FREE | PAGES: 12 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com SIGN UP FOR OUR EPAPER @ epaper.jamaica-gleaner.com/na We do shipping right TRANS-CONTINENTAL ECONOCARIBE 147-46 176 STREET, JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11434 TEL: 718-244-7447, 718-341-2900 • BARRELS • CRATES • CARTONS • FURNITURE • APPLIANCES • BUILDING SUPPLIES • MEDICAL SUPPLIES • CARS KINGSTON, MONTEGO BAY, PORT OF SPAIN - TRINIDAD, GUYANA & OTHER ISLANDS WE SHIP DIRECTLY TO: SPECIALIZING IN RETURNING RESIDENTS Many years of excellent service! BLACK COMMUNITY CRIES FOUL OVER OTTAWA’S POLICE CHIEF’S RESIGNATION P2: JA to name highway in honour of Harry Belafonte P11: Miramar redefines Black History Month! P10: Riddim Driven Clothes on Di Runway! P6: Late Denise Jones named for 2022 Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award ... P3 MARCH 3 - APRIL 2, 2022 | VOL 2513
Chris Ramsaroop/ Guest Columnist THE CLOSE-KNIT migrant community has faced another tragedy with the death of yet another migrant farmworker Tyrone Lee Jackson (40), from Jamaica. This was Jackson’s second journey to work in Canada under the Commonwealth Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (CSAWP). He leaves behind a loving mother and seven siblings. Many questions remain unanswered about how Jackson, an otherwise healthy young man, died during the quarantine period prior to beginning his work contract. Did congregant bunkhouse conditions contribute to his passing? Were there sufficient wellness checks by healthcare professionals? What were the checks and balances undertaken to protect him, if any, and who will be held to account? When he travelled to Canada for the second time, Mr Jackson would probably not have known that the community of Leamington, Ontario, the “greenhouse capital” of Canada, was in the midst of another COVID outbreak. Local public health officials were sounding the alarm at the rise of COVID numbers among the migrant worker community. At that point in January 2022, 13-14 per cent or approximately 275 workers out of 2000 workers were in quarantine either because they had tested positive for COVID, or were close to those who had. Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr Shankar Nesathurai ordered a pause on more workers arriving. Local politicians and growers were up in arms about the decision, and cited an impending crisis within the Canadian food industry if workers did not arrive. There has not been a single word of condolence from any politician or local leader since the passing of Mr Tyronne Lee Jackson. Their concerns are not about the health and safety of workers, but on the impact to their crops. After Mr Jackson’s death, one would expect immediate and stringent steps to be taken. In fact, the exact opposite occurred and it was perhaps unsurprising given the local context. Without consultations, or input from the community the chief medical officer of Ontario released COVID19 Guidance: Workplace and Living Settings for Seasonal International AgricultureWorkers (IAWs). Simply put: the document further imperils farm workers. Mere suggestions rather than mandatory provisions riddle the policy document. In effect, growers have carte blanche over the lives of migrants. This will have significant and deadly consequences as there will be no safeguards to protect workers from the spread of COVID or any other infectious hazards during this current pandemic. In addition, testing requirements to protect workers have been contracted out to private entities, which brings forth questions regarding privacy, transparency and accountability. In a country that praises itself for its high quality universal healthcare system, migrants are not being provided with the care they rightly deserve. The agricultural industry, as well as each level of government, has had well over two years to ensure that proactive measures would be developed, implemented and enacted to protect the health and well-being of incoming workers. Workers nor their families should not face the consequence because of the inactions of Canadian growers, bureaucrats or politicians. This is not an error, nor is this incompetence. It’s by design. While families and communities across the Caribbean suffer in silence, the Canadian agricultural system does not miss a beat. It keeps churning and producing without repercussions. It’s time to end this vicious cycle of violence and ensure the Jackson family and all those affected by the cruel nature of managedmigration are provided answers so the healing process can truly begin. 2 1965: AUSTRALIA bowled out the West Indies for 239 runs in just over four hours and then scored 32 without loss in 45 minutes on the opening day of the first Test match at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. 1966: Queen Elizabeth arrived in Jamaica for a four-day visit accompanied by HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. It was a bright, full day from sunrise offshore, when the Queen’s Yacht, the Britannia, is escorted into Kingston Harbour by a colourful flotilla of local small craft until near midnight under the scintillating fairy lights on the grounds of King’s House, where the official reception is held. 1977: Mobilising unemployed urban youth to grasp the employment opportunities likely to be created in rural areas is identified as one of the major problems the country will face in its drive to increase production. Accordingly to University of theWest Indies economist, Dr. George Beckford, there were over 120,000 acres of land in the country lying idle. This Day In Our Past: March 3 1966: Queen Elizabeth being presented with a corsage of rare orchids by Marcia Johnson, daughter of the Supt. of the St. Catherine Fire Brigade, at the civic reception for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Spanish Town on March 3. Other from left are the Governor-General, Sir Clifford Campbell, Mayor of Spanish Town, Councillor A.U. King and the Duke. FILE ‘It’s time to end this vicious cycle of violence’ THE MONTHLY GLEANER | MARCH 3 - APRIL 2, 2022 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | NEWS WASHINGTON, DC: ONE OF Jamaica’s highways is to be named in honour of civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, renowned singer and actor of Jamaican parentage. So says Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness in a message to mark Belafonte’s 95th birthday anniversary on March 1. “AS we celebrate with Harry Belafonte, his 95 years, the Government and people of Jamaica … in this our 60th year of Independence … will name one of our highways after our titan, in his honour and in recognition of