The Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) says it will present its annual Caribbean American Heritage (CARAH) Awards to nine Caribbean American stalwarts excelling in science, business, advocacy, technology and the arts on Nov. 18 in Washington, D.C.
In its 23rd year, the CARAH Awards celebrate the accomplishments of individuals of Caribbean American descent making outstanding contributions to American society and friends of the Caribbean community.
ICS said this year’s cadre of honorees demonstrate the diverse ways that people of Caribbean descent are shifting narratives in the United States and contributing their intellectual property, artistic talents and business acumen.
“Each year, we seek nominations and do a diligent search for individuals who are making a difference and raising the profile of the Caribbean American community,” said ICS’ Jamaican-born founder and president Dr. Claire Nelson. “This year’s group of honorees are a true testament to the many ways that Caribbean American people continue to contribute and leave their mark on the American landscape. We are honored that we can highlight these individuals and their extraordinary accomplishments.”
Nelson said the 2016 CARAH honorees include:
Gabriel Abed — The owner and founder of BitEdge is considered the leader and authority in digital currency and security within the Caribbean. In 2016, Abed and his company launched the first digitized version of the Barbadian currency. The 29-year old Barbadian will accept the Vanguard Award.
Gerard Alphonse — An inventor and electrical engineer by training, Dr. Alphonse has been instrumental in a number of technical areas, including optical sensing, conductivity, and a number of electro-physics devices. Dr. Alphonse will receive the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award.
Edward Greene — Ambassador Edward Greene is an internationally renowned advocate for HIV / AIDS. In 2012, Dr. Greene was appointed as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for AIDS in the Caribbean. Ambassador Greene is academically trained in economics, the behavioral sciences, international relations and political science. Ambassador Greene will accept the Award for Outstanding Public Service.
Goulda Downer — An associate professor at the College of Medicine at Howard University, Dr. Downer had been instrumental at increasing awareness and reducing stigma against people with HIV / AIDS. To reduce stigma within the clinical community, Dr. Downer worked with institutional partners to develop and launch the National Clinicians HIV / AIDS Testing and Awareness Day. She also contributed to the development of the nation’s first HIV strategic plan. Dr. Downer will receive the Award for Outstanding Contributions in Public Health.
David Hochoy — Hochoy is the artistic director of Indianapolis-based Dance Kaleidoscope, an arts theatre where he has choreographed over 70 dances and served as a stalwart figure in the state’s art community. An internationally regarded dancer and choreographer, Hochoy is trained in the Martha Graham technique and has taught master classes throughout the United States and Europe. Hochoy will accept the Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Glen Khan — Businessman and philanthropist, Khan has grown Laparkan Trading from a small personal effects shipping business to a multinational and multi-service business with warehouses and offices in New York, Miami, London and Georgetown, Guyana. Mr. Khan will receive the Outstanding Entrepreneurship Award.
Machel Montano — Known as the “King of Soca,” Montano has been wowing crowds with his stage presence and rhythmic sounds. With a mission to take soca mainstream, Montano has expanded the reach of the Caribbean genre to audiences around the world. In January 2010, he became the first soca artiste to attain a headliner slot at the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival and made history as the only two-time recipient of The Bob Marley Award for Entertainer of the Year at Martins International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA). He has been nominated twice and won a Soul Train Award in 2014. Montano will receive the Luminary Award.
Victoria Rowell — Rowell is best known for her roles on “The Young and the Restless” and “Diagnosis Murder” but she is also a fierce advocate for children in foster care and adoption. The Emmy-nominated actress has testified before Congress and has been praised by 193 members of Congress for her advocacy on behalf of education arts, foster and adopted children as well as diversity issues. Rowell will accept the Trailblazer Award.