New York-based Garifuna Coalition, U.S.A., Inc, has appointed Sulma Arzu-Brown as its new managing director.
Arzu-Brown replaces Jose Francisco Avila, the organization’s chairperson, who had also acted as interim executive director.
Arzu-Brown will be responsible for the “day-to-day operations to achieve the goals and further the mission of the organization, to serve as a resource, a forum, and advocate for Garifuna issues and a united voice for the Garifuna community,” a coalition spokesperson said
Arzu-Brown, who was born in Honduras and came to New York City at the age of five, “brings to the Garifuna Coalition more than 10 years of business experience,” and experience as a job developer, “where she demonstrated ability to initiate and foster robust partnerships and strategic alliances with businesses and allied agencies and stakeholders for the effective delivery of programs and services to clients.”
Arzu-Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communication from the Herbert Lehman College, City University of New York.
“We are delighted by this appointment. The board looks forward to working with Sulma to ensure that the Garifuna Coalition manages not only to sustain its position as an advocate for the Garifuna Community but help to guide the organization to the next level of organizational growth,” Avila said.
He also said the coalition is grateful to the Fund for New Citizens at the New York Community Trust for its authorization of a one-year grant of US$30,000 to be used to hire the managing director.
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to lead such a dynamic advocacy organization,” Arzu-Brown told Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview.
“The Garifuna Community is an up-and-coming, thriving community, and having witnessed the transition from obscurity to visibility is just the foundation of our blueprint,” Arzu-Brown continued.
Arzu-Brown work as a volunteer for the Garifuna Coalition since 2007 has allowed her to “learn that the needs of the Garifuna community are the same as any other minority group.
“As managing director, it is my responsibility that the Garifuna community continues to be advocated for and represented in a positive light. This pivotal role will allow me to ensure that the Garifuna people are well informed of all the benefits of living in New York, as well as how they can contribute to its growth and development,” she commented.
Arzu-Brown is married to her college best friend, Maurice Brown, and is the mother of two beautiful daughters, Suleni and Bella-Victoria.
Arzu-Brown said she is proud that the Garifuna Coalition was able to connect with “our motherland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” adding that she can’t wait for the day to take her family “where it all started.”