the long road to freedom Harry Belafonte has traversed on behalf of our people,” the prime minister said. He pointed out that Belafonte “is an icon whose pristine voice, soaring melodies, and music on the global stage magically matched the rhythm and power of his stride in the march for equal rights, justice, and empowerment”. In saluting his 95 years, the prime minister said, “Harry Belafonte’s fierce defence of the dignity and integrity of our people has inspired us to make our own commitment to the struggle towards the fuller, mental freedom asserted by Garvey.” Referring to Belafonte as a humanitarian and an activist, “We celebrate his unflinching political stance for the upliftment and fulfilment of the promise and power of the lives of the black race. Throughout, his has been a constant voice against racial prejudice not only in the United States of America, but in South Africa and anywhere in the world that injustice reared its ugly head,” he declared. Prime Minister Holness added that over the years, Belafonte “decried colonial oppression and has given a life of service to the campaign for the elimination of chronic poverty and disease, under-education, and economic hardships. Harry Belafonte is the name forever affectionately associated with uniting artists, philanthropists, and businessmen in the cause for African redemption, one such being the intersection of arts and politics in the still-remembered USA for Africa.” The prime minister added that “Harry Belafonte has walked with kings and presidents yet has never lost the common touch. From Jamaica to Rwanda to Kenya to Senegal, he has given voice to the voiceless, and hope to the downtrodden, appearing in a tonality and sincerity born out of the natural harmony of his artistic foundation, and vocation for transformation of the planet we occupy. “Born in Harlem, New York, to Jamaican parents, Belafonte experienced the spiritual reawakening inspired by the poets of the Harlem Renaissance, like our own Claude McKay, and the grit and acumen of the Jamaican ethos. Additionally, Belafonte’s time in a culturally rich and politically and historically potent Jamaica, together with his association with his mentor Paul Robeson and his spiritual backbone Martin Luther King Jr, propelled him courageously forward,” Prime Minister Holness concluded. Ja to name highway in honour of Harry Belafonte Phyllis Barnes email@example.com NEW YORK Christopher Barnes - Manager (Interim) firstname.lastname@example.org Normadelle Rose - Office Supervisor email@example.com 92-05 172nd Street, Jamaica, NY 11433, 718-657-0788 Aubrey Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org 2 NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED THE WEEKLY GLEANER | FEBRUARY 3 - 28, 2022 | www.jam ica-gleaner.com | NEWS Phyllis Barnes email@example.com NEW YORK Garfield Grandison - Manager firstname.lastname@example.org Normadelle Rose - Office Supervisor email@example.com 92-05 172nd Street, Jamaica, NY 11433, 718-657-0788 Aubrey Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org
THE MONTHLY GLEANER | MARCH 3 - APRIL 2, 2022 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | NEWS 3 Responsibilities: • Provide leadership to the Prep. School Team • Must be familiar with trends in learning and teaching including the use of technology • Academic, administrative and financial operations • Launch new initiatives and align the school with 21st century educational standards • Manage active and effective communication with students, parents and staff • Serve as a member of the Senior Management Team Qualifications and Experience: • MBA/ M. Ed. or equivalent from a recognized University • A minimum of 10 years experience in academics and administration with a proven record of leadership • Well versed in modern techniques of education and psychology Requirements: • Excellent interpersonal skills • Excellent writing and analytical skills • Understanding of the local and international educational landscape • Ability to adapt to a changing environment and handle multiple priorities • A passion for Learning for Living Invites applications from qualified, dynamic, pro-active, innovative and result-oriented candidates for the position of: HILLEL ACADEMY PRINCIPAL PREPARATORY SCHOOL How to Apply: Interested applicants should send a cover letter and their curriculum vitae, which must include three (3) references , via email to email@example.com by no later than March 6, 2022. Sophia FindlayGleaner Writer TORONTO: S EVERAL LEADERS in Ottawa’s black community are adamant that Police Chief Peter Sloly was ‘sabotaged’ and made a ‘scapegoat’ of the recent truckers’demonstration, and are hoping for the full truth from any subsequent enquiry. JAMAICA-BORN SLOLY became the first black person to head the Ottawa Police Service in 2019. He resigned from that post mid-February amid criticism of his handling of the ongoing trucker protest in Ottawa, which held the city under siege for 19 days, and caused major traffic and other disruptions to Ottawa’s downtown area. According to a release from the service, Sloly and the Ottawa Police Service’s board mutually consented to parting ways on February 15. The city is still searching for a replacement. Ewart Walters, a prominent member of Ottawa’s black community who was instrumental in bringing Sloly to Ottawa fromToronto, is, however, crying foul. Walters insists that while Sloly said he resigned, it was a firing. “He was confronted and given the remaining two and a half years of his contract money and kicked out. The person who did the kicking, the board chair, Diane Deans, then suffered the same fate as the city council kicked her out, especially after she had arranged a secret, sole-sourced hiring of another chief. He has now withdrawn from his contract,” he stated. In an earlier interviewwith CBC news, Walters remarked that “it means that we have lost the opportunity to bring in a critical mass of black officers, which was part of what was proposed… [and] the kind of complaints that black people have been making about relations with police are likely to continue”. Sloly’s role as police chief was intended to tackle systemic racism, improve its response to mental health calls, and rebuild trust with the city’s black community Walters said the job posting for which Sloly applied was designed through a dialogue between the police board and members of the black community over some months. Chuk Lafors, 50, a web developer, told The Gleaner he thinks the top cop was a scapegoat for the fiasco of the convoy demonstration. Although not racially motivated, but because it was under his watch, someone had to take