JIS News

A number of outstanding Jamaicans in the United States (US) have been recognised for their professional achievements and contribution to the development of their communities by the New York City Council.
Winston Barnett (Educator); Selena Blake (Filmmaker); Colin Channer (Author); David Heron (Actor/Playwright); Saleem Josephs (Columbia University); Morenike Olabunmi (Filmmaker); Wellington Sharpe (Entrepreneur); Courtney Washington (Fashion Designer); Caribbean American Repertory Theatre and Jamaica Impact (JAMPACT Inc), were honoured at the City’s annual Independence celebrations held on August 8.
Council-member Yvette D. Clarke, who co-hosted the event, said it was “important that we celebrate the contributions of immigrants and remember that this nation has succeeded because generations of immigrants were allowed to realize their dreams”.
Consul General of Jamaica, Dr. Basil K. Bryan concurred, noting that, “a great nation is only as great as those persons, who give exemplary service to their communities or other endeavours, service which so often goes unrecognized and un rewarded.”
The function also featured tributes to late Jamaican cultural icon, Louise Bennett Coverely (Miss Lou), who was buried at National Heroes Park yesterday (Aug. 9) and US Marine Lance Corporal Nicholas White, a Brooklyn native of Jamaican heritage, who was killed in Iraq on June 21, two days shy of his 22nd birthday.
In her heartfelt tribute to Miss Lou, Dr. Una Clarke, Director of the Empire State Development Corporation, recalled her childhood in Jamaica and the joy at Christmas time of seeing the late folklorist on stage at the Ward Theatre.
Poet Ann Marie Taylor, did a brilliant rendition of Miss Lou’s poem ‘Call Mi Bredda’, while the Caribbean Cultural Theatre performed ‘Peel ‘ead John Crow’ and ‘Love Letter’.
The late serviceman was remembered as a quiet, unassuming young man, who was extremely intelligent, thoughtful, athletic and determined to express himself through action.
Meanwhile, author and president of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, Danny Simmons, was also honoured, for devoting time and money to help assist numerous charitable organizations, including Upliftment Jamaica and the Trench Town Development Association.
The celebrations featured entertainment by the Ruff Stuff Band and instrumentalist Moses Josiah. Master of ceremonies was Irwine G. Clare of the Caribbean Immigrant Services.

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