The 2012 Election & the Caribbean American Vote
By Audrey Johnson, with contribution from Tevra L. Johnson
ow that the Election is over, the people of the United States have spoken and President Barack Obama
has been re-elected for a second term, we can now either grudgingly or excitedly return to our normal lives.
resident Barack Obama wished people “Happy Diwali” and “saal mubarak”, as he praised the resilience of Sikhs in the aftermath of the tragedy at a Wisconsin Gurdwara this year in which six members of the community were gunned down. “To those celebrating Diwali, I wish you, your families and loved ones Happy Diwali and Saal Mubarak,” Obama said, sending greetings to everybody on the occasion of the festival of lights. “Earlier this year, we were reminded of the evil that exists in the world when a gunman walked into the Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and opened fire,” he said. “In the wake of that horrible tragedy, we saw the resilience of a community that drew strength from their faith and a sense of solidarity with their neighbours, Sikh and nonSikh alike,” Obama said. “Many who observe this holiday will light the Diya, or lamp, which symbolises
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Caribbean-American Rick Singh wins Orange County Property Appraiser’s seat
uyanese born Democrat Rick Singh won decisively over popular incumbent candidate Bill Donegan in a surprise upset 53% to Donegan’s 47% . Rick Singh was born in Guyana but grew up in the Bronx, New York, in a single parent home in a middle-class neighborhood. An upbringing that Singh credits with giving him a first-hand appre-
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The 2012 Election & the Caribbean American Vote
—Continued from page 1—
owever, before we do, here are just a few observations. We do not intend to reiterate the accomplishments of the Obama Administration over the last four years, as these have been exhausted over the past few weeks. We would like to say, however, that the results of the election have proven that the majority of Americans are satisfied with the President’s performance of bringing this country back from the brink of economic collapse, and have returned him to complete the job to the best of his abilities. People of conscience know that President Obama has a genuine heart and concern for the plight of ordinary people, but needs time and cooperation in order to accomplish his plans for the greater good of the country. Although he and his family could use a good vacation far away following this grueling campaign, he chose to forgo that and has hit the ground running by returning to Washington D.C. to tackle the fiscal cliff facing the nation. President Obama needs our prayers in the difficult period ahead as so many are looking to him for leadership, both at home and abroad.
travel. Speaking of travel, the candidates, their wives, various celebrities, and several surrogates, made countless trips to Florida for the purpose of campaigning to prospective voters. Despite all of the spending and activity, the margin that separated the win from the loss was extremely narrow in Florida - approximately 74,000 votes. What’s proven here is that every single vote counts, and as a matter fact, every vote is critical to the success of your candidate of choice. The Caribbean American Passport News Magazine officially supported President Obama and the Democratic Candidates for office. We are fully aware of the power of the Caribbean American voting bloc in effecting real change in the Central Florida area. Our community is a progressive, yet, unAudrey Johnson & Tevra Johnson, at 11/5 Rally for President Obama Turning to Florida, this state has now derestimated segessentially proven itself irrelevant in the ment of the populapolitical process. From Governor Rick Scott’s refusal to expand tion that deserves a voice in the political arena. It is time early voting hours, that we recognize our political to discarded absenweight, educate ourselves on the protee ballots, and excess and the issues, and then mobicruciatingly long lize our Caribbean American voters voting lines, the to use their power at the polls. state of Florida has demonstrated to the We hope that the candidates that we country that the endorsed had your support, and election process is that you now have no regrets as another avenue for your vote has been counted. Last, foolishness. In its but definitely not least, we send our zeal to continue to congratulations to our brother Rick affect the political Singh, the new Property Appraiser process and suppress for Orange County. Mr. Singh put the votes of ordinary in action a plan that engaged his people, Florida has Guyanese/Caribbean colleagues been shown that the and supporters through constant business of the councommunity outreach and visibility. Audrey Johnson, Senator Bill Nelson and Tevra Johnson try will go ahead His campaign was a lesson in perwithout it. The elecsistence and as we all know, persistion was settled and President Obama was back at work while tence always pays off. We hope he will not stop there and Florida was still at its shenanigans. that his political future will be bright. We also hope that the Caribbean political effort in Central Florida does not end This brings me to the Caribbean Community and its impor- with Mr. Singh’s election. There are several members of our tance in the political process. This political cycle was the most community that may need our support in future political expensive in U.S. history. Millions of dollars were spent by campaigns. Let’s decide that as a Caribbean community, both political parties and candidates of all types on media, we will activate our political clout, and put our support tooutreach, campaign organizers and staff, and extensive wards candidates that reflect our interests.