the fall, he explained. “What power did he have? Was the help he needed from other provincial police, such as OPP and the RCMP, forthcoming?” he asked. “These truckers were heavily funded by external politicians internationally.” Anthony Josephs, publisher of the Toronto-based Caribbean Camera, a biweekly black newspaper, says Sloly “unfortunately got a job to command a predominantly white organisation”. He believes the protest brought up the deep-seated resentment they had for having a black leader. “They took that opportunity to throw himunder the truck, in this case. “It’s a lost opportunity for Ottawa because Sloly is a brilliant leader. They had to get new and special laws to move the protesters along, because this has never happened anywhere else in the world,” Josephs said. He also pointed out that the Ottawa police were outnumbered and outmanned, because of the magnitude of the chaos the protesters created and were able to keep going for 21 days. “So, in essence, Sloly’s arms were tied. Other police forces, such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Toronto Police, Ontario Provincial Police, and Quebec, eventually had to be called in to dismantle the mayhem.” Others, like community activist and advocate Valarie Steele, suggest that an even wider network worked against the former chief. She says once Sloly resigned, it was evident to her that there were much more hidden facts happening behind the scenes than the public knew about - and which would come out eventually. She expressed gratitude for his tenacity and the legacy he leaves behind. “Thank you, Mr Sloly, for your years of service to Ontario and Canada, we deeply appreciate your service. It is unfortunate that the demonstration in Ottawa turned out to be an occupation, and while there are lots of finger-pointing done, who would have thought that this could have happened in our nation’s capital?” she said. “We are fully aware of the ugly aunts and uncles in the United States; but now we are sure we also have them in Canada. “This is really an ugly mark on Canada, and I hope everyone is paying close attention to the different groups that made up the truckers’ demonstration. “However, what happened in Ottawa helped cities like Toronto, Regina, and Quebec City to pre-empt another occupation and from keeping the ugly aunts and uncles from getting close to the legislative building.” Steele concluded: “I hope the enquiry that must take place in this debacle sheds more light into this. There is much more. It is too bad that Peter Sloly is the fall guy.” Black community cries foul over Ottawa’s police chief’s resignation - Says Sloly was sabotaged, made fall guy SLOLY
THE MONTHLY GLEANER | MARCH 3 - APRIL 2, 2022 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | NEWS 4 Lester Hinds/Gleaner Writer NEW YORK: Dr Karen R. Green, a vice-chair of the Florida Democratic Party, will be running for a seat in congress as of the next election circuit. Green, one of the highest profiled Jamaican-born women in Florida, says she was encouraged by representatives of a number of organisations, and close advisers. “I believe that I will bring a different perspective to Congress. I have been in the political trenches for many years and have a keen understanding of the needs of the people whom I would serve,” she told The Gleaner. While she has not yet settled on the Congressional District she would seek to represent, Dr Green has already set her campaign machinery in gear. She has in place an exploratory committee, began raising funds and is looking for office space to be her campaign headquarters. Further, she has reached out to the democratic party to secure its backing. She will be filing the necessary papers in the coming days in what is Women’s History Month. In March 2019, she received a commendation in Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 43, in honour of Women’s History Month. “It would be a significant milestone to file in this month because my campaign would be centred around giving voice to women and the less fortunate in the community,” she said. Should Dr Green be successful in the November 2022 mid-term elections, she would become the first Jamaicanborn person to sit in the United States Congress. But she is under no illusion of how difficult winning would be. “Florida is a red state and a difficult state for someone running for Congress for the first time, but I am confident that I would get the support needed to win,” she said. Dr Green is no stranger to the United States political arena, having been involved in a number of high political races, both presidential and congressional. Her political service record includes roles as Pledged PLEO Delegate to the DNC 2020 for President Dr Karen R. Green to run for congressional seat Dr Karen Green ATLANTA, GA: SOME LUCKY students atWestminster Academy in metro-Atlanta received hands-on experience in Caribbean culture and science thanks to the Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation (CACAF). Students participated in the Foundation’s Cultural Connect programme during a twoweek learningmodule that began on January 8, and concluded on January 20, 2022. The Cultural Connect programme offered students from diverse backgrounds and experiences the chance to immerse themselves in their global community. CACAF leaders partnered with the Westside Parent Avengers Program, an organisation which engages students from the historic Vine City neighbourhood in Atlanta, to join in the fun, free of charge. The culturally rich programme included components such as Caribbean culinary arts, humanities, and marine biology. Students took a field trip to sample delicious Caribbeanmeals from Tassa Roti, a Marietta-based Caribbean American restaurant that served up a heaping side of history to connect students with the flavours and spices of Caribbean cuisine. Students were then given the opportunity to experience glimpses of Caribbean fine arts with a special presentation from MockoJumbie (stilt dancing) performer, AlisonMoolenaar-Foy. The module also opened students’ eyes to the significance of mask wearing and design with a special craft instruction from educator, Sherry Bellille. Bellille is also the founder and executive director of the Westside Parent Avengers. In addition to arts and culture, the CACAF Cultural Connect programme gave students the chance to participate in a virtual marine biology class. Using virtual technology, the students were able to learn about marine life in the Caribbean and how to help care for the oceans that attract millions of visitors to the Caribbean each year. Students were able to ask questions and learn