With a few days left for a special election to replace Caribbean-American New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams for the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, a Caribbean-American candidate is invoking the legacy of her late great-uncle, former Grenadian diplomat, Dr. Lamuel Stanislaus, into her campaign.
Lawyer Jovia Radix, the daughter of Grenadian-born dentist, Dr. Joseph Radix, the nephew of Dr. Stanislaus, told Caribbean Life Saturday night that she is following in the footsteps of Dr. Stanislaus, a former Grenada Ambassador to the United Nations, who died on Sept. 18, 2016. He was 95.
“This campaign has brought an overwhelming wealth of support that I am so grateful for,” said Jovia Radix, whose mother is Barbadian-born jurist Sylvia Hinds-Radix. “My family has always stressed to me the importance of community; and, as I reflect on where we came from, migrating to this country for a better life, I am so grateful.
“I am grateful for those who paved the way to make it possible for me to run like my great uncle Dr. Lamuel Stanislaus,” added Radix, who is among nine candidates contesting the seat that became vacant when Williams, the son of Grenadian immigrants, recently won the seat for New York City Public Advocate.
“Uncle Lam, as I knew him, served both the Grenadian and US governments but never lost his sense of family or community,” Radix continued. “I only hope to continue that legacy.”
Barely five months after he was recognized by then US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, as “a part of our great American story,” Dr. Stanislaus died at a hospice in Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn, where he was taken to, from his Brooklyn home. Dr. Stanislaus was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
Shortly after celebrating his 95th birthday on April 22, 2016, Sir Lamuel told the Caribbean Life that he was “suffering with the ravages of cancer of the prostrate and cancer of the bones.”
Derek Ventour, the Brooklyn-based, Grenadian-born entertainment producer, was instrumental in Sir Lamuel receiving US Presidential and Congressional recognitions, just months before his death, at the behest of Brooklyn’s Caribbean American Congresswomen Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, and New York State recognition.
Born in Petite Martinique, Grenada’s smallest sister isle — the larger is Carriacou — Stanislaus was educated at Grenada Boys’ Secondary School (1933-1938) and Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he received his Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude) degree in 1948, and the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in 1953.
He was engaged in the private practice of dentistry in New York City for 32 years before taking up the UN appointments, the family said.
Sir Lamuel also served for a year as a vice-president of the UN General Assembly, “during which he was appointed to act for a month in the absence of the president, receiving highest commendation for the conduct of the business of the General Assembly for that month,” according to the Stanislaus family.
The family also said another highlight of Stanislaus’ tenure was “the persuasive statement made before the Decolonization Committee, which resulted in the invitation to the then chief minister of Montserrat to come to the UN to plead his case for additional help for his volcanic-ravaged island.”
The family, however, said Sir Lamuel’s legacy to his country and to 11 other small Commonwealth countries at the United Nations is what is known as the “Small States Joint Office at the UN, where the larger Commonwealth States have given well-appointed shared offices to smaller Commonwealth States rent free for the past 25 years and counting.”
Stanislaus had left Grenada in the mid-1940s to attend dental school at Howard University.
After 1956, he lived in Brooklyn, where he founded “Caribbeans for Ed Koch,” the late New York City Mayor.
On Jan. 18, 1985 he was appointed Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations in New York City, where he was representative from May 10, 1985 to June 30, 1990. He would also serve as ambassador-at–large and deputy permanent representative for two years.
On Dec. 18, 1998 Stanislaus was again appointed permanent representative of Grenada to the United Nations in New York City. He would hold this position from Dec. 21, 1998 to Nov. 8, 2004.
Dr. Stanislaus was the recipient of numerous professional, civic and political awards, including the Insignia of Commander of the British Empire from her Majesty the Queen of England (CBE); The Lifetime Achievement Award from the district attorney of Brooklyn; Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from St. George’s University; and the Distinguished Service award from Brooklyn Historical Society.
He was also one of the founders and a Board Member of the Brooklyn-based West Indian-American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), which organizes the largest carnival parade in North America, on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, every Labor Day, a public holiday in the US on the first Monday in September.
Prior to pursuing her Juris Doctorate (law degree) from Hofstra Law School in Long Island, Radix served as the Brooklyn Regional Representative to New State Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo.
Radix also served in various government and political positions, and has served her community in various levels of government.
In addition, Radix assists her family in the direction and management of a tutoring program facilitated by the Brooklyn-based Barbados Ex-Police Association.
Radix is the vice-president of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club Young Democrats in Brooklyn.
Nine candidates, including a significant number of Caribbean-born and Caribbean Americans, are contesting the race for the special election, on May 14, in the 45th Council District in Brooklyn. The district comprises East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands, Marine Park and Midwood.
More than 188,000 people live in the district, of which about 61 percent are either Caribbean American or African American, according to reports.
The other candidates are: Trinidad and Tobago-born Anthony Alexis; Jamaican-born Rickie Tulloch; Monique Chandler-Waterman, the daughter of Jamaican and Barbadian immigrants; Farah Louis, the daughter of Haitian immigrants; Louis Cespedes Fernadez, the son of Cuban immigrants; Xamayla Rose; and Adina Sash.