L I F E S T Y L E
he election is over, life moves on. Thank Goodness, we don’t have to look at the vile election campaign commercials anymore. I want to figure out how we could reverse the super PAC issue so that the level of money spent on this campaign is not spent anymore. It was obscene. I did not want to watch tv or even have tv on in the background. Somebody please tell me where to lobby against this as I don’t want to go through it again. However what it proved is that although money buys a lot of things, it can’t buy everything and it didn’t buy this election. Watching Karl Rove’s reaction to the results made up somewhat for the torture of those election commercials. I can only say it now after the election, but everytime someone sent an email saying that we had to give to the campaign, I felt that the world might end as I knew it on November 7th and that we had to give, give, give. I think Americans have proven through this process that they are fine with being taxed, if it’s for something they believe in. Many wealthy people gave a lot of money willingly, all to hopefully win an election with their candidate so that they would not have to be told they had to give money (pay their share of the taxes) I guess. But the people, the people proved that they are smarter than they seemed to be and they voted. Did you see the news about the woman who ran over her husband because he had not voted? She was so upset that President Obama had won, that she ran her husband over for being a nonvoting slacker. I don’t want people like her voting, and I guess now we don’t have to worry, as she’ll probably now be a convicted felon and off of the voting rolls.
Guenet Gittens-Roberts, Publisher/Editor
candidates we chose to endorse and there were only three that we felt we had to endorse, won. President Obama - we felt like he had done an awesome job at a difficult time and that we had to speak up with our endorsement of him. Our endorsement of him was heartfelt. Sheriff Jerry Demmings - this man has been an avid supporter of the Caribbean Community and the Caribbean Community has been an avid supporter of Sheriff Demmings. Even before running for office, while as a motorcycle police officer, Demmings stood up for inclusion and diversity by promoting the efforts by the Orlando Carnival Association to host events in Orlando. He has been open to the Caribbean Community through continuous outreach efforts. Sheriff Demmings is on a first name basis with members of the Barbados, Trinidadian, Carnival, Guyanese and other communities in Central Florida. We’re happy he’s in charge.
Rick Singh - the underdog, who came from behind and out of sheer hard work and dedication managed to take the office away from a career politician listed as one of Orlando’s 50 most influential people, a list that also included that politician’s wife. Rick Singh won this office 53% to 47% against status quo politicians widely believed by all that they could not be beaten. I was even taken to a special members only club to be told that the problem with Caribbean people was that as we would say in the Caribbean - “we like put we mouth wey we hand can’t reach. “ The person felt that if Rick had gone for a smaller office he would have been a shoe in, based on his hard work and effort but that this was a waste as he couldn’t We’ll get to that soon, right now though we’re taking a mo- get the office of Property Appraiser. But Rick, as an immigrant to ment to celebrate. This was a win for women, minorities and this country, knew one thing, in America, anything is possible if every person who believes that all people have rights. Carib- you put in the time and effort. I applaud his efforts visiting all bean American Passport News Magazine is delighted that the corners of Orange county, taking every opportunity offered to speak about his platform. When I saw him put up a banner at the Obama rally at UCF and then walk the line to talk to people and hand out ubscribe to Caribbean American flyers...I thought...that’s Caribbean ingenuity. He didn’t let a well well connected, widely recognized candidate defeat him Passport News Magazine today. funded, before he started. He believed in himself through what was an Get the news delivered directly to uphill climb. He outworked, outhustled and outshone the current Property Appraiser to win.
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 holiday season 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.
We as Caribbean American people must get more involved in the process, in the politics of our local community, in the legislative process that surrounds us so that we can better understand the political system in which we live, work and play. We stand on the outside and express our concerns, make our points and explain our situations but until we stand up and get involved in the process and start making the changes that we know are necessary to make our neighborhood, our community, our County, our State, our Nation and our World a better place, we will simply be spectators at the game of life.
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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/ and search for Caribbean American Passport News Magazine. Publisher ........................................................... Guenet Gittens-Roberts Editor ............................................................................. Audrey Johnson Contributing Writers: ..................................................... Natasha Gittens ........................................................................................ .Lyma Dunbar . .................................. ................................................... Roger Caldwell ................................................................................ Nouchelle Hastings Contributing Photographers ........................................... Dillia Castillo ........................................................................... Azikiwe smenkh Ka Ra ....................................................................................... Mark Bannister Distribution.................................................................... Samuel Roberts Copyright (C) 2010 GGR Marketing & Public Relations. All rights reserved.