from several professors including Charen Glasgow of Kennesaw State University, Howard Forbes from the University of the Virgin Islands Department of Marine Biology and Molly Perry, a liberal arts educator, also from the University of theVirgin Islands. Chairman of the Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation and US Virgin Islands native, Michael Thomas, believes this programme is one of the most powerful programmes of the foundation because it helps to bridge the gap of cultural understanding. “Immersive cultural experiences have the power to engage students, increase their aptitude for diversity, and allow them to improve their social skills. We believe the programme will allow for a greater impact on students’ability to learn about their global community,” said Thomas. The organisation plans to roll out the programme to more students in local schools, with hopes of replicating the initiative in cities across the country. The Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation’s Cultural Connect programe is supported in part by the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta. CACAF was founded in 2016 by Michael Thomas. Since then, the Foundation has established programmes that support disaster preparedness and response and educational mentorship programme for young people. In addition, the Foundation has been committed to the study, advancement and presentation of Caribbean arts, culture, and humanities. To learn more about the work of the Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation’s Cultural Connect programme or to donate, visit www. caribbeanculturalarts.org. Bridging the cultural gap Caribbean American Cultural Arts offers diversity education Students at Westminster Academy, Atlanta, get a lesson in Caribbean culture through the Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation program. A TASTE OF THE ISLANDS. Atlanta students enjoy lunch at Tassa Roti, Atlanta, as part of their Caribbean cultural orientation with the Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation program. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS MICHAEL THE MENTOR. USV Islander Michael Thomas (left), Chairman of the Caribbean American Cultural Arts Foundation (CACAF, left), with student/participants of the program, on a recent outing. Joe Biden; senior director to the Michael Bloomberg Campaign for President; field director for President Obama’s Presidential election campaigns; coalition director for Hillary Clinton’s Presidential primary and general election campaigns; liaison for Democrats Abroad, political advance to the US Territories, for President Bill Clinton; Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and State lead for Organize for America (OFA).
THE MONTHLY GLEANER | MARCH 3 - APRIL 2, 2022 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | NEWS 5 ATLANTA, GA: T HE CHILDREN of Jamaican parents who moved to the United States and settled in the State of Georgia were recognised by the Elaine Bryan Foundation (EBF), as part of Black History Month celebrations on February 12. Hosted on the Zoom platform and streamed live on Facebook, the event was conceived and implemented by real estate broker, Dr Elaine Bryan, who also represents Jamaica as the honorary consul in Atlanta. “We all know that the elders in our community have been overwhelmingly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether by the virus or by the isolation it has wrought,” said Dr Bryan. “I was compelled to do something to uplift the spirits of the Jamaicans who contributed so much to our heritage, and Black History Month was the ideal time to showcase them and their accomplishments.” This year Dr Bryan held a virtual reunion (Zoom) with the theme “Invest in Jamaica”. The honourees children: Dr Monique Smith, MD, and Natalie Olubuyide, daughters of Basil and Joan Smith, a structural engineer who led the design of Atlanta Olympic Stadium; Dr Noel Erskine, a professor of Theology at Emory University, delivered the prayers; Elizabeth Ritchie, daughter of Errol Ritchie, who retired from IBM as a senior systems analyst; Ariana Elizabeth Grant, great-granddaughter, delivered special greetings and posthumous tributes were accepted by the grandchildren of Elsada Miriam Duncan, an evangelist and clothing designer who passed away in 2019 at age 111; and grandson James Bell of Denzil Dixon, an AJA co- founder who died in 2020. About 160 viewers tuned into the two-hour Zoombroadcast with 990 on Facebook Live, which included remarks from Senator Leslie Campbell, minister of state in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Georgia State representative Derrick Jackson; Courtney Campbell, Victoria Mutual president & CEO; and Donna-Marie Rowe, Jamaica Information Service (JIS) CEO; The Asha Jackson, chief judge of the Superior Court in Dekalb & Henry County, a third generation Jamaican. The evening’s sponsors were: The Atlanta Hawks, Victoria Mutual Group, Jamaica Tourist Board, Elaine Bryan Realty, Layne Law Group, Elaine Bryan Foundation, Westside Gastroenterology, MD Consulting, Jamaicans & Partners of Georgia (JAPOG) including IT director, Gregory Scott Vernon Bryan. As a result of the positive response of attendees and honourees, Dr Bryan said the Jamaican Pioneers celebration will become an annual event. “Many persons told me they had no idea that Jamaicans had been in Georgia so long and had made significant contributions in somany different fields. We need to keep highlighting our Jamaican pioneers after the pandemic ceases.” It was also noted that for the 2021 Event, the recording of the programmes have already been viewed 75,000 times. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WfVXZkVLhw77cdX8JDa-YWP0HXAcWxVA/ view?usp=sharing. For the 2022 Event; persons can see it here;https://fb.watch/bmzo8OVOln/ www.JamaicanConsulateAtlanta.org Georgia’s Jamaican pioneers hailed - Seniors and their children honoured in Black History Month 2022 event Jamaica’s Honorary Consul in Atlanta, Dr. Elaine Grant - Bryan (left), presents a citation to Norma Denton (center), daughter of pioneer Elsada Miriam Duncan and Mrs. Carol Ann DentonFitzpatrick (right), granddaughter of pioneer Elsada Miriam Duncan, at Black History Month celebrations honoring pioneering Jamaicans of Atlanta, Georgia, on February 12. CONTRIBUTED
