Your Passport to the Caribbean American Community
Muslims celebrate end of Ramadan with Eid Al-Fitr housands of Muslims in Florida on Thursday, August 8th, celebrated Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan — In Central Florida more than an estimated 5,000 gathered for prayers, food and family festivities at Fort Mellon Park in Sanford and at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. “We should remember the lessons of this month and not forget them when the month is over,” said Mizra, dean of faculty at Zaytuna College in Berkeley, Calif. “We don’t worship the month; we worship God. This month is not an end, but a means, of bringing us closer to him.” Eid marks the end of the month of fasting, which the Muslim community celebrated with plates of traditional foods. James Chowbhury said the fasting of Ramadan helped him control his appetite, which he hopes to continue in the coming year. In this way, the end of Ramadan is like New Year’s Day and all those resolutions made and not yet broken. “I hope I can carry this on, maybe not for a year, but at least six months,” said Chowbhury, 37, of Sanford. Fasting, which includes no food or water from sunrise to sunset, is just one aspect of Ramadan, which encourages restraint from all of life’s indulgences, including Facebook and Twitter, said Tahreer Maswadi, 24, of Apopka. “It’s not just fasting. It’s mostly
— Continued on page 10 —
Caribbean American Passport now covers the Entire State of Florida! Join our growing list of distribution locations and get listed on our distribution list for FREE! Copies will be delivered to your location monthly! See page 3 for more details.
President of Haiti visits Florida for NAACP Convention he President of the Republic of Haiti, His Excellency Michel Joseph Martelly, the First Lady Sophia Martelly and Members of His Cabinet arrived in Orlando Florida on July 13, 2013 to take part of the 104th NAACP National Convention. The delegation was received at the airport by the Haitian Ambassador to the United States Mr. Paul Altidor, the Chief of Mission of the Consulate of Haiti, Consul Laurent Prosper, District 6 Commisioner Samuel B. Ings, District 5 Commissioner Daisy W. Ly-
President Martelly receives a key to the City of Orlando from Mayor Buddy Dyer.
Continued on page 13
The Jamaican American Association of Central Florida celebrates Jamaica’s 51st! The local Association also realizes their dream of purchasing a building On left: Sheriff Jerry L. Demings receives the Community Service Award. He is the first African-American Sheriff and Constitutional Officer in the history of Orange County, Florida and prior to that was the first African-American Chief of Police in the history of Orlando.
Continued on page 15
Continued on page ??
L I F E S T Y L E ell we’re at the last few days of summer vacation, and for those with kids, it’s time to get back into the routine of school. This year was the first time that I took an entire month off from events and i also decided to slowly launch myself back into August by having an event free month. It was a wonderful break and really reinforced the realization that we need to rest in order to recharge, think and plan as well as give thanks for what we have and to have create time to figure out what else we may need. July is the kind of month for that kind of break as it’s perfectly in the middle of the year, so when I start the latter part of the year, I do so like I start January with a new slate and with resolutions. I look at my plans that I made for the year and assess how they are proceeding so that I can tweak or change them to ensure that at the end of the year i’m close to the goals that I set. This break was also a wonderful time to reconnect with my family, take time to actually enjoy long moments with my children instead of snatched moments between our busy lives that herald the other seasons. My two favorite times of the year are December and July and I realized it’s because I slow down and focus on family. Sometimes as we’re hurtling through life intent on building our businesses, careers we don’t stop to consider what really makes us happy. But during December and
ubscribe to Caribbean American Passport News Magazine today. Get the news delivered directly to your door each month! For a limited time we are offering a one year subscription to CAP News Magazine at $25.00. This will also provide you with discounted admission to events, coupons for shopping at your favorite stores as well as updates on caribbean events coming up in our community. This school year give the gift of a subscription to CAP NewsMagazine to someone and we will personalize a card to them from you in that gift package. Name ______________________________________ Date ___________ St. Address __________________________________________________ State _____ City _____________________________ Zip _______ ______ Phone ___________________ Email ______________________________ Signature ____________________________________________________
Please mail this subsciption with your check or money order to: Caribbean American Passport News Magazine 1230 Hillcrest Street, Suite 101 • Orlando, FL 32803 407-427-1800 ! Yes this is a gift subscription from: _____________________________________________________
Guenet Gittens-Roberts, Publisher/Editor
July, instead of flying down the road and concentrating singularly on the road, slow down, look around and enjoy the drive...feel the sun on your face, smell the roses and take a moment to appreciate the lovely road you’re on. It’s the perfect time to actually see if you want to be on that road...but if you don’t slow down to look around, you can’t see the possibilities as you’re flying past them all too quickly. As we roll into August, we’re pleased to let you know that my amazing business partner and I were able to get another one of our dreams achieved...we’ve expanded production and this issue will be the first that we distribute throughout the State of Florida. It means some changes in terms of content, but we definitely plan to base the newspaper out of Central Florida, but you will see more content from the Caribbean community on a state wide level. So if you’re reading this issue from South Florida, Tampa or Jacksonville and you know of events or people we need to cover...we look forward to hearing from you. As we grow we need your input and support more than ever so please like our page if you are on facebook - www.facebook .com/capnewsmagazine. Or subscribe to our free weekly email blast so that you can be kept updated between issues by going to our new website at www.caribbean americanpassport. com. We also ask that you subscribe and advertise so that you can continue to support the growth of the newspaper in your community. We look forward to learning more about the Caribbean American Community as we grow into your areas.
Distribution Points - we want to highlight your business on our website and on our social media pages. Please contact us to register your business as a monthly distribution point and get additional exposure for FREE! *WE'RE HIRING! CONTACT US TODAY!*
GGR Marketing & Public Relations 1230 Hillcrest Street, Suite 101 • Orlando, FL 32803 407-427-1800 • firstname.lastname@example.org For Media Information email: email@example.com Should you desire to review past copies of the publication go to http://www.issuu.com/caribbeanamericanpassport and search for Caribbean American Passport News Magazine. Publisher ........................................................... Guenet Gittens-Roberts Editor ..........................................................................Natasha Solomon Graphic Design & Layout ..................................... Jan Longwell-Smiley Contributing Writers: ................................................... Rosemarie Roth ..................................................................................... Natasha Gittens ........................................................................................ .Karlyn Hylton ............................................................................................ Gail Seeram ........................................................................................ Kamal Abdool . .................................. ................................................... Roger Caldwell ................................................................................ Nouchelle Hastings Contributing Photographers .................................... Tahara Thompson ......................................................................................... Dillia Castillo ..................................................................................... Ronald Williams ....................................................................................... Mark Bannister Distribution.................................................................... Samuel Roberts ....................................................................................... Frank Ambrose Copyright (C) 2013 GGR Marketing & Public Relations. All rights reserved.