Celebrating the Election Returns Locally
Caribbean Chamber Members with Jason Henry, President of the Orange County Young Democrats
Mr. & Mrs. Roberts with Jay Jackson from RYSE Magazine
Mr. & Mrs Roberts with Jay Jackson at Draft Restaurants and Bar downtown Orlando
Liz Vieira, Earnest Deloach, Esq of Young & Deloach and Guenet Roberts, President of the Caribbean American Chamber
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Get maximum exposure within your budget. Join us December 3rd, 2012 for lunch and a free marketing seminar 11am-1pm GGR Marketing & PR, Publisher of Caribbean American Passport News Magazine RSVP’s only Call Sam or Guenet Roberts: 407-427-1800 SOCIAL MEDIA • WEBSITES • DIRECT MAIL • EMAIL BLASTS • EVENT PROMOTION • EVENT SPONSORSHIP • PRESS RELEASES • GRAPHIC DESIGN • COMPANY
The Voting System in Florida is an Embarrassment to the Country no reasons to keep polls open beyond the eight days already authorized in the state law.
By Roger Caldwell
“People are getting out to vote. That’s what’s very good. I’m focused on making sure that we have fair, honest elections. One thing to know, these early voting days and on Election Day, if you’re there by the time the polls close, you get to vote,” says Governor Scott. At some voting sites the voting sites closed at 7pm but the site accepted the last person voting after 12:00 midnight. Waiting six hours to vote is absolutely ridiculous, and the governor is not helping to make voting convenient, easy, and accessible to Floridians. In 2011, the Florida Legislature and the governor cut early voting from 14 days to 8 days. Even though the days were cut the hours of 96 remained the same and the federal courts upheld the legislature.
our days after the country declared President Obama the winner of the election, Florida voting officials were still counting ballots. There were no storms, no major machines malfunctioning, just bad planning, and terrible management. The voting lines were terrible and ridiculous, and Floridians waited in lines for 3 to 8 hours in some places. Many will charge Many Democrats and independent groups such as the League the governor with suppressing the vote, and I would agree with of Women Voters, including Senator Bill Nelson wrote letters that charge, but there were additional issues which started with to the governor asking for an extension for early voting, but the governor remained inefficient management. firm. On Saturday the Florida Democratic Party There are nearly 12 milfiled a lawsuit, and a lion active registered votjudge ordered the state to ers in the state, and in 2012, 8.5 million Floridopen a poll in Orange County for four hours. In ians voted at the polls. two other counties some Our elected officials startpolls were open, but still ing with the governor have a responsibility to give all Floridians access to free and this did not improve the overall voting nightmare. impartial voting. Long lines and limited early voting days is a deterrent in allowing Floridians and Americans to exercise their Even with the additional voting machines on Election Day, there were still Floridians who waited for 3 and 4 hours to vote. The duty as citizens. Sunshine State was the last state to complete their count for In 2008, Republican Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of the election in 2012. The officials can blame a long ballot, emergency and extended early voting hours five days before absentee ballots and whatever other excuse they can use, but Election Day. Many Republicans were angry with the gover- Romney’s camp conceded the state on Thursday and the offinor, but the goal of our democracy should be that every eli- cials were still counting. gible voter gets the same opportunity to cast a ballot. Floridians needed smarter people making the decisions in In Miami-Dade County at one voting site, there was a six-hour Florida government. When voters wait six hours to vote there wait time, and the news reported long lines and wait times is a problem with the system in Florida and they must be forced across the state. But it was no surprise that Governor Scott re- to address their problems. Write the governor and your state fused to extend hours or add an extra Sunday to early voting senator and representative and express your disapproval with days. Governor Scott and state officials insisted that there were the voting fiasco in Florida.
Long lines and limited early voting days is a deterrent in allowing Floridians and Americans to exercise their duty as citizens.
President Obama’s Vision for Fixing the Immigration System By Attorney Gail S. Seeram, Gail@GailLaw.com 1-877-GAIL-LAW President, American Immigration Lawyers Assoc-Central FL Tune-in 1220AM Saturday 1pm-2pm
2. Accountability for businesses that break the law by undermining American workers and exploiting undocumented workers: Employers who deliberately hire and exploit undocumented workers must be held accountable. At the same time, we must give employers who want to play by the rules a reliable way to verify that their employees are here legally.
