Buffalo, NY – At today’s memorial service for the late Joyce Wilson Nixon, a beloved community leader and youth advocate, Mayor Byron W. Brown announced that he asked the Buffalo Common Council to name the casino at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in her honor. A resolution was filed with the Council on Thursday, September 14th by Masten District Council Member Ulysees O. Wingo, Senior. Mayor Brown also issued a memorial proclamation at the service, declaring Saturday, September 16th as Joyce Wilson Nixon Day in the City of Buffalo.
Mayor Brown stated, “Joyce was known and respected as a champion for children. She was an outstanding leader and special person who spent a lifetime working with our children, always striving to ensure that no child was left out and that no child was left behind. With strong support from Council President Darius Pridgen, Buffalo City Comptroller Barbara Miller Williams, and New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, I can think of no better way to honor Joyce than to name the casino at MLK, Jr. Park in her honor as a reminder to all who go there of her passion for youth, cheerful spirit, and deep pride in the Buffalo community.”
Joyce was the longtime executive director and CEO of National Inner Cities Youth Opportunities (NICYO), based out of the MLK, Jr. Park Casino, and worked with the organization for 35 years. She fought tirelessly to help secure funding for much-needed youth programs, including the Randy Smith Basketball League and the Crusaders Drill Team, and often went to court with troubled youth, with the goal of working with them to find new ways to get them on a positive educational path or career path.
Outside of work, Joyce was often seen performing on stage. She and her husband, Jeff, performed with Taylor Made Jazz and worked with the famous Lance Diamond before his passing. She also served as a spokesperson and model for Ralph Lauren, Inc., as well as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the May Company Trend Shows. Joyce had been an active member of the Fifty Women with a Vision community organization since its inception and gave her time and support to numerous local services and organizations, such as the Rotary Club of Buffalo, the Board of Directors of Women for Effective Change, and the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, among others. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors.
Joyce was preceded in death by her mother, Edna. She leaves behind to cherish her memory her husband, Jeff Nixon; her beloved children, Charles, Damien, and Libran; her cherished stepchildren, Jeff and Jena; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her siblings, and a host of other family members and friends. The service took place at noon on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at True Bethel Baptist Church, located at 907 East Ferry Street.