THE MONTHLY GLEANER | MARCH 3 - APRIL 2, 2022 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | NEWS 6 TORONTO: J AMAICA-BORN BLACK entertainment trailblazer Denise Jones will be posthumously awarded the 2022Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award as part of this year’s annual JUNO Awards festivities. The announcement was made by The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). Jones, who passed away inDecember 2020 after being diagnosed with brain cancer, spent a lifetime championing Afro-Caribbean culture in Canada and around the world through her company, Jones & Jones Productions. She also established the internationally renowned JAMBANA OneWorld Festival, and was the founding chair of the reggae category for the JUNO Awards. TheWalt Grealis Special Achievement Award recognises individuals whose work has significantlyimpacted the growth and development of the Canadian music industry. Named after legendary Canadian publisher and co-founder of the JUNO Awards, this year’s award will be handed over at the JUNO Opening Night Awards, presented by Ontario Creates on Saturday, May 14, and streamed live on CBC Gem, and globally at cbcmusic.ca/junos. Throughout her career, Jones received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban Music Association of Canada, the Bob Marley Memorial Award for her work in entertainment, a Government of Ontario Community Service Award, a Ministry of Citizenship Ontario Government Award, an African Canadian Achievement Award, and a Harry Jerome Award for Excellence in Entertainment. She was also named one of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women in 2018. “Growing up around my mother’s presence made me believe that things are possible. I saw her achieving and realising, every single day. I am forever grateful for that, because I think that’s the most important thing you can give somebody, hope and belief in themselves. Mom did this for us at home and as she passed away, I also came to realise she was doing that for a lot of other people, too. She created a pathway for myself and many others in this country to follow, and we’re committed to keeping that energy, that fire and legacy alive for generations to come,” said Jesse Jones. “Denise Jones will forever be an important and respected figure in the Canadian entertainment industry,”said Allan Reid, president & CEO, CARAS/The JUNO Awards. “She leaves behind an inspiring legacy, and we are honoured to recognise her devotion to championing black culture and artistes throughout her career.” Jones emigrated to Canada from Portland, Jamaica, in the 1980s and earned her BA in communications and theatre from the University ofWindsor. She went on to serve as a theatre critic/ arts reporter for CBC Radio in Sudbury, then as an executive director for the Peel Multicultural Council, where she later resided. Jones’ roots in entertainment, along with her passion for championing under-represented art forms and artists, inspired her to create Jones & Jones Productions with her husband Allan Jones in 1987. Among her many accomplishments, Jones established the second-largest Afrocentric cultural event in Canada, JAMBANA OneWorld Festival, which, at its height, drew over 45,000 attendees. It was named one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals in 2015. Denise Jones’ renowned accomplishments have been recognised far and wide, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling her “an incredible advocate for Caribbean arts and culture [who] contributed so much to our country”. The 51st Annual JUNO Awards and JUNO Week will be hosted in Toronto from Monday, May 9, through to Sunday May 15, culminating in The JUNO Awards Broadcast, produced by Insight Productions, at Budweiser Stage, live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen, and globally on CBCMusic.ca/junos. ‘She leaves behind an inspiring legacy’ Late Denise Jones named for 2022Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award JONES Lester Hinds/Gleaner Writer AFTER SOME 20 years in the making, the Caribbean marketplace – Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace – where vendors can be housed is finally a reality. Located on Caton and Flatbush avenues in Brooklyn, New York, the new facility offers: • Caribbean-themed food hall • Upgraded amenities • Expanded space for food vendors • Shared commercial kitchen, bar, and lounge; and • New programming to engage entrepreneurs and the broader community in building connections and celebrating the cultures of Flatbush and Central Brooklyn. Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace is located on the ground floor of Caton Flats, a 14-storey, mixed-use development containing 255 units of 100 per cent affordable housing and over 20,000 square feet of community space in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Flatbush Central’s rebrand was inspired by a desire to fulfil the vision of the market’s founder – Una S.T. Clarke, former New York City council member, who sponsored the market’s creation to build an institution for Caribbean people in Flatbush through the incubation of Caribbean businesses. Through an extensive research and design process that involved discussions with several community stakeholders, including patrons and vendors of the market, a new logo and brand emerged to reflect the diversity of the vibrant Caribbean cultures that influence the market. PERMANENT HOME FOR VENDORS “I am delighted to see my vision fulfilled, that vendors and entrepreneurs from our community now have a permanent home which gives both pride and dignity to those who struggled for existence and recognition,” Clarke said. “The name of the new site – Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace – is fitting because it acknowledges the contribution that Caribbean nationals have made to Flatbush and East Flatbush. I have long dreamt of and supported the aspirations of the Caribbean people. As a civil rights leader at the forefront of the community for more than four decades, building long-standing institutions rather than promoting temporary programmes in our community is of the utmost importance. Because institutions last while programmes come and go,” she said. “Flatbush Central Caribbean Market is an embodiment of NewYork City’s small business recovery,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Rachel Loeb. “We are excited to open the doors to this market whose resilient vendors celebrate the rich Caribbean culture of this area of Brooklyn. We are proud to have worked with our development partners to deliver a project that will strengthen the Caribbean and Brooklyn communities for generations to come.” “The Flatbush market has served as a cultural hub for the Caribbean community for more than 20 years and the opening of the new Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace continues with that tradition, while also bolstering resources and opportunities for local small businesses, which will also provide 255 affordable homes to New Yorkers from a range of incomes,” said Housing Development Corporation President Eric Enderlin. More than just a shopping destination, Flatbush Central represents a central place where Caribbean culture and diaspora traditions are expressed in a shared space through commerce, food, events, myriad arts, and more. The market features a variety of small businesses that operate year round. Additionally, the market will introduce its Mangrove accelerator – an economic mobility platform and incubator programme whose goal is to spur community wealth opportunities – to the site to promote the growth of new and existing small local businesses. The Mangrove at Flatbush Central will offer access to state-of-theart shared food and culinary, natural body care and cosmetics, newmedia and textile production facilities, specifically targeting black, indigenous, and people of colour entrepreneurs to support the growth of their businesses. The Mangrove will provide direct, industry-specific technical assistance, access to capital, cohort-based business curriculum for informal and emerging businesses, respectively, as well as facilitate partnerships with larger corporate entities and institutions for business-to-business opportunities. “Small, local vendors like the ones returning to Flatbush Central are part of what makes Brooklyn so unique,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “I’m excited to see them in a new, permanent home that celebrates Caribbean culture and will also have incubator space to support new small businesses. I can’t wait to go and try some doubles and roti!” A BEACON OF CULTURE “The distinctly Caribbean character of Flatbush is one of the many reasons I’m so proud to represent the neighbourhood in the council,” said council member Rita Joseph. “The Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace will be a beacon of culture in Central Brooklyn for both Caribbean and non-Caribbean, and I’m thankful for all the leaders who made the opening possible.” “The new Flatbush Central Market will at once serve as a vital hub for Caribbean commerce within the community, and as a first-rate retail destination attracting visitors and locals alike,” says James Johnson-Piett, principal and CEO of Urbane. “For over two decades, the market has served as a cultural and commercial anchor in the neighbourhood. “The opening of the Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace is a victory that our entire community can rejoice in,” said Assembly member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. “The new amenities, and Mangrove accelerator, give us hope for renewed prosperity and socio-economic growth in our area. This project also promises to uplift those who suffered the most from the wrath of the pandemic – black small business owners. As chair of the New York State subcommittee on Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises, I applaud this opening, and encourage NewYorkers to come explore and experience the rich culture our neighbourhood has to offer.” “More than 20 years ago, my mother, former NYC council member Una Clarke founded a marketplace for Brooklyn’s Caribbean community on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Caton Avenue. The Flatbush Caton Market soon burgeoned into a hub where a host of Caribbean, West African and South American vendors gathered to share culture and sell their goods. Today, what started out as a small gathering on blankets and in tents has become an invaluable resource for all of New York, especially the Caribbean community. And my mother’s legacy to this proud and historic moment certainly makes her the cornerstone of this new foundation. Beyond her tireless work to improve our Brooklyn community and help grow local businesses, my mother helped countless others establish roots in their new country, and Flatbush CatonMarket is a testimony to this work,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. Caribbean marketplace opens in NY 20-year dream comes true Flatbush Central Caribbean Marketplace. CONTRIBUTED
7 TD READY COMMITMENT Black History Month is a time to remember, recognize, and re lect. It’s more than just acknowledging inequity and injustice. It’s about adding our eorts to the Black Excellence around us. At TD, we support opportunities that help further inspire, amplify and elevate Black communities. Let’s walk the walk. Learn more at td.com/walkthewalk Let’s walk the walk. ChinemeremChigbo TD Scholarship for Community Leadership Recipient Lanise Herman-Thomas and Janine Smalls-Gaeye Veganhood Camesia Smith TD Regional Manager, Black Community Business Development T:10" T:15" THE WEEKLY GLEANER | MARCH 3 - APRIL 2, 2022 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | ADVERTISEMENT
TORONTO: A JAMAICAN University of Toronto (U of T) Scarborough alumna is collaborating with the university to help launch at least 100 Black-owned start-ups by 2025. Melisa Ellis, founder of the nonprofit social and technology enterprise Nobellum, says she knows first hand what it is like to be the only black person working at a tech company. Her mission is to empower under-represented students in entrepreneurship and STEM, and to uplift the black business community at large. “When you’re in the market to hire black talent, or give business to black vendors, you realise there aren’t enough black entrepreneurs and professionals working in the tech space today. This is why we are partnering with U of T: to build an ecosystem of support and funding for black students who are just getting started in the business world.” Over the next five years, Nobellum will collaborate with U of T Scarborough’s campus-linked accelerators The BRIDGE and The Hub – together with the Black Founders Network and the broader University of Toronto Entrepreneurship community – to deliver training, mentorship, and incubation programmes for aspiring entrepreneurs across U of T who identify as Black. Nobellum has pledged CAD$60,000 to create an accelerator fund, which will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the University of Toronto’s True Blue Fund, for a total investment of CAD$120,000 to help participants advance their business ideas and future-proof their careers. Ellis, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in St Catherine until she immigrated to Canada at the age of 6, was an advocate for the black community from a young age. She is an engineer, founder, coauthor and national scholar of Canada’s prestigious Millennium Scholarship Foundation. Ellis also received a scholarship from the Jamaican Canadian Association. After graduating fromuniversity with a Bachelor of Arts, she pursued project management at Humber College and later pivoted to software engineering when she discovered the world of information technology. Her entrepreneurial spirit was ignited when she discovered multilevel marketing in university; it opened her eyes to the possibility of business ownership and e-commerce. The goal is not only to equip black students with transferable skills and knowledge, but also to forge and amplify pathways towards a more diverse and inclusive tech industry for black entrepreneurs nationwide, says Malcolm Wright, a fellow U of T Scarborough graduate and director of operations at Nobellum. The journey to founding Nobellum began at U of T Scarborough where she also worked and volunteered in many capacities on campus. Ellis says the holistic U of T experience taught her valuable transferable skills in project coordination, communication, and leadership – all of which buoyed her confidence to pivot and pursue software engineering after graduation. “I was beginning to see that it doesn’t matter what industry you go into: tech is coming. Whether you’re in law, accounting, you name it. Managers will be asking, ‘How good are you with databases? How good are you with SQL?’ By adding tech to your skill set, you’re training to become a leader across different departments. You can become the unicorn in the room,” Ellis said. Beginning in spring 2022, Nobellum’s InnovathonWorkshop series, delivered in partnership with U of T Scarborough for students in any academic programme and year of study who identify as black, will equip participants with foundational training in business, technology, and entrepreneurship led by U of T faculty and diverse business leaders. Students will go on to compete in the Innovation Pitch Competition, “a remix version of a hackathon”, as Ellis describes it, where successful teams exit the competition with an action plan, and with seed funding from the NobellumTrue Blue Accelerator Fund, to help them transform their idea into an actual business. This kicks off a year-long incubation period known as the Innovator Bridging Program, which provides students with unprecedented access to mentorship and resources within the tri-campus U of T Entrepreneurship network as well as through the Nobel Hub: Nobellum’s online directory of essential business service providers (e.g., legal, tech, marketing, accounting, etc.) from the black community. MARCH 3 - APRIL 2, 2022 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com 9 Aubrey Campbell/Gleaner Writer NEW YORK, NY: BETTINO’S RESTAURANT, the trendy Italian eatery on the Drax Hall Estate, just outside Ocho Rios, St Ann, provided the perfect backdrop for the exchange of nuptials between Joanne (Movery) and Emmet Boland on January 30. IN FRONT of a small, intimate gathering of family and friends from Jamaica and the USA, the bride, a former customer service representative/Chase Bank – NYC, now assistant catering manager/Sheila’s Homemade Pastries, and groom, an agriculturalist and digital marketing consultant, wasted little time in saying ‘I do’ under the very watchful eye of pastor Maurice Bramwell, who would later pronounce them, man and wife! Lifelong friends fromprimary school, they reignited acquaintance in 2018 when Joanne relocated fromNewYork City to help with the family business, prompting a very candid response from the groom that youthful exuberance may have caused him to miss or otherwise ignore the writings of Cupid on the wall, back then. For the occasion, the bride wore a burgundy, floor length dress from JJ’s House, while the groom donned a complementing, light brown, threepiece suit by Wulful, with a burgundy bow tie and matching pocket piece. The wedding included a sand ceremony in which the bridal party took turn, pouring coloured sand from individual containers into one larger container, signifying the irretrievable blending and bond that will now characterise the union of Joanne and Emmet Boland, going forward. After dining on sumptuous servings of Cajun Chicken Pasta and Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon, the newly-weds said their ‘thank you’ and goodbyes with the promise to live every moment, laugh every day and love – each other – beyond words! - Photos courtesy of Trudy Morrison J’can advances Black excellence in entrepreneurship and tech Melisa Ellis, founder of the non-profit social and technology enterprise Nobellum. CONTRIBUTED Childhood friends Joanne & Emmet tie the knot PARTY OF FOUR. From left; Maid of Honour, Ameryia Thomas-Campbell; Bride, Joanne Movery; Groom, Emmet Boland and Best Man, Dean Dormer. CONTRIBUTED
10 THE WEEKLY GLEANER | MARCH 3 - APRIL 2, 2022 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | ENTERTAINMENT NEW YORK, NY: A KALEIDOSCOPE of colors, accentuated by the pulsating beat of reggae was on full display during NYC Fashion Week, at Manhattan’s Sony Hall, in mid-February. In honoring Reggae (Music) Month and African Heritage (Black History) Month, VP Records Distributors brought its colorful clothing line and music catalogue to Runway7, to the delight of influential fashionistas, for the very first time in its storied 60-year history. With class and control, the models graced the runway with colors that predominantly represent the soul of the (Reggae) music and from the audience response, the presentation was a Top 10 hit! According to one knowledgeable insider, Pat Chin, the 86-year-old matriarch of VP Records, was extremely excited at the response to the RiddimDriven clothing line on show. - Leonard McKenzie photos. Riddim Driven Clothes on Di Runway! Models of the Riddim Clothing line. CONTRIBUTED Models of the Riddim Clothing line. KASHEDANCE, A company founded by Jamaican Kevin A. Ormsby, celebrates its 13th anniversary, with ‘Re:Imaginings: Celebration of Time An’ Movement’, an innovative new interactive ‘docu-formance’. Taking place at the Citadel + Compagnie in downtownToronto from March 3 to 6, it will be an in-person as well as virtual event. Each night, a pre-show event commences at 7:15, and is followed by the performance start time at 8 p.m. ‘Re:Imaginings’will also be streamed online at the Citadel + Compagnie event page, under “livestream tickets”. Tickets for the in-person performance are $25.00, while admission to the live stream is $4.99. The ‘docu-formance’ invites the audience to celebrate the rich cultural expression of the Caribbean. It is a creative collaboration between artistes – which has been five years in themaking – and boasts two sold-out showcases in 2018. Ormsby, KasheDance’s artistic director and show choreographer, wants ‘Re:Imaginings’ to serve as a testament to the resilience of Caribbean culture in Canada, which is particularly powerful in these unprecedented times. “So what if you hoot, holla, buss laugh, clap yuh han/stamp yuh foot an’ have a good time? Re:Imaginings will enlighten audiences about the deep historical impact of the Caribbean experience in Canada. As an interactive show, our in-person and virtual participants can read about, and feel the interconnections between our people and our lands as informed by the heavy influence which the Caribbean has had on the Canadian cultural landscape,” says Ormsby, who is a contributor to the new anthology, 100+ Voices for Miss Lou, published by the UWI Press. In an interviewwith Dr Lisa Tomlinson in it, he talks about Miss Lou’s television show, ‘Ring Ding’, providing his first “set of artistic experiences and interaction” with folk culture in Jamaica. Inspired by the fullness of Caribbean impact on Canada, which dates back to 1796, ‘Re:Imaginings’ questions the connections of time, place and movement to BPM (beats per minute) used to recognise sounds, resonance and syncopation in music. Instigated by Canada’s 150th celebration, it is a deep inquiry into the nuanced histories of Caribbean Canadians through Caribbean rhythms, celebrations and cultural practices. As part of the preshow exhibition, attendees are invited to peruse a selection of research materials, along with a series of cultural artefacts and physical objects. Each nightly performance begins with a physical land acknowledgement, which highlights Indigeneity to the lands of the Western Hemisphere, of which the Caribbean archipelago is a part. ‘Re:Imaginings’ is formed by abstracts from the French, Spanish, and English influences of the Caribbean, and uses this history to shape experiences through music. The show is approximately 1 hour 30 minutes in length. To enhance audience engagement, the production is highlighted by research footage from the Caribbean, along with photographs depicting Caribbean life and demonstrations of various Caribbean cultural ritual and ceremonial practices. The dancers – Cheryl Chan, Jillia Cato, Elina Valtonen, Benjamin Russell, Orin T. McRey, Nataliya Zlotnikov and Kevin A. Ormsby – will be complemented by five musicians. The dramaturge is Allison Cummings and the concept for ‘Re:Imaginings’ was developed by Ronald A. Taylor, Arsenio Andrade and the artistes. KasheDance is an Afro-Caribbean dance company echoing in a new genealogy of Afro-contemporary dance steeped in modern dance, ballet, and rooted in dance of the diaspora. The company has performed to critical acclaim in Canada and internationally. Dance company celebrates the Caribbean Experience in Canada Photo Credit Stuart Reeves - KasheDance. STUART REEVES
Steve Higgins/Contributor FLORIDA: F EBRUARY 2022 came to a climatic and exciting end on Monday, February 28, in Miramar, Florida, as Jamaica’s international performing arts troupe ASHE brought the house down with an exciting performance for Black History Month. ASHE’s energetic and poignant portrayal of Marcus Garvey in their musical theatre presentation brought home the theme ‘Garvey & Reggae’ and was well received by the full house at the Miramar Cultural Center. The troupe flew into Florida for the celebration put on by Miramar City Commissioner Max Chambers, under the patronage of Jamaica’s Consul General Oliver Mair. “We are so delighted to have ASHE as guests of Miramar for this celebration,” said Commissioner Chambers. This celebration was organised by the legislative aide to the commissioner, Sharon Christie. Also performing were crooner Bunny Rose, and reggae artiste Anthony B, who had the throng of attendees singing along with him as he showcased his signature dance moves. Awards were given to artistes, activists and advocates who have excelled in the South Florida community, including widow of Marcus Garvey Jnr, Jean Garvey; Geoff Philp; Jabulani; former Broward County Mayor Dale Holness; Michael Dawson; Ky-Mani Marley; Anthony B; Norman ‘Humble Lion’ Lawrence; Priest Douglas Smith ; and artist Andy Ballentine. This was the final in a series of Black History Month events presented in South Florida. AFRO CARIB FESTIVAL Miramar was also host to the AFRO CARIB Festival on Saturday night, which welcomed over 3,000 patrons dancing and singing to the pulsating rhythms of Protoje, Afro B and EIX. On the preceding Thursday night, the city of Miramar also welcomed icons, including Bob Marley’s widow, Rita Marley, and the Marley family, as they presented the‘Black History Meets Reggae Icon Awards ‘22’. The city honoured international reggae band Inner Circle; legendary radio host Clinton Lindsay; former Commissioner and Mayor of Broward County Dale Holness, who received the Marcus Garvey Award. The new Jamaica 60th Legacy Award was given posthumously to the Honourable Robert Nesta Marley. Rita Marley received a proclamation from the City, naming February 24 2022, Rita Marley Day. The Jamaica 60th Legacy Award was received by Cedella Marley, while the proclamation was received by Rita Marley’s grandsons and will be on display at the BobMarley Museum on Hope Road, Kingston. Skip Marley gave a compelling performance of his grandfather’s iconic Redemption Song to a full house of adoring fans, while Sharon Marley and WesRock sang for the awards function. The emcees were Norman Hemming III and Julie ‘Mango’ Bodley, social media ambassador. This function was presented under the auspices of Commissioner Alexandra Davis, with support from the Jamaican Consulate in Miami and Top Klass Entertainment International. February 2022 will go down as a redefinition of Black History Month in South Florida, with a multiplicity of top acts, Reggae Month events, and ongoing recognition of our community and key cultural figures. A constant theme throughout Black History Month 2022 was the recognition and celebration of Marcus Garvey’s legacy and teachings, and the petition for his full exoneration by the US government. 11 MIRAMAR REDEFINES BLACK HISTORY MONTH! Recipients of the Marcus Garvey R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Awards along with Consul General Oliver Mair. ASHE in their Musical Theater Presentation: Excerpts from “Garvey -The Musical”. THE WEEKLY GLEANER | MARCH 3 - APRIL 2, 2022 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | NEWS Jean Garvey, widow of Marcus Garvey Jnr. receives her award. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS Miramar’s mayor- Wayne Messam, commissioner Alexandra Davis and commissioner Yvette Colbourne present the RITA MARLEY DAY Proclamation.