3. Strengthening our economic competiveness by creating a legal immigration system that reflects our values and diverse needs: Our immigration laws should continue to his past week, many Americans and observers from reunify families and encourage individuals we train in around the world watched President Obama get reour world-class institutions to stay and develop new techelected for a second term to serve as President of the nologies and industries in the United States rather than United States. The voting statistics show that a majority of the abroad. The law should stop punishing innocent young latino voters and newly naturalized citizens voted for Presipeople whose parents brought them here illegally and dent Obama over Governor Mitt Romney – obviously favoring give those young men and women a chance to stay in President Obama’s approach on immigration. this country if they serve in the military or pursue higher education. A smart 21st century system should also proPresident Obama campaigned on the need for immigration vide farmers a legal way to hire the workers they rely on reform and his deep commitment to fixing the broken immiyear after year, and it should improve procedures for gration system. Now that he has won his re-election camemployers who seek to hire foreign workers for jobs if paign, it is important to know what we can expect from anU.S. workers are not available. other four (4) years of him being President. Below is President Obama’s vision for a 21st century immigration policy in the United States (further details on can be found on 4. Responsibility from people who are living in the United States illegally: Those people living here illegally must also www.whitehouse.gov/issues/fixing-immigration-systembe held accountable for their actions and get on the right america-s-21st-century-economy): side of the law by registering and undergoing national security and criminal background checks, paying taxes and 1. Responsibility by the federal government to secure our bora penalty, and learning English before they can get in line ders: Today, our borders are more secure than at any time to become eligible for citizenship. Being a citizen of this in the past several decades, and the Administration concountry comes not only with rights but also with fundatinues to refine and strengthen its strategy. Enforcement mental responsibilities. We can create a pathway for legal resources should be focused on preventing those who would status that is fair and reflects our values. do our nation harm from entering our country.
Letters to My Lawyer Letters to My Lawyer™ is a publication of Karlyn Hylton & Sasha Watson of Hylton, Adamson Watson & Moore, PLLC 120 E. Colonial Drive Orlando, FL 32801 Phone: 407-802-3223 Fax: 407-377-1971 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sasha Watson, Esq.
Approximately twenty years ago my mother decided she would not return to the US as she was too old and would soon be passing on. Her green card expired as we could not persuade her to go through the renewal process. Now at age 91, she is still in relatively good health but is quite lonely in Jamaica as most of her children and grandchildren live in different parts of the US. We are trying to decide what to do about her, and she has now reluctantly expressed some desire to come to the US. At her age, we have to expedite any plans we have for her. Would you suggest that we apply for a visitor’s visa for her to visit soon or do we try to see if they would reinstate her Resident Alien status? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. From Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned Daughter: Because your mother has been outside of the US for such an extended period it is likely that her resident alien states would be deemed abandoned. Absences from the county for periods longer than a year is generally considered an abandonment of permanent residency. However, the determination concerns whether the person intended to abandon residence, taking into consideration the facts and circumstances, such as family ties, property, employment in the United States, the purpose of leaving the United States, the expected termination of the visit, and an event fixing its termination. In your mother’s case she clearly expressed a desire to abandon residence in the US and it may be very difficult trying to re-instate that residency given that such a considerable period of time has past. Nonetheless, if you or any of your siblings are US citizens, you have the option of re-petitioning for your mother. She would be an immediate relative and a visa number would be immediately available to her. The processing time for these applications can be anywhere from six to nine months depending on the availability of required supporting documentation. You also have the option of applying for a tourist visa. This is a faster process but may be more problematic given your mother’s age, her prior immigrant visa status, and the fact that her family ties are all to the US. Generally immigration consular officers in evaluating an application want to see strong ties, assets, employment, family etc., to the home nation that will be indicative of the applicant’s likelihood to return to the US. The stronger the ties to the home country the more likely the visa application will be approved. Regards, Sasha Watson, Esq. HAWM, PLLC Please submit your letters to email@example.com. Each month a reader’s letter will be chosen for response. This column is primarily for educational purposes as well as to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide any legal advice whatsoever. By reading this column you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and writer/publisher. This column should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney. This column is not published for advertising or solicitation purposes. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.
