CARICOM: Caribbean Consul Generals Meet With Mayor Eric Adams as it Celebrates Caribbean Heritage Month
A group of Caribbean countries represented by their Consul Generals and Consuls participated in a meeting with Mayor Eric Adams on Monday, June 27th.
The Caribbean countries participated under the banner of CARICOM (Caribbean Community). The committee is chaired by Mr. Mackie Holder, who is the Consul General for Barbados.
In attendance were Consul General Andre Laveau, Trinidad and Tobago; Consul General Leroy Major, the Bahamas; Consul General Jeremiah Hyacinth, St. Lucia; Consul Marie-Andrée Amy, Haiti; Consul Sheldon Anthony, Dominica; and Consul Vonroy Rochester, Jamaica.
“We met with the mayor to discuss matters of mutual importance. So, basically, this included gun violence, education, climate change, commerce, and how we can partner so that we maximize the potential for commercial relationships between the Caribbean and New York,” said Holder.
The meeting also included a discussion on immigration, housing, and the exchange of visits between New York City and the Caribbean countries. Holder said the proposed visits would be on all levels, from elected officials to the youth of the respective areas.
During the meeting, there was also the suggestion of carrying out an annual parade on 5th Avenue to commemorate Caribbean Heritage Month.
Holder emphasized that the meeting was very positive, citing Mayor Adams as listening with an open mind. “It was a very forthright meeting, straight to the point,” said Holder.
He said that the meeting resulted in a few agreements. This included the celebration of National Caribbean-American Heritage Month with more depth. Holder said the contribution of the Caribbean people to American history and society should be maintained, highlighted, and where possible, reinforced.
Holder further mentioned that a committee would be formed jointly with the mayor’s office. He spoke about how there was a desire to maintain a line of communication with the mayor’s office and if schedules permitted, there would possibly be a meeting every month.
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Holder said he was impressed with the job the mayor has done since his inauguration, considering the fact that he has only been mayor of New York City for 6 months. A special mention of the mayor’s Commissioner for International Affairs, Mermel Stein, was made by Holder.
“We are looking forward to partnerships that will be beneficial to both New Yorkers and Caribbean countries but most importantly Caribbean people that live in New York,” Holder said.
June is National Caribbean-American Heritage Month. It is an important month that celebrates the people of the Caribbean and the impact that they have made in the United States of America.
This impact is felt in nearly all spheres of American life, from the culinary to the political and cultural. The month is federally recognized.
According to the Institute of Caribbean Studies, “Caribbean immigrants have been contributing to the well-being of American society since its founding.
Alexander Hamilton, the First Secretary of the Treasury, was from the Caribbean island of Nevis. We count among our famous sons and daughters, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Cicely Tyson, W.E.B Dubois, James Weldon Johnson, Harry Belafonte, and Sidney Poitier to name a few.”
New York City’s population is made up of a large number of people who are of Caribbean descent and a part of the diaspora. Mayor Eric Adam’s office held a reception for Caribbean American Heritage Month at Gracie Mansion, on Thursday, June 30.
“This is one of the most significant celebrations we are doing to acknowledge our Caribbean diaspora. Every island is represented here today, every one of you, all over this city, and what you have contributed to this city.
When you look at the energy and spirit of the Caribbean people, we all know how hard it was coming to America, eking out a living, leaving some of your family members home just to come here. And then when you arrived you were willing to do whatever was needed.
Improve on education, small businesses, making the connections, investing in real estate, open your shops, all that you did to get to this moment. And now we’re here. Started from the bottom, now we’re here,” Adams said at the event.