Scott Wants Rev. Jackson and Other Protesters to Leave Florida Alone and divide our state at a time when we are striving for unity and healing,” says Governor Scott. Our governor must keep his TV off, because activist around the country are organizing a boycott of the state as a result of the unjust conditions.
By Roger Caldwell
love the SYG law. George had his day in court and won, get over it. Jackson and Sharpton are in it to keep the race issue up. I agree with Bill O’Reilly, on Fox. Should they decide to boycott this state that is fine with me, and as usual, once again the spineless Democrats want more gun control laws, well the law is fine. Don’t commit a crime or attack any one and you will not get shot, see how simple it is. And we do not need outsiders coming to our state and telling us how to run it, don’t like what we do, go home and stay there,” say Florida resident Bob Hudsun. Governor Scott and many Floridians think things are going good and where there are problems, they are being resolved. Our governor believes that he is helping the state heal, and the different national protest leaders around the country should apologize and keep their mouths shut.
At this moment there is a war of words going on with Scott and the Republicans with Rev. Jackson, and our governor is condemning Jackson’s comments as ‘reckless and divisive.” “It is unfortunate that he would come to Florida to insult Floridians
Rev. Jackson has labeled Florida an “apartheid state,” and compared the state’s handling of the Travyon Martin case to the civil rights horrors of the 1960’s in Selma Alabama. Jackson also said the environment in Florida was “toxic” and compared Alabama Governor George Wallace to Governor Scott. Governor Wallace was considered one of the worst racist governors of his time, and Jackson is acknowledging that Governor Scott is following in his steps. In an interview with The Associated Press, where Jackson spent a night with the Dream Defenders at the governor’s office, he went over a list of conditions that made the state “apartheidlike.” Jackson started with our governor’s position on voters’ rights, when he tried to limit access to voting by cutting early voting days. He refused to extend voting hours or add another day, when voters were waiting 6 hours to vote. Jackson also draws attention to the alarming disparities in Florida’s prison population, where Blacks make up 40% of the population, and are only 17% of the state’s residents. He cited another case of Marissa Alexander who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting a bullet in a wall to scare away an abusive husband. The judge would not let this African American woman use the “Stand your Ground law.” It is apparent that justice in the state favors one group over another, and racism is built into the system, and decisions are based on class and race. Rev. Jackson is pointing out the disparities in the state based on its records, and it is time for justice and change in Florida.
Immigration News for Our Community Same-Sex Marriages Eligible for Immigration Benefits What type of immigration benefits can same-sex marriages receive?
By Attorney Gail S. Seeram, Gail@GailLaw.com 1-877-GAIL-LAW @GailSeeram
Fiancé and fiancée visas, immigrant visa petitions (including based on marriage), refugee and asylee derivative status, inadmissibility and waivers of inadmissibility, removability and waiver of removability, cancellation of removal and adjustment of status. Which States allow same-sex marriages that are legally recognized by Immigration?
ame-sex marriages that are valid under State law are eligible to apply and receive immigration benefits. Applicants will still be required to prove to Department of Homeland Security that the marriage is bona fide, meaning good-faith and based on love and not entered into for an immigration benefit.
District of Columbia: Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington
On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case U.S. v. Windsor, that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional as a violation of the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. With this decision, DOMA was removed as an impediment to the recognition of lawful same-sex marriages if the marriage is valid under the laws of the State where it was celebrated. The U.S. Supreme Court decision was re-affirmed in the immigration case Matter of Oleg B. Zeleniak that was reviewed by the Board of Immigration Appeals on July 17, 2013 and concluded that applicants of same-sex marriages are eligible for federal immigration benefits once the marriage is lawful and good-faith.
Yes, you can file the petition. Your eligibility to petition for your spouse, and your spouse’s admissibility as an immigrant at the immigration visa application or adjustment of status stage, will be determined according to applicable immigration law and will not be automatically denied as a result of the samesex nature of your marriage.
The first state to recognize same-sex marriages was Massachusetts in 2004 – the United States has come a long way since 2004 in now recognizing same-sex marriages for purposes of the spouses receiving federal benefits (including immigration benefits).
I am a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in a same-sex marriage to a foreign national. Can I now sponsor my spouse for a family-based immigrant visa?
My spouse and I were married in a U.S. state that recognizes same-sex marriage, but we live in a state that does not. Can I file an immigrant visa petition for my spouse? Yes, you can file the petition. In evaluating the petition, as a general matter, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services will looks to the law of the place where the marriage took place when determining whether it is valid for immigration law purposes. That general rule is subject to some limited exceptions under which federal immigration agencies historically have considered the law of the state of residence in addition to the law of the state of celebration of the marriage.
Find Caribbean Restaurants, Plumbers, Events, Discount Coupons, Deals and Much More!
