 2008, Mr. Vernon founded Center for Community Advancement to assist the Caribbean-American community in exercising a political voice. Cari-PAC, as the group became known, led a Get Out The Vote movement throughout South East Queens in 2008, enlisting hundreds of volunteers, registering countless constituents to vote, and encouraging everyone to exercise their right to cast a ballot in the Presidential election.
A speaker by profession and hobby, Mr. Vernon has hosted Community Public Radio (formerly Caribbean Public Radio) a weekly talk radio show on 93.5FM WVIP. On CP-Radio, Mr. Vernon highlighted topics of interest to our community and offered free legal advice to callers. Past guests on the radio show include notable politicians, researchers, authors, and entertainers.
When he’s not running his law firm or busy being a community organizer, Donald Vernon can be found with his wife Nitchel and their three children at their home in St Albans, Queens.