State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli hosted a celebratory event to honor Caribbean-Americans at the Brooklyn Law School in Boerum Hill on Tuesday, to commemorate Caribbean Heritage Month. The third annual Caribbean Heritage Celebration honored several individuals of Caribbean descent, including Caribbean Life Newspaper, for contributions to the Caribbean community in New York City.
DiNapoli made remarks about Caribbean culture and its influence in New York, and also used the opportunity to stress the need for diversity and immigration reform.
“We are not resting on our morals in this regard — we have to do more work in making sure the doors of opportunity remain open,” said DiNapoli. “We are overdue in having the DREAM Act adopted in New York State, there will be no barriers to financial aid for children of undocumented families.”
Honorees of the event included Shawn Francois, president of Local 372, Aleatha Williams, co-founder of Youth Leaders on the Move, Councilman Jumaane D. Williams (D–East Flatbush), and Michael Kevin Williams, editor for Caribbean Life Newspaper. DiNapoli presented each honoree with a plaque.
“When we honor individuals it’s really a way for us to recognize the strengths of the community,” said DiNapoli. “The individuals, and organization we are honoring this evening really represent a wide array of activities and involvement in the larger community — they certainly are wonderful role models for all of us.”
Unable to stay for the entirety of the event due to a funeral, Pat Williams, mother of Councilman Jumaane D. WIlliams (D–East Flatbush) accepted the award on his behalf.
The vibrant host of the event expressed excitement for the honorees and praised the community for their talents.
“I thought this was a great opportunity to have those of Caribbean descent get recognized,” said Yanick Alexandre, mistress of ceremony. “Everybody from the Caribbean does great things.”