2013 INDEPENDENCE MESSAGE BY THE MOST HON PORTIA SIMPSON MILLER, MP PRIME MINISTER AUGUST 6, 2013 y fellow Jamaicans, at home and abroad, join me as my heart sings “Give thanks and praises, we are 51”. Fifty-one years is a short time in the life of a nation but as we journey along the path to development we proclaim our theme “Jamaica: Triumphant, Proud and Free.” We are indeed triumphant! Our triumphs shine through the spirit and resolve of Jamaicans who, despite our economic challenges, valiantly press on. As a people we defy the odds. We work hard and we reap successes that astonish the world. We are proud! Proud of our rich historical and cultural heritage as demonstrated by our achievements in sport, culture, international affairs, science, business and industry. We are also proud of our democratic traditions. Yes, we celebrate our independence with pride. We are free! Free to craft a glorious future for ourselves. Independence gave us the freedom to display our talent and abilities and to enjoy the dignity and respect of our national identity. As we celebrate “triumphant, proud and free,” let us not forget the road we travelled to create a more prosperous, productive and peaceful Jamaica. As Jimmy Cliff sang, “We have had many rivers to cross.” Yet, we are a people of courage and resilience, putting forward one foot before the other, confident that the Almighty is guiding our steps. Let us draw on the history of our ancestors — a history of triumph over adversity. We draw on the history and strength of our National Heroes and Heroine — Nanny of the Maroons, Sam Sharpe, Paul Bogle, George William Gordon, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Alexander Bustamante and Norman Washington Manley. They symbolize generations of Jamaicans who fought courageously against slavery, racism, oppression and colonialism. The Right Excellent Norman Washington Manley reminds us that it is right that we should begin by looking back to remember those who laboured in their time and generation to bring forth this new day. In his words, we are “…heirs of a heritage that we should stop and give praise to”. He urged Jamaicans to: “Remember the long hard years of the modern beginning and that it was the little people, the poor, the humble and the seeming weak who first began to blow the still living but small and hidden flame of freedom and blew till it soared like a torch and all the land began to light up around us”. We are on a journey with one mission. As the Right Excellent Sir Alexander Bustamante said: “Independence means the opportunity for us to frame our own destiny and the need to rely on ourselves in doing so. It does not mean a licence to do as we like. It means work and law and order… Let us go forward together into the future with faith, courage and dedication. Let us on this Independence Day resolve always to help those less fortunate among us; let us resolve to work together under the law to build a Jamaica that will last and of which we and generations to follow may be proud ”. At this stage of the journey, it is fitting to ask ourselves as Norman Manley did in his time, “What is the mission of this generation? It is…tackling the job of reconstructing the social and economic society and life of Jamaica”. Our mission must take us briskly along the path of economic growth and national development. Let us reconstruct our society so that all Jamaicans can meaningfully participate in the economic life of the nation. Let us ensure that every Jamaican is accorded respect and feels a sense of belonging to our society. Let us give full expression to the words of our Motto “Out of Many One People” as we celebrate the blending of our races
and cultures and their contribution to nation building. Let us remember that Jamaica is more than a brand, more than a name, it is the pride of a people. Let us work towards creating a just, equitable, harmonious, productive and confident people. We are the masters of our destiny, the future lies in our hands. We must treasure our independence by working together to build a strong economic foundation and a prosperous nation for all Jamaicans. As Norman Manley told us “…out of the past far away and the past near at hand is born the present, in which a people coming to maturity and nationhood can look back and give praise, look around and give thanks, look forward with prayer and in humility but with confidence and strength. As our National Song urges: I pledge my heart forever To serve with humble pride This shining homeland, ever So long as earth abide. I pledge my heart, this island As God and faith shall live My work, my strength, my love and My loyalty to give. O green isle of the Indies, Jamaica, strong and free, Our vows and loyal promises O heartland, „tis to Thee. If we can all be inspired by love, driven by hope and united in the mission of nation building, then with God as our anchor, our best days are still ahead. Let us all on this Independence Day recommit ourselves to Jamaica .God bless Jamaica, Jamaica land we love.
Hari Singh Ph: 407-814-7501 Cell: 321-662-1887 firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Dream Vacation Awaits You!!! “We Protect Your Most Valuable Asset”
Hari & Seeta Singh
Life, Health, Auto, (407) 889-8872 Home, Commercial, (407) 814-7663 Fax Fixed Annuity, Mortgages (321) 438-0894 & Much More email@example.com 2591 W. Orange Blossom Tr. • Apopka, FL 32712
Muslims celebrate end of Ramadan with Eid Al-Fitr —Continued from page 1—
about discipline. You refrain from doing bad things, like cussing a lot,” Maswadi said. The message of Ramadan for her 21-year-old brother, Thaer, is that taking away from yourself and giving to others benefits everybody. One purpose of the fasting is to experience hunger. The other part is feeding the hungry. “Do good for others,” he said, “and you’ll feel good about yourself.” Thaer said he was encouraged by the words of Mizra, who urged the worshippers to never stop striving for self-betterment and success. “When you do succeed, be happy, but at the same time always have a goal,” Thaer Maswadi said. “You want to feel good about yourself for the rest of your life.” Eid-al-Fitr literally means “the festival of the breaking of the fast,” and it is one of the most beloved holidays of the Muslim year. After a month of fasting, abstaining not just from food and water during daylight hours, observant Muslims have been refraining from indulging in anger, gossip, or wrongdoing against their neighbors, and doing acts of mercy and generosity for the less fortunate. As Imam Tahir Anwar said in a special sermon for Eid, during this month, when someone felt anger rising, they could remind themselves, “I am fasting,” and overcome it.
PROFESSOR GT in the Biz for over 25 Years SPECIALIZING IN: • WALTZ • OLDIES • NEW SCHOOL • SOCA • CHUTNEY • REGGAE TOP 40 • R&B & SOUL CONTACT: 407.232.4102 or 917.830.PROF (7763) Mail to:Professorgt1@gmail.com or Professorgt1@gmail.com Professorgt1/twitter • Professorgt1/instagram
Laventille-born John Estrada nominated US Ambassador to T&T Laventille-born United States citizen has been confirmed as the next US ambassador to T&T. The US embassy has confirmed that John Estrada, a career marine, was selected. It was also reported in a statement issued by the White House. The statement said Estrada had endorsed US President Barack Obama and spoke at the 2008 Democratic convention. Estrada migrated with his family to the US at 14. In September 1973 shortly after earning his high school diploma, he joined the marines.
John L. Estrada is a senior manager for Lockheed Martin Training Solutions Inc, a position he has held since 2008. Previously, he was a business development specialist for Coalescent Technology Corporation from 2007 to 2008. Prior to his career in the private sector, Estrada served in the US Marine Corps for 34 years, rising to become the 15th sergeant major of the US Marine Corps, the nation’s highest-ranking enlisted marine.
He served as sergeant major in the corps from 2003 to 2007. From 2001 to 2003, he served Estrada, a decorated military officer in the US as sergeant major of the third marine aircraft Marines, who left Trinidad at the age of 14, wing, Marine Corps Air Station, will replace Beatrice W. Welters, former United Miramar. From 2000 to 2001, Estrada was serStates Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, geant major of the recruit training regiment who resigned last October in keeping with the at Parris Island and from 1998 to 2000 he was common practice of political appointees resigning ahead of sergeant major for the recruiting station in Sacramento, the US Presidential election, held November 5. California. In 2010, he was appointed to the American Battle Monuments Commission. Estrada serves as a committee In the absence of an Ambassador, the US State Department’s member of the Defence Advisory Committee on Women in most senior foreign officer in Trinidad and Tobago has been the Services, a member of the national board of directors for Deputy Chief of Mission, Margaret Diop, who assumed the Operation Homefront and on the executive committee for duties and responsibilities of Chargé d’Affaires. the United Services Organisation.