FIU hosts annual Eric Williams Lecture honoring iconic leadership of Caribbean leaders Manley and Williams - since Jamaica’s and Trinidad’s 50th year of Independence
he annual FIU Eric Williams Memorial Lecture Series, recently held at the South Campus of the Florida International University, this year was in honor of the celebration of 50 years of Independence of both Jamaica and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. The two panelists at the two hour presentation were Ms. Rachel Manley author and poet, and Reginald Dumas, veteran diplomat of the Trinidad and Tobago’s Foreign Service and former UN Special Adviser on Haiti.
bago some 50 years ago.” The forum, she continued, also examined and typified the contributions of Caribbean nationals at home and abroad, this year, emphasizing the iconic leadership that still resonates in the names of Williams and Manley and the relevance of that leadership legacy to the future of the Caribbean region. A lively question and answer period followed the presentation. The event was chaired by attorney Marlon Hill.
Rachel Manley, an author To a nearly-packed audiof several books and poetry, torium, both panelists adfiction and non-fiction, has dressed critical issues perearned several awards and taining to development in fellowships. She is a freboth Caribbean nations quent contributor to litersince Independence examary anthologies and writes ining the iconic leadership book reviews for leading of two Caribbean leaders, Guests at the recent annual FIU Eric Williams Lecture series. From left: newspapers in North former Prime Ministers, Jamaica’s Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths, Ms. Rachel Manley, panelist, America and Britain. She Michael Manley of Ja- attorney Marlon Hill, who chaired the event and Dr. Heather Russell, lecturer, currently lectures at Lesley maica and Eric Williams FIU’s Africa & African Diaspora Studies Department. The 14th annual University in Cambridge, Distinguished African Scholars lecture series this year observed the 50th of Trinidad. The theme of anniversaries of Independence of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, examining Massachusetts. the two-hour presentation the iconic leadership of former leaders – Manley and Williams. was “50 years after IndeMeanwhile, Mr. Dumas pendence: A Manley Perspective” and “50 years after Inde- has served his country in the Foreign Service in Africa, Asia, pendence: Is Eric Williams Still Relevant.” the Caribbean and North America, and also served as Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States A Caribbean literary personality, Manley, the daughter, and (OAS). He has also represented the Caribbean Community granddaughter of two Jamaican leaders, recounted the pe- (CARICOM) in several fora. riod leading to Jamaica’s Independence and its ill-fated Federal experiment. Through a thought-provoking delivery she They will join the distinguished group of international scholexamined the period of Jamaica’s political advancement ars who have already presented lectures in the Eric Williams which included the vision and contribution of her father, Memorial Lecture Series, since its inception in 1999 by Erica former Prime Minister, Hon. Michael Manley, and notwith- Williams- McConnell (daughter of the late Prime Minister) and standing the periods of setbacks, over the years, which she the FIU’s Department of African and African Diaspora Studies. noted has given way to the celebration of the Nation’s golden The annual Series, free to the public, continues to attract inteljubilee anniversary of Independence. lectuals from Latin America, the Caribbean and North America, covering a wide range of issues related to the economic, social, In his perspective, Mr. Dumas drew on the vision and aspira- cultural and political development of the Caribbean and North tions of former Trinidad Prime Minister, Eric Williams for his American region. country and for the region, at times drawing on the similarities of both Caribbean leaders. Jamaica celebrated Independence on August 6th, while Trinidad and Tobago celebrated on August 31. Jamaica’s Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths, congratulated organizers of the Forum which this year she said “es- Cheryl Wynter (305-374-8431 ext. 232) pecially audits the progress along a course we began to chart Consulate General of Jamaica as independent nations of Jamaica, and Trinidad and To- Miami, FL
An interview with Mark Bannister
“Don’t forget. We were a social network long before Facebook!” Eh, Eh! The truth of the statement hit me. GT Lime has been around for a long time! Did I take it for granted? What did this social network mean to me? Sporting time and the calypso music was blaring. Guyanese were all over the dance floor shaking tail. It was the GT Lime sport and we were not in Georgetown. This dance floor was in Toronto. Mark Bannister was on stage addressing the crowd as usual. He had the mike and the music had stopped. When Mark got on the stage like that, everyone knew it was time to recognize. Recognize Guyanese; we culture; we ting. We needed to recognize the pieces of our hearts we left behind; we needed to keep connected to our Guyanese identities; and, for me, it was some balm for my immigrant guilt.
the resulting creative outcomes sometimes get overlooked while someone else’s bulbs shine brightly. Hadn’t I just seen the explosion of Facebook and its movie blast its way through the American popular culture and imprint itself on so many minds! I decided right then, on that dance floor, that I would find Mark Bannister and tell this incredible Guyanese tale. And I did. I arrived at his home in Orlando, Florida and I took my cameras and my questions. A conversation with Mark “I am a black man with a rich culture and ethnic background. I believe that regardless of ethnic makeup, our culture is the root of the bond that keeps the Lime alive and well today.” “The website has brought “new” friends annually, which ultimately shows the ethnic diversity of our people.” “I believe the lime has helped bridge some differences for us to appreciate all Guyanese.”
