It's a great that good news is still resonating from this year's Caribbean carnival season in New York.
And, hopefully, the benefits of this year's incident-free major carnival events and the coming of the neighborhood-focused Carey Gabay Community Center will resound well into the future.
Let's start with the New York Caribbean Carnival Parade and the early Labor Day morning J'Ouvert event taking place without incident this year because of community cooperation, the help of the respective organizers — J'Ouvert City International and the West Indian American Day Carnival Association — and the very strong support, presence and planning of the NYPD.
But despite this sought-after success against criminals and gang violence, some media outlets chose to link unrelated crimes to the carnival events — and there was little or no feedback from the Caribbean community which is maligned by these false connections.
President Trump's tweeting shows that Twitter can be used to get out information to many people quickly.
So, by creating dedicated Twitter accounts for their respective groups (or maybe a joint carnival weekend account), New York Caribbean Carnival and J'Ouvert organizers can use the popular social media service to get accurate, factual information out to carnivalgoers in milliseconds — to counter these too-frequent false, damaging reports.
To aid youth and the overall community and provide productive alternatives to gang and gun violence, Gov. Cuomo announced that up to $15 million in state money will be used to create the 60,000-square-foot Carey Gabay Community Center in Brooklyn's Bedford Union Armory in southern Crown Heights, housing recreation facilities and space for a wide range of community-focused programs — including the nonprofit Carey Gabay Foundation and space for West Indian American Day Carnival Association cultural activities — "beyond the annual parade."
"Carey Gabay exemplified what it truly means to be a public servant, choosing to dedicate his talents to helping others and making this a better community, a better state and a better world," Cuomo said Sept. 3 at the New York Caribbean Carnival's preparade reception. "This center will help continue Carey's inspiring legacy of good work and support our efforts to create new opportunities in Brooklyn communities."
And Brooklyn may not be the only beneficiary because there is interest in replicating the comprehensive community center concept in other parts of the city and state, explained Alphonso David, counsel to the governor.
“I know there have been some discussions on whether we can do this in Queens or potentially do this in the Bronx, and the short answer is yes,” David said. “We want to make sure that when we take this model and implement it fully, we can then go back to the (state) Legislature and say, ‘This is working; this model works.’ “
Gabay – who had served assistant counsel to Cuomo and first deputy counsel of the Empire State Development Corp. – was a bystander fatally wounded in a gang-related shootout near the J'Ouvert route in 2015.
A diaspora confab
There will be a flexing of muscle, a show of potential and a look at the future at the Jamaica Diaspora Leadership Summit,organized by the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board and coming Nov. 16 through 18.
The formulation of a development plan "to address specific issues and develop a more effective leadership framework for the diaspora" is the goal of the weekend event, which will be held at the Morrow Center in Morrow, Ga.
To kick off the Leadership Summit, an online launch event will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. To participate and register for the event, visit jdusaleadershipsummit.eventbrite.com
For more on the Jamaica Diaspora Leadership Summit, send email to email@example.com.
A 'Cultural Explosion'
Billed as a "Guyanese, Caribbean/African, Cultural Explosion," the "Ogba Paati" affair, presented by the Guyana Independence Committee, will be held Saturday on the roof garden of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Ave. (at St. Marks Ave.), starting at 4 p.m.
The musical lineup for the Ogba Paati affair is diverse and deep, featuring Mr. Killa, Freezy, Lyrical, the Despers Steel Orchestra, Ariel Wins, Trevon Vibez, DJ Buka, Problem Child and others.
Admission is $40 with VIP seating, with special perks available. Call (929) 263-2556 for information and ticket outlets.
Visit www.celebrateguyanainnyc for more about the Guyana Independence Committee's activities.
Several selected students and a Jamaican educational institution received a boost recently at the Bronx-based Jah Jerry Foundation’s Scholarship Award Reception.
At the sixth annual affair — held Sept. 13 at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston, Jamaica — two $1,000 scholarships were awarded to students Salim Browne and Kristen Henry. Both are students at Edna Manley College.
Jamaica's Alpha Institute, formerly Alpha Boys School, was presented with four new, state-of-art desktop computers with software.
And for the first time, a student in the U.S. was awarded a scholarship. Miguel Laverde — a music major enrolled at Lehman College in the Bronx — received his award at a presentation in New York.
Named for pioneering Skatalites band foundering member Jerome (Jah Jerry) Haynes, the organization promotes music education and educational institutions. Visit www.jahjerry.org.
Steel pan for youngsters
Know children and teens — aged 5 to 18 — with music on their minds? Sign up for steel pan classes, presented by the award-winning CASYM Steel Orchestra.
Classes are Friday and Saturday in Brooklyn at St. Francis of Assisi, 400 Lincoln Road (entrance in church parking lot). Class 1 will be held on Friday from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 1:30 p.m. Class 2 takes place Friday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
To get fees and register, visit http://bit.ly/casymclass2018.
For information and fees, call (718) 503-2911 or (718) 735-6708 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
COJO education awards
The New York-based Jamaican charity Children of Jamaica Outreach continued its tradition of educational support through its scholarship awards luncheon, held Sept. 12 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica.
COJO founder and Chairman Gary Williams — accompanied by special guest Chorvelle Johnson, CEO of Jamaica's Sagicor Bank — recognized the 2018 scholarship recipients. The scholarship funds are raised from COJO's annual Benefit Raffle and scholarship gala held in December.
The recipients are Jody-Ann Jackson of Northern Caribbean University; Kentania Campbell of Moneague College; Nabita Smith from Mico University College; Adrianna Parchment, a student at the University of Technology; Omario Thorpe from the University of the West Indies, and Phallon Walsh of Northern Caribbean University. Thorpe was the recipient of the Suzette Henriques Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of Williams’ sister.