President of Haiti receives key to the city num and representatives of the City of Orlando, Katy Devault and James Reginal Colimon.
Continued from page 1
In a meeting organized by the Consulate of Haiti, President Martelly met with the Haitian Community where he outlined the work of his administration in various sectors such as Rule of Law, Education, Employment and Environment. President Martelly emphasized on the role the Diaspora plays in the Haitian economy and how they can have a valuable role in the development of Haiti. During the meeting, the City of Orlando, represented by Commissioner Ings and Commissioner Pete Clarke, declared July 14, 2013 Michel Joseph Martelly Day in front of a room of over a thousand Haitian Americans. In his speech at the Opening Mass of the NAACP Convention, President Martelly spoke about Haiti’s connection to the U.S. and the progress of the first two years of his presidency.
President Martelly visited Orlando to address the 104th Annual Naacp Convention. W.E.B. Dubois, one of the founders of the NAACP was of Haitian American descent.
To officially welcome President Martelly to the City Beautiful, Mayor Buddy Dyer took this opportunity to represent to His Excellency the Key to the City On Monday, July 15, 2013, President Martelly met with representatives from local companies to discuss the investment opportunities in Haiti and the commitment of his administration to assist them. The Panel also included the Minister of Finance and Commerce Wilson Laleau, Ambassador Paul Altidor and the Chief of Mission Consul Laurent Prosper. Present at the meeting were, Mayor Buddy Dyer, Harris Rosen CEO of Rosen Hotels and Resorts, John McReynolds, Senior VP External Affairs, Universal, Richard J. Maladecki, President & CEO, Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, Jay Galbraith, VP State & Domestic Affairs, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Brian Besanceny, Senior VP, Public Affairs & Worldwide Government and Industry Relations, Walt Disney World Resort and Phillip N. Brown, Executive Director, Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. Also that day, at the NAACP Healthcare Luncheon, First Lady Sophia Martelly in her remarks discussed challenges related to health and steps of improvement for Haiti’s current health system. President Martelly is the first Haitian president to address the delegates at a National NAACP Convention.
New Location 1097 S. Clarke Rd Ocoee Daily Lunch Specials - (407)532-7310 Offering Smoothies, Snacks, Pastries, Cakes & Cupcakes & Breads: White Plait Bread, Grain Breads, Rolls, Butter Flaps, Tennis Rolls, etc… Ask about our Catering :
Hors d’oeuvres - Bouchees, Canapés, Chicken Bites, Cheese and Fruit Trays, Selections of devilled Eggs, Epanaditas, and lots more... Just call and ask Sabeeta! Meals - Curry -Chicken, Beef, Duck, Goat, Cookup Rice, Chowmein, Dhal Puri, Roti, Brown stew chicken, lots more … Just ask Carl! Desserts - All types of cakes, Eclairs, Guyanese Pastries, French pastries, bread and butter puddings, cheese cakes,... Just call and ask Sabeeta!
The Verdict: A Legal Conversation Where do we go from here?
It was my hope that this forum would have provided an educational basis for our local community, as well as encourage them to move forward in changing the law.
By Camara A. Williams Esq.
ast month (July 24th 2013), on the campus of my alma mater FAMU College of Law, I put together a forum of speakers to discuss the laws surrounding the Trayvon Martin tragedy and the George Zimmerman verdict result. It was an impactful panel consisting of Fla. Sen. Minority Leader Chris Smith (he is leading the charge to amend the stand your ground law), State Sen. David Simmons (he co-wrote the current stand your ground law), Natalie Jackson Esq. (The Martins family attorney), Patricia Broussard (Constitutional Law professor), and myself. There was a litany of different issues discussed from the cultural impact of the tragedy and the verdict, the views of the African American community, the position of the conservative base, and both the benefits and detriments of the law, as well as the constitutional effects.
However, unfortunately because of our limited capacity of 250 seating (it was a standing room only), many people did not get a chance to participate in the discussion, and as such have a hard time still understanding the law. As such, because of my continued pursuit of educating the surrounding community and empowering them knowledge to move forward. I have decided to give a current breakdown the law. Florida Statutes Chapter 776 (Pre-2005) Prior to 2005 there was no provision in Chapter 776 to address the use of deadly force while a person was in their home. Before justifiable deadly force was used, the homeowner had to rely on section 776.012 (Use of force in defense of person), which simply stated: A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.
PHOTOS BY 106FOTO
— Continued on page 22 —
The brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. with the panelists and moderator.
Panelists [From left to right] Camara Williams Esq. (Attorney, Town Hall Organizer), David Simmons (State Senator, co-wrote the current Stand Your Ground Law-proponent), Geraldine Thompson (State Senator), Chris Smith (State Senator, Sen. Minority Leader, authoring current bill repeal Stand Your Ground Law), Natalie Jackson Esq. (The Martins Family Attorney), Patricia Broussard (Constitutional Law Professor).
Reginald McGill community relations director for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
An interested listener
Camara Williams Esq. (Attorney, Town Hall Organizer), Tierrel Mathis (2nd year law Student, SBA President), Joan Bullock (FAMU Law School Dean), Henry Jones (FAMU Law School Dean), Natalie Jackson Esq. (The Martins Family Attorney), Stewart Moore (Wesh 2 News Anchor, Town Hall Moderator), Patricia Broussard (Constitutional Law Professor), Geraldine Thompson (State Senator), David Simmons (State Senator, co-wrote the current Stand Your Ground Law-proponent), Chris Smith (State Senator, Sen. Minority Leader, authoring current bill repeal Stand Your Ground Law).
The Jamaican American Association of Central Florida celebrates Jamaica’s 51st! The local Association also realizes their dream of purchasing a building Message from Sandra Fatmi, The President of the Jamaican American Association of Central Florida ifty one years ago at midnight on August 5, 1962, the Union Jack was lowered and at 12:01 am, the flag of Jamaica was unfurled for the first time. The birth of an independent Jamaica was, perhaps, the most significant event in the nation’s history. Today, Jamaicans celebrate the day to commemorate that historic moment, and to reflect on the struggle undertaken to gain autonomy. It is a day of national pride and commemorates the country’s achievements. Since that time Jamaicans have made an indelible mark throughout the world, in the fields of entertainment, academia and sports to name a few. However, one of the most significant aspect of our culture has been the iconic reggae music that Jamaica has nurtured and shared with the world. The Jamaican American Association of Central Florida is proud to do our part as Diaspora representatives and celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of Jamaican Americans in our region, on Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel, then on Sunday, August 4th 2013 at the Metrowest Church of the Nazarene in Orlando , we celebrated Jamaica’s 51st Independence Anniversary and pledged to use their time, talent and resources to get involved and have a voice. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that as we celebrate this signifi-
cant historical event in Jamaica’s history, 2013 has been a historical year for the Association. We were finally able to realize the dream of the founders of the association for the past 28 years. On February 28th 2013 this dream became a reality with the purchase of a building, indeed a defining moment in the history of the organization. A heart filled thanks to everyone for your support and efforts in making this dream come through. With this accomplishment I can ensure you that there are positive changes ahead. This year’s theme, “Building communities, Building lives” signifies the beginning of this change. Members, supporters and friends we need your help. This purchase signifies a birth, and will take the entire village to make it successful. Let us continue to see ourselves as each other’s keepers, as we pledge the love and loyalty of our hearts to get involved in our communities and have a voice in the Diaspora, this I believe will help us continue the journey to a promise of a truly Independent Jamaica in which we can safely rely on each other and safeguard our heritage for years to come. A very special thanks to the founding members, past presidents, membership, sponsors, planning committees, family, friends, sister organizations, and our supporters for spending Saturday, August 3rd 2013 with us. With over $20,000.00 in scholarship monies distributed on behalf of our young people we are driven to continue having our annual Fundraising Ball and look forward to your continued support.
The evening’s program included awards presentations, dance performances and prizes as well as live band 506 crew.
Jay Brown with scholarship winner Zachary Codner, Allie Braswell & Sheriff Demmings, Past President, Dennis Hall
The First SunRail car has arrived in Central Florida
The commuter rail project is on track to open as scheduled this coming Spring he Florida Department of Transportation conducted an informational tour of the new SunRail Operations Control Center and a preview of the first SunRail vehicle on Monday, August 12, 2013. This event was hosted by FDOT District 5 Secretary Noranne Downs, and included Mayor Buddy Dyer and other members of the Central Florida Commuter Rail Commission.
operational in 2014 with Phase II expected to open in 2016. Phase II will include 29 miles of railway tracks and 5 station; this Phase will extend from Sand Lake Road to Poinciana in Osceola County and north to DeLand Amtrak station in Volusia County. The anticipated capital cost is approximately $615 million; approximately $10 million per mile, this is considered one of the least expensive new start projects in the country on a per mile basis.
Media was given an up-close experience of Operations of the SunRail system will inthe new SunRail train and the Operations clude peak commuter service with trails runControl Center on a guided tour by FDOT ning every 30 minutes between 5:30 am to District 5 Secretary Noranne Downs. Dur8:30 am and again between 4:00 pm to 7:00 ing the tour CAP News Magazine had the pm with off-peak service every 2 hours. Ridopportunity to participate in an interview ership is expected to be approximately 4,300 with Mayor Dyer, the Mayor where he said passenger trips per year for Phase I and by “The future is here” as he referred to the new 2030 with the entire system fully operaSunRail train; “We look forward to the optional the ridership is expected to be 14,500 portunity to ride the train, this (SunRail) is trips per day. expected to also have an impact on our loMayor Dyer & FDOT Secretary A few of the major expected benefits of the cal economic development.” Mayor Dyer Noranne Downs implementation of the SunRail system is a also took the opportunity to sit in the train significant travel time savings during peak hour travel from driver’s seat and blast the warning horn of the train. Lake Mary to Downtown Orlando in less than 30mins, encourPhase I of the SunRail system, 32 miles of railway with 12 stations age transit-oriented development, reducing urban sprawl, proincludes the DeBary/Fort Florida Road in Volusia County to Sand tect the environment and allow businesses, research and eduLake Road in Orange County. This Phase is expected to be fully cation centers to tap into a geographically broader talent pool.
Year End Recognition Program Professional Opportunities Program for Students, Inc.
he Orlando/Osceola division of the Professional Opportunities Program for Students, Inc held its Year End Recognition Luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Friday, August 2nd. Community business partners and students from Evans, Jones, Oak Ridge, and Wekiva high schools were recognized for completing a successful 2012-2013 program year and a 6-week Summer Internship Program. The Luncheon was attended by 60 community partners and 130 students, parents, and staff. The Mistress of Ceremonies was Commissioner Tif-
fany Moore-Russell of District 6. Founded in 2001, POPS is a non-profit, 501 ÂŠ (3) communitybased organization that provides educational, developmental, civic, community-service, and paid internships for high school students. The program partners with schools, businesses, and the community to support and encourage over 400 underserved teenagers in Orange, Osceola, and six other counties to complete high school, pursue advanced education, and obtain gainful employment.
Buyers & Sellers Wanted!
11th Annual Caribbean Health Summit Free Health Screenings September 7th
he 11th Annual Caribbean Health Summit has attracted a new community partner, the Olsen Law Group of College Park. Principal of the Law Firm is Attorney Tom Olsen, who has been practicing law since 1981. Attorney Olsen was born in Orlando and was mentored by his father, Robert W. Olsen. The senior Mr. Olsen retired in 1986. Attorney Olsen has handled a wide range of legal cases including estate planning, real estate, divorce, bankruptcy, criminal defense, eminent domain and personal injury. Attorney Olsen has been able to answer legal questions from the community through his weekly “Olsen on Law” radio show, which airs on WDBO FM 96.5 every Saturday morning at 11:00am.
The Center for Multicultural Wellness and Prevention Inc. (CMWP) is collaborating with Florida Hospital, Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, Greater Haitian Chamber of Commerce of Orlando, Olsen Law Group and the Orange County Health Department to host this year’s Health Summit. This year’s event, with the theme “Better Health for All People”, will help attendees to understand the impact that each individual health plays in bringing about a healthy and productive community. The Health Summit will provide participants from the Central Florida and Caribbean communities of all ages, access to free health screenings, information and educational seminars related to health maintenance with an emphasis on enhancing the health, wellness and quality of life for each individual.
The Annual Health Summit will be held on September 7th, 2013 at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, located on 4603 West The Annual Caribbean Health Summit has had a significant Colonial Drive, Orlando, Florida. The event will start at 8:00 impact on the Central Florida’s communities over the past nine am and ends at 2:00pm. years. The event have been able to provide free screenings to thousands of people for hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, HIV, lung function, prostate, breast and cer vical cancer. Through these screenings many abnormal results have been detected and many lives have been saved in the process. Individuals with abnormal results will have a chance to talk to medical personnel to get first-hand information and will also be referred to the appropriate medical provider. The Center for Multi-cultural Wellness and Prevention is a 501 (c) 3 not-forprofit organization with the mission to enhance the health, wellness and quality of life for diverse and ethnic populations in Central Florida. CMWP has a well-defined history of providing health education and outreach to Central Florida’s minority population. CMWP is an established non-clinical, health education and outreach agency in Orlando, Florida. The organization has successfully partnered with community and social agencies to effectively address the health education and disparity needs of Central Florida’s minority communities. For more information about the Center for Multicultural Wellness and Prevention Inc., please call (407)6489440 or visit our website at www.cmwp.org
Ms. Orlando Caribbean Pageant 2013 mage, Caribbean Cultural Society, Inc. emerges with the mission of contributing to the growth and development of women living in Central Florida as well as providing an entertaining, unique and elegant night of culture and festivities with the Ms. Orlando Caribbean Pageant 2013.
events in Jamaica, she brainstormed this idea with friends and family and decided to give Orlando a taste of the unequaled beauty, rich heritage, and magnificent essence of the Caribbean and other cultures. The event that Orlando most needed was a festival and cultural extravaganza that would showcase the treasures of the Islands as we feature performances in dance, singing and theater.
Heather Chisholm, the visionary spirit behind Image, Caribbean Cultural Society (ICCS) wanted to do more for the community in Orlando . She saw a need to connect people through For more information and details on sponsorship and participation, cultural enrichment, education, and community awareness. please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, (321) 947-0798, or via Having participated in pageants and planning community our website at http://www.imageccs.com/.
CONTESTANTS’ PROFILES Kiffany Adams Country: Guyana Sponsor : Ram’s Garage Hairstylist: Denise Hewitt of Hair Essentials. Ambition: To become a Flight Attendant. Philosophy: Success comes from within.
Mahalaleelle Jolivain Country: Haiti Sponsor : New Hope Chiropractic and Wellness Center Hairstylist: Tanisha Claxton of Jules 26 Salon and Spa. Ambition: To acquire a PhD in American Literature and to become a writer to influence minorities. Philosophy: Beauty without virtue is like a flower without scent.
Tamira Chisholm Country: Jamaica Sponsor : The Hair Den Salon Hairstylist: Crystal Williams of the Hair Den Salon Ambition: To become a Marine Biologist and to pursue a career in fashion modeling. Philosophy: Without faith it is impossible to please God and to succeed I must walk by faith and not by sight.
Ashley Charlestin Country: Haiti Sponsor : Wilson Law Group, P.A. Hairstylist: Donnet Dixon of the True You Salon. Ambition: To become a Pediatrician. Philosophy: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Tymesha James Country: Dominican Republic Sponsor: Caribbean Queen Cosmetics. Hairstylist: Evelyn’s Hair Creations. Ambition: To become an Anesthesiologist. Philosophy: By Grace you are saved by faith, and it is not your doing, but it is a gift from God.
Sharma Jolivain Country: Haiti Sponsor: Lighthouse High School. Hairstylist: Crystal Williams of the Hair Den Salon Ambition: To become a Child Development Psychologist and to pursue a minor in Business. Philosophy: Never say never because limits like fear are often just illusions.
GUYANESE AMERICAN CULTURAL ASSOCIATION OF CENTRAL FLORIDA Invites you to our Family Bowling Night II Saturday September 14th 5:30 pm- 8 pm at the World Bowling Center 7540 Canada Ave, Orlando, FL (near I-Drive and Sand Lake)
Tickets : $20
(includes 2 games and bowling shoes)
For tickets/information e-mail : email@example.com
We Appreciate Your Continued Support!! Saturday August 10th:
CAHM Victory Casino Cruise - $45
Saturday October 19: Oldies Dance
Where do we go from here? Continued from pg 14 Or
obligated to place a jury instruction using the language of “stand your ground” but not necessarily placing it as a law to be considered. The instructions read as such “If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony”.
Section 776.031 (Use of force in defense of others), which stated: A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s trespass on, or other tortious or criminal interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if The jurors who have made themselves known to the public he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to pre- have actively stated, that it was because of those instructions that influenced their decision making. vent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. Florida Statutes Chapter 776 (Post-2005) Although sections 776.012 and 776.13, for the most part remained intact, with the only real change or addition being that a person does not have a duty to retreat. According to Florida law the new provisions now read as follows: 776.012 (use of force in defense of person.) – A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if: (1)?He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or (2)?Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to 776.13 Home Invasion and protection.
Proponents of the law say that African Americans utilize the law 356% of the time more than their white counterparts. This is especially true when dealing with black on black crime. However, research shows that in over 200 stand-your-ground cases in Florida, juries found that defendants who killed a black person were found not guilty 73 percent of the time, while those who killed a white person were found not guilty 59 percent of the time. Those advocating repeal or amendment of the law, suggest this causes a decriminalization of vigilante justice, with African Americans being the sole victim of racially fueled crimes. Critics of the law also say not only does it deputize citizens, but it also raises the risk of minor disputes and misunderstandings becoming deadly incidents.
Unfortunately there was no complete resolution to the law that night of July 24th 2013, however, Senator Simmons did Now true enough George Zimmerman’s defense Attorneys never agree that any law can be improved, and that he is ‘open’ to argued the Affirmative Defense of “stand your ground”. Stra- discussion in improving the current “Stand Your Ground” Law tegically, it made no sense to do so, not only because you and that is at least a start to an important conversation. avoided an evidentiary hearing, but also the simple argument of ‘Self Defense’ was more plausible. WILLIAMS TRIAL GROUP, P.A. 2295 South Hiawassee Road, Ste. 318 • Orlando Florida 32835 Because of the simple ‘Self Defense’ argument, the court was Ph: 321-332-6136 • Fax: 407-246-1447
The Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. (Event Sponsor)
State Senator Geradline Thompson, Tierrel Mathis, Natalie Jackson Esq.
Attorney Audrey Chisholm, Attorney Camara Williams
The Urban Advis r Greetings Urban Leaguers: Since last month’s edition of the Urban Advisor, the National Urban League held its annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA. “Redeem the Dream” was our conference theme this year highlighting the significance of collecting upon the dream as communicated by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our National President, Marc H. Morial, opened the conference by reminding attendees of the need to step forward in search of obtaining the dream of equality. Marc also called upon us to continue the march toward Economic Growth and Job Creation. Our first opportunity to stand up, and be counted among the number will be this month. From August 23- 24, 2013, the National Urban League, The Memorial Foundation, National Action Network and the NAACP will jointly celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. The activities begin on Friday, August 23rd, with the Redeem the Dream Summit, and conclude with the March on Washington on Saturday the 24th. Please see the tentative agenda below for more details on the activities during the weekend. Friday, August 23, 2013 In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington the National Urban League and the Memorial Foundation, Inc. are hosting the Drum Majors for Justice Celebration which includes the following events: 1) The Redeem the Dream Summit Grand Hyatt Hotel – Independence Ballroom 1000 H St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 Doors open at 9:00 am // OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Registration is Required Panel 1 – We Shall Not Be Moved: A Watershed Moment for A Movement 9:00am – 11:00am A stellar line-up of civil rights legends and national leaders will look back on a day that brought over 300,000 people together to hear leaders from the “Big 6” address a nation at a crossroads. Panelists will reflect on the day, Martin Luther King’s iconic speech and why and how it became a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement leading to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Panel 2 – The Next 50 Years: Freedom Forward 11:00am – 12:30pm Contemporary movement leaders will discuss the legacy of the March on Washington in this new era of civil rights. Hear why this is “not a commemoration but a continuation” and why “Jobs and Freedom” remains the clarion call for civil rights in the 21st century with unprecedented challenges to hard fought victories in affirmative action and voting rights. Don’t miss this exciting panel, a historic gathering that will chart the next 50 years of the movement! Drum Majors for Justice Future Leaders Celebration 2:00pm – 4:00pm Freedom Plaza 14th Street & Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC The Drum Majors for Justice Future Leaders Celebration is an event that celebrates young people as leaders in their own communities. Held on the grounds of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, this symbolic event will feature marching bands from local colleges and universities. Young leaders and civil rights pioneers will engage young people in the truth that the March on Washington is relevant to this generation. The Future Leaders Celebration will captivate the hearts and minds of young adults and in the end encourage them to take up the mantel and step into their roles as Drum Majors for Justice. 2) Saturday, August 24, 2013 50th Anniversary March on Washington Realize the Dream March & Rally “Jobs, Justice, & Freedom” Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC 8:00am – 4:00pm // OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Upcoming Urban League Activities Education Town Hall Meeting “We Care Campaign” Thursday, September 5, 2013 6:00 P.M. – 8:30 P.M. The Central Florida Urban League is one of seven members of the Florida Consortium of Urban Leagues. The Consortium has partnered with Black Floridians C.A.R.E, Step Up For Students and Students First to host a series of town hall meetings to discuss how to achieve access to high quality educational options in the urban core and the importance of community engagement and leadership. According to the Department of Education, five percent of Florida’s lowest performing schools are located in low-income minority communities. This discussion will also inform community members about the implementation of common core standards and how it will influence expectations of student achievement in the future. Community Conversation: Reflect, Remember, Resolve Tuesday, September 10, 2013 7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. Calvary Temple of Praise • 2020 McCracken Rd, Sanford, FL 32771 The CFUL Young Professionals will be hosting a Community Conversation entitled “Reflect, Remember, Resolve” in Sanford, FL on September, 10, 2013 from 7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. at Calvary Temple of Praise. This forum will consist of panelists in the areas of the Florida Law, Civic Engagement, Legislation, and Race Relations discussing, educating and informing on how our community moves forward after The Zimmerman Trial.
Sports Fan Brings Forum To Orlando To Educate Student Athletes
By Adrienne Noel n the US, many High School Student Athletes and their families aspire to play sports at the collegiate level and beyond, yet they are unsure how to navigate this highly competitive world. For immigrant families where the parents were exposed to a different academic and athletic system, the challenge is even more acute. Coming from the Caribbean, where the local universities are not known for providing scholarships to Student Athletes to enroll on their campus, first generation immigrant parents are at a loss to understand the full extent of the opportunities available to student athletes. Given the limited opportunities for West Indian professional athletes to create a successful career out of their talent at home, Caribbean families are ill-prepared to advise their Student Athletes on how to maximize the opportunities around them. It is in this backdrop that Marketing Minds At Work developed “Sports For College and Beyond”, a sports forum designed to educate Students Athletes and their parents on how to navigate the competitive world of collegiate and professional sports. Given my proximity to professional and college sports, many people ask me how they or their children can get into sports
ganizations and people who helped to make the Sports Forum possible. The Sports Forum will be held at the Downtown Orlando branch of the Orange County Library System. “Our goal at the Orange County Library System is to make the library a learning hub for the Orlando community. The ability to connect young people with accomplished athletes and role models is one unique way we accomplish this mission” stated Mary Anne Hodel, Library Director of the Orange County Library System. The panel is well qualified to speak about Collegiate and Professional Sports. Kevin Lewis, a former Linebacker in the NFL and now the Head Coach of Jones High School in Orlando brings a unique perspective, having played football for Duke University and the New York Giants. “My goal is to help Student Athletes achieve their dream. I’m pleased to be able to give back to Central Florida.” Another panelist, AG Waseem, the President of Top Recruits Now, an NCAA certified scouting service and a former Division 1 College Athlete added, “The move from High School Sports to College is very competitive and the jump from college to pros is even more so. Hopefully students and parents can take away from this discussion” what is required “to achieve their goals from high school to college or from college to the pros.”
...“Sports For College and Beyond”, a sports forum designed to educate Students Athletes and their parents on how to navigate the competitive world of collegiate and professional sports. beyond an amateur level. I’m the first to admit that I’m a casual sports fan. I don’t know what it takes to play at the collegiate level, but I saw a need to educate families. I say families, because the decision to play sports even at the high school level is a family decision, and even more so as Athletes move to the next level. This need served as the inspiration for Sports For College and Beyond. I brought together representatives from several of the various institutions that would have some influence in helping Student Athletes move to the next level. Based on the success of this event, we may host similar events in the future. I approached Kevin Baldinger, the host of Central Florida Sideline Sports, a local radio program covering Florida based High School and College Sports, about my concept. He caught the vision and provided a lot of the technical support. Kevin added, “I wanted to participate in Sports For College & Beyond because the mission lined up perfectly with the goal of our radio program, which is to expose and educate High School Student Athletes and the public about the next stage, whatever that next stage will be – Collegiate Sports, Professional Sports or a career supporting sports.” Kevin will serve as moderator for the panel discussion on August 24th. This is indeed a community affair as volunteers came together to make this happen. A sincere thanks goes out to all the or-
Commissioner Jay Jones of the Sunshine State Conference, which includes universities such as Rollins College, Barry University and Stetson University will also be on the panel. “I appreciate the opportunity to speak about the Division II experience and to tell people about the Sunshine State Conference. In Division II and the Sunshine State Conference, we really celebrate “life in the balance” and try to ensure that our student-athletes have a healthy balance of academics and athletics. The level of athletic competition is outstanding in Division II, so there aren’t opportunities for everyone at this level; however, it is often a perfect fit for many college athletes.” Sports For College & Beyond will take place at the Orange County Public Library at 101 E. Central Avenue, in Downtown Orlando on Saturday August 24th from 2PM to 4PM. The event is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to RSVP online at www.sportsforcollege.eventbrite.com. The first 25 confirmed attendees will receive a swag bag at the public library at check-in. Marketing Minds At Work is a marketing and PR firm known for producing successful and award winning campaigns. Visit www.marketingmindsatwork.com to learn more about the company or follow the organization on Facebook, on Twitter or on Pinterest. Adrienne Noel is the owner of Marketing Minds At Work.
How are we related?
By Rosemarie G. Roth
he is black.” Yelled the black man.” Just then Jesus walked up and said, “Buenos días. ¿Cómo estás?” (Good morning. How enesis 1 are you?) It also says we shouldn’t take our being here so King James Version seriously that we miss the mark of enjoying each other and (KJV)1 In the beginning our cultural contribution. God created the heaven and the earth.2 And Man was given the authority by God to recreate, to multiply, the earth was without replenish, to subdue, to dominate everything that moves upon form, and void; and darkness was the earth. I had to rethink this for a moment; God has given upon the face of the deep. And the us permission/authority to cultivate what He had begun. It Spirit of God moved upon the face brings me to the point that we all began at the same place of the waters.3 And God said, Let with the same authority from God, therefore we have the right there be light: and there was to cultivate the culture we want to celebrate. light.4 And God saw the light, that it was good: Here we are with the next generation who possess a vast amount of technology, which demands most of their attention, but at This is truly a fantastic begin- the same time, robs them of their identity. It is our responsibilning of our world. Could we ity to teach our children about our culture so that they will have written this opening any endeavor to pass it on to the future generations. better? Here is the announcement that God was there from the very beginning and that He created the heavens and the earth. Ask.com Education in its general sense is a form of learning in Darkness dominated the horizons because there was nothing which the knowledge, skills, and habits of a group of people there to behold. Beauty was not yet created and you and I were are transferred from one generation to the next through teachstill hidden in the creator God. Darkness then is like us existing ing, training, or research. with our brothers and sisters and not knowing who they are. The saving grace for our survival on this land is because of the 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV) 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto Spirit of God that dwells within us. The time is now for me to God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly disay to you through this article “let there be light” to illuminate viding the word of truth. our faith, our culture and ultimately our kindred. Schooling gives us a chance to speak, think and act appropriHow are we related? ately in society. Believe it or not, following the words in the We are a big family in a village called earth. “ So God created above scripture affirms that the more we study “the words of man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; God” we become workmen who will not be ashamed to exmale and female created he them. And God blessed them, and press approval or disgust when faced with difficult situations. God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish We can honestly transcribe our knowledge through our daily the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of lives and clear the way for us to do and say things that are the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living “politically or religiously” correct without insulting the hearer. thing that moveth upon the earth. Our culture is what we make it to be, it is us and what we are willing to create and share. Recently I was invited to a Hindu Temple in New York to see a graduation presentation by a student of classical Indian danc- Our Caribbean Culture is celebrated each time an individual or a ing transitioning from student to teacher. My friend who in- group plans a seminar, a workshop, a dinner, a concert or a dance. vited me always called me her spiritual sister; we attended high The need is there for us to work together to support an effort by school together. We had not seen each other for twenty-eight attending and inviting our friends and family. Each event prepares years so this moment was symbolic as we embraced as long us by giving us additional knowledge that helps to mold out characlost sisters. At the Temple those in attendance were family, ter and thus allows us to exhibit attitudes to enjoy/celebrate those friends and the Hindu community numbering more than a we associate with. It is important for us to prepare our children by thousand. They were dressed in traditional clothes accessorized teaching them to have a positive attitude while surviving out in the with gold bangles, flowers and the mark of a color pasted on world. Advances in technology will demand their attention and draw their foreheads. Their reverence to their gods was evident the them away from the accent of who they are to be. Texting, Twitter, moment they walked into the building. The children, both Facebook and Myspace has a culture all to themselves; it’s what we small and big, were in attendance; tradition was not just being make them to be. I admire those parents who will take the time to maintained and passed on to the next generation. Families all drive their children to dance schools to learn native dances for pubcame and supported, this was tradition, this was culture. lic presentations or a competition. And let’s not forget that after all the hoopla of carnivals and festivals there are religious ceremonies At the entrance of the sacred temple there was a sign that read, commemorating our spiritual connection. Hari Singh at Indian “check your attitude and remove your shoes downstairs”. That Horizon of Central Florida and Pastor Naomi Gayle in Deltona perialone was a message I will be including in my memory bank to odically plan religious ceremonies which incorporate traditional remind me to be humble. I witnessed men, women and young themes coupled with a modern twist. Our religious communities children praying feverishly on their bellies or kneeling in front are more connected than we realize. Each seeking to serve a ‘’God’’ of the god to whom they were making a request. I was particu- they believe who has the power to make us better. My recent visit to larly drawn to the god for knowledge and another for wealth. a Hindu Temple started with removing my shoes to walk into the Offerings of food, money, fruits were left without solicitation. main room. There were many “gods” with each representing a different aspect of our lives. I saw people praying fervently and believI am reminded of a joke where two men were arguing as to the ing that the answer they would receive would affirm their faith. color of Jesus. They happen to die the same day and went to heaven. While at the Pearly Gates they were still arguing so At the end of the day it’s our respect for each other that places they solicited St. Peter’s opinion. The white man asked, “Is contentment in our hearts knowing we are one more day closer Jesus white?” “I don’t know.” Replies St. Peter. “I told you that to understanding how related we are.
Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator Immigration, Family, Wills & Trusts, Mediation 1073 Willa Springs Drive, Suite 1017 Winter Springs. Florida 32708 esquirebrown@nadinebrownpa,com www.nadinebrownpa.com
407-678-2224 Fax: 407-788-2225
Caribbean news and information now distributed throughout the state of Florida, filled with the people, events and culture...