Marco Mason, prominent immigrant advocate and scholar passes

The Caribbean community in the United States is mourning the loss of one of its prominent activists, who died on March 7 after a long battle with cancer.

Dr. Marco Mason, founding member of the Brooklyn, New York-based Caribbean Women’s Health Association, will be solely missed, said former New York City Councilwoman Jamaican Una Clarke, the first Caribbean-born national to be elected to the city Council. Mason was 67, and was interred on Saturday in Brooklyn.

“It is with deep distress and regret that I announce the passing of one of the pillars of our community, Dr. Marco Mason,” Clarke told Caribbean Life.

“He is the former executive director and founder of Caribbean Women’s Health Association, social activist, as well respected scholar on issues pertaining to the circum-Caribbean community,” she added.

“It will very hard to replace Marco’s commitment, enthusiasm and love for Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American/Caribbean community,” she continued.

Clarke said Mason was a medical sociologist, “who had achieved a distinguished record of leadership as a well-known scholar/activist.”

The Panamanian-born Mason was, up to his death, chairman and CEO of the Panamanian Council of New York Inc. and president of the Institute for Pan-American Affairs.

Mason had served on the faculty of a number of colleges and universities, including at the State University of New York at Stony Brook’s School of Social Work, School of Medicine, and School of Health Management and Technology.

He was also on the faculty with the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, in Brooklyn.

Mason was a technical expert in U.S. immigration policy and was duly accredited to practice immigration law before the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Court and the Board of Immigration Appeals.

He was cited by the U.S. Department of Justice for his “outstanding services” in assisting Caribbean and other immigrants with status adjustments.

A funeral service was held on Saturday morning at St. Gregory the Great Roman Catholic Church in the heart of the Caribbean community in Brooklyn. Mason was then be interred at the Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn.

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