Sport continued, but as I listened to the music, those first words from Mark (about GT Lime as a social network beThe Tale - An idea is born fore Facebook) that he mentioned so Mark lived in New York at the time; he casually, kept bothering me. The truth Kevin Jeffrey Presenting check to Jennifer Babb of was fresh to the culture and missing the RCHCC on behalf of GT LIME and Sponsors of the matter was that I felt a sort of dishome. One day, as he was liming with — Continued on page 18 — appointment in myself. Our own innovative cultural ideas and
Clive & Mark
GTLime 8 Tampa; Mark & Beverly donating fresh made cheesestraws at CCADA Charity Dance
GTLIME Admin: L-R, Charity Co-Ordinator Denise Lamwatt, Admin Clive Ng-a-kein, Lauren Ashby Bannister, Limer Beverly Bannister Centrowitz
GTLime 9& last lap: Gt Lime 9 & Last Lap Toronto (Caribana)
Greater Haitian American Chamber of Commerce GHACC’s Upcoming Events for December 2012 Career Development Day
HACC’s continuing mission is to improve businesses and the lives of Haitian Americans living in Central Florida. In light of the emerging but still struggling economy, GHACC has organized a Career Development Day. This event aims at giving job applicants the tools and interview skills necessary to find gainful employment. We will have local industries experts from Workforce of Central Florida, Orange County Public Library and experienced HR recruiters to assist participants in the following areas: • Resume Building and Upgrading • Online Job Searches • Mock Interviews The presentations will be in Kreyol to accommodate the Haitian Kreyol speaking population.
GHACC’s End of the Year Social and Fundraiser
he Greater Haitian American Chamber of Commerce (GHACC) invites its community supporters and members to an “Enchanted Winter Gala” in Winter Park Center located at 721 W. New England Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, next month on Saturday, December 15th 2012 at 7pm. This is the Chamber’s end of the year social you do not want to miss! Proceeds from this wonderful event will benefit the reestablishment of College Marie-Anne school campus in Port-au-Prince that was destroyed by the earthquake in 2010 in Haiti. The earthquake may be out of the media’s spotlight but nonetheless there are still children living the aftermath, still attending school in bad conditions under tents or forced to attend another school for more than two years. . While you enjoy the holidays with your family, accompanied by your loved ones, please think about reaching out to those in needs. Many children are spending the school year without books, supplies and basic materials due to economy hardship. Seeing their school in crumbles, AACMA, the Alumnae Association from College Marie-Anne from different past graduating classes and around the world are joining forces and efforts to raise funds to provide materials to furnish the classrooms and the library with at least 500 books for at least 10 core classes, expensive books that students normally go a year without. You are not only guaranteed an elegant, entertaining and fun evening but you will
also contribute to a great cause that will have a direct impact on the lives of the children and their future. The Alumnae association truly has a passion for this cause; many of them have lost siblings and /or lifelong friends during the earthquake tragedy and are truly committed to reach back in order to provide a better future for the current students at College Marie-Anne. Come join GHACC, the AACMA, Kafe Kreyol, Créalde Museum Hannibal Square Heritage and Tifane in a night full of entertainment such as a unique presentation of Modern Live Art on human body by Famous Painter Patrick Noze, art exhibit by Créalde Hannibal Square Heritage, cultural acts and live singing performance by the princess of soul who embodies the true image of strong Fanm Kreyol : TIFANE. Please save the date for an end of the year social you do not want to miss: Friday December 14th 2012. Admission is only $40. Cocktail Attire. GHACC Members 25% off general admission. Limited VIP Tables are available upon request – for $450 with wine served throughout the show. Ticket price includes: food, live entertainment, Drummers spectacle, Human Live Art, live singing performances by Tifane, an auction and more. Tickets can be purchased starting November 15th. Reservations Required. For more info please call 813-770-2561/813-409-9133 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continued from page 1
“We also saw compassion and love, in the heroic actions of the first responders and the outpouring of support from people across the country. Out of a day of sadness, we were reminded that the beauty of America remains our diversity, and our right to religious freedom,” the President said. “Today, here at home and across the globe, Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists will celebrate the holy day of Diwali, the festival of lights. Diwali is a time for gathering with family and friends, often marked with good food and dancing,” Obama said in his Diwali message. Noting that it is also a time for prayer and reflection about those less fortunate, the President said it is a testament to the compassion of these communities that so many of them have helped those that have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy. “Many who observe this holiday will light the Diya, or lamp, which symbolises the triumph of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. As that lamp is lit, we should all recommit ourselves to bring light to any place still facing darkness,” Obama said.
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D I WALI
Indo Caribbean Cultural Center Miss Diwali Pageant he Indo-Caribbean Cultural Center held its Annual Miss Diwali Pageant and Show on November 3rd 2012 at Soiree Event & Conference Center. Popular entertainers SuperTones Band, Trinlando Tassa and Orlando’s Top DJ, DJ Vid of Caribbean Sensations topped off an evening of song, dance and pageantry. Top class talent abounded that evening with great dance performances by C Studios, Orlando Bollywood, Devyani’s Dance, Indo Caribbean Culture Club Dancers and Masti. Talented singers Danraj and Ashley Ram sang their way into the hearts of the audience. Ashley opened the show and brought the house down with an amazing rendition of the National Anthem. The atmosphere was charged with excitement as the contestants made their appearance on the runway, each putting their best forward to impress our experienced panel of judges. By the jubilant and festive mood that permeated the evening, it was obvious that a memorable evening was had by all.
Miss Karishma Basant won the 1st runner up title and also the Best Sari Award. Karishma is majoring in Biomedical Sciences at UCF. The 2rd Runner- up was Miss Shwetha Shrignar, a Valencia Community College student who is pursuing her degree in Biology. Jeeten Jamnadass who earned his degree in psychology at Emory University won the Mr. Diwali King 2012 title, Teerana Persaud won the Miss Teen Diwali Florida 2012 and Kelly Deonarine won the Miss Diwali Princess title. This year the competitors’ talents included Bharatanatyam, Bollywood style and India Folk dances. For the first time the ICCC presented the Academic Excellence Award to the contestant who has excelled in academic performance and had the highest GPA. This year’s award was won by Preeya Jamnadas, Miss Diwali Florida 2012.
Hundreds enjoyed the family The pageant was judged by five distinguished men and women friendly Pageant which featured who consisted of three former Beauty Queens, a Hollywood for the first time: movie producer and an official of Florida Hospital. The auditor, who tallied and verified the final scores, was well-known • Miss Diwali Princess 2012 with contestants aged between 8 CPA, Mr. Allan Ali of A.A.Ali and Associates, Civil Right’s Atand 12. torney and Board Member of the Orange County Democratic • Miss Teen Diwali with contestants aged between16 and 18. Party, Shayan Elahi was on hand to offer his support to the • Miss Diwali Florida 2012 with contestants aged 18 and over. judges and ensure fair judging and auditing. With the elections being just three days away, Rick Singh and Geraldine The winners of this year’s titles are beauty queen Miss Preeya Thompson who were both running for Public Office stopped Jamnadas, Miss Diwali Florida 2012, who graduated from the by the pageant. University of Central Florida with a bachelors degree in Health Sciences and is working on a 2nd bachelors degree at Florida The organizers would like to thank all those who supported Hospital College of Nursing. this fund-raising event and wishes them a Happy Diwali!
Happy Diwali indus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists, here in America and around the world, will celebrate the holiday of Diwali – the festival of lights on November 13th. This is a day when members of some of the world's oldest religions celebrate the triumph of good over evil. This festival is marked – by lighting the Diya or lamp. This lamp symbolizes the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance.
Diwali is a time for celebration, but it is also a time for reflection – a time when we remember that there are always others less fortunate than ourselves. This holiday reminds us all that we should commit ourselves to helping those in need. From the Management & Staff of of Caribbean American Passport News Magazine Happy Diwali.
D I WALI Diwali at Lake Eola
Association of Asian Cultural Festivals 15th Annual Diwali Mela at Lake Eola
From the Management & Staff of Kaiteur Tropical Mist Restaurant 1718 North Main Street Kissimmee, FL 34744-3307 PH: 407-847-9385
Kirani James Named Commonwealth Male Athlete of the Year
t an impressive ceremony attended by many former and current athletic stars and administrators, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Trinidad, awards and accolades were given at the 30th annual Commonwealth Sports Awards. The event was convened to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Trinidad & Tobago. At that event, Grenada’s Kirani James was named the most outstanding athlete of the Commonwealth. This announcement placed him ahead of the other two finalists – Yohan Blake of Jamaica and Mo Farah of the UK. In the women’s category, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya was named the most outstanding female athlete. Kishorn Walcott received the outstanding Young Achiever Award, while Eleanor Simmonds of England and Mr. Alphanso Cunningham of Jamaica were the outstanding female and male athletes with disabilities. Lifetime achievement awards were given to Merlene Ottey and Don Quarrie of Jamaica, and Dr. Iva Glouden and Hasely Crawford of Trinidad & Tobago for their outstanding performances and contributions over the years. Mike Fennel of Jamaica was recognised as the outstanding sports administrator. It should be noted that the evaluating and voting period for these awards ended in June 2012 and did not include performances at the London 2012 Olympics. The awardees were drawn from nominations from the 71-member Commonwealth Games Federation. Kirani James, due to his pressing academic commitments was unable to attend the ceremony. His award was collected on his behalf by Mr. Aaron Moses, First Vice-President of the Grenada Athletic Association.
Merry Christmas Everyone! You are cordially invited to our end of year celebration, The Caribbean and Floridian Association, Inc (CAFA) Christmas Holiday Party
Friday, December 7, 2012 Soiree Banquet Hall & Conference Center 6394 Silver Star Road, Orlando, FL 32818
From 7:00 pm to? $10.00 per person (Includes Dinner) Cash Bar Music by popular DJ’s For advance tickets-Junie: 407-782-1826, Noel #407-353-5028, Mike Randolph 407-348-4157, Andy 407-694-7497
Thanksgiving is love By Pastor Rosemarie Roth
hanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. I anticipate the cooking and the sharing of how blessed I am with my friends and family over a buffet of God’s provisions.
There is a lot of meaning to Thanksgiving. It is more than just turkey, mashed potatoes, string beans and cranberry sauce. This day is about us giving thanks for all of our blessings. Our blessings always outweigh our failures. Somehow we can smile during this holiday even if we are going through a difficult time like underemployment, failed health or the loss of a loved one. We can be thankful for life or the love of life. I want to remember all of the good things in my life. Once I have determined all the things that are important to me during the Thanksgiving holiday I will then have no trouble sharing my feelings with others. My youngest child was joyous to share with me that she would like to volunteer at a shelter for thanksgiving and serve the meal before she eats at home. Nice! This special time she is willing to set it aside to thank God and to bring a religious aspect to this day. I didn’t care if those she serves just feel like being thankful for the meal and not the provider. Whatever the reason people are thankful I am still celebrating because thanks are being said. Life Worth Living Pharmacy offered to sponsor a Thanksgiving dinner with Bishop Selvyn Sewell who over sees churches in Jamaica and the USA . Bishop finds it compelling to be with the USA church to point out the importance of giving God thanks, even on one day of the year. This bishop teaches his congregation the importance of Thanksgiving and that they need to pass on this tradition and keep the flame of gratitude alive. Bishop and his small congregation on 4213 Pine Hills Road (close to North Lane) will prepare a pre-thanksgiving meal on Wednesday for the locals from (2- 4 p.m.) and invite them to the church grounds for a traditional meal with a few cultural flavoring like bar-b-que and jerk chicken with rice and peas and potato salad. (for more information call Paulette Campbell at 321-747-4529) Dr. Roslyn Thompson from New Hope Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Winter Park was reflecting on her blessings as a doctor and was moved in her spirit to bless the children of Molden Elementary school in St. James , Jamaica . This school started her education journey and became the foundation of her compassion for children. She has collected school supplies, back packs, shoes and clothes after enquiring from the principal about the needs of the students. As thanksgiving approaches she is packed and ready to personally deliver her bounties to some well deserving students. The most important thing we can do about thanksgiving is action. If we talk all year about how we should give thanks and share with family but when the actual day comes and we do nothing about it then we become like: 1 Corinthians 13 New King James Version (NKJV) “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
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The Caribbean Diaspora Resource By Dave Martins
The examples abound. Just a few weeks ago, Tradewinds played at a dance in Orlando organized by five Caribbean men, suchree years ago, passing through Jