George Irish embraces diverse fields

Dr. George Irish (center), receives a Community Service Award from Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (left) and Brooklyn Councilmember Laurie Cumbo. The event was held on Father’s Day at Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue.
Nelson A. King

The community work of Montserratian Dr. George Irish, dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Education at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College, embraces diverse fields.

At Medgar Evers Collge, Dean Irish, who has a very impressive curriculum vitae, is the head of the Caribbean Research Center (CRC), where he documents and analyzees policy and programs as they affect the Caribbean immigrant community.

This is particularly critical in the following areas as outlined in Dr. Irish’s book, “Evolution of a Global and Diasporic Vision,” published by Caribbean Diaspora Press, Inc.: Social and cultural adjustment of families; parent empowerment for engagement in the school leadership system; Caribbean American youth and the justice system; and educational policy and services at the New York State Regents level and New York City Department level.

Others are: Mapping student outcomes, especially at the high performing levels; monitoring student challenges in low performing schools; demographic studies on Caribbean residents in New York; and demographic studies for the political redistricting of NYC Council and State legislative districts that led to the election of Caribbean legislators in both City and State legislatures in the 90s.

Besides being dean at Medgar Ever’s College, Dr. Irish, from 2003-2014, was director, Caribbean and Latin American Studies, Departments of Interdisciplinary Studies and Social & Behavioral Sciences at Medgar Evers.

In this regard, he was responsible for developing the curriculum and a proposal for a Bachelor’s degree in Caribbean and Latin American Studies.

In 2003, Irish co-founded and became chancellor of the Peoples of the Americas Consortium of Research present Centers and Universities for Sustainable Development N.Y. (Universidad Popular de Desarrollo Sostenible de Las Americas, Panama).

He is the head of an education task force that is responsible for coordinating activities of a group of psychologists, educators, administrators and parents involved in developing policy issues and programs related to the advancement of Caribbean students in New York City public schools.

This involves multicultural, bilingual and special education issues; curriculum development; research, evaluation and assessment; parent involvement; counseling; placement and adjustment concerns, among others.

Additionally, he is a consultant on Multicultural Education to New York City Board of Education and New York State Education Department.

Dr. Irish is a member of the Doctoral Dissertation Committee, St. John’s University, N.Y. (Linguistics), and Boston University, Massachusetts (Education); and doctoral supervisor, Logos Christian University, Jacksonville, FL., Christian Ministry.

Among other things, he is editor-in-chief of WADABAGEI, a journal of the Caribbean and its Diasporas; editor of CRC’s newsletter, FOCUS; president, Caribbean Diaspora Press Inc, N.Y.; president, Transitional Institute for New Immigrants, Inc., N.Y.; and president, Caribbean American Research Foundation, Inc., N.Y.

Additional professional activities include: Member, Executive Committee, Association of Caribbean Universities and Research Institutes (UNICA) – 2008-2010; Member, Executive Committee, CUNY-Caribbean Exchange Program, Puerto Rican Center, Hunter College, CUNY; Member, Executive Committee, Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean, (IRADAC), City College, CUNY; and Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Eastern Caribbean Studies, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados.

A very sought-after speaker and preacher, Dr. Irish conducts weekly community outreach programs in the Bronx through the church ministry.

In addition, he conducts International Community Sustainable Economic Development programs across the Caribbean Basin and Central America in collaboration with Dr. Waldaba Stewart, a Panama-born professor at Medgar Evers College, and the international team of the Universidad Popular de Las Americas.

Irish earned his Ph.D in Spanish (Latin American and Caribbean Studies) from the University of the West Indies in 1969.

Four years earlier, he obtained his BA (Honors) Spanish and French (History Minor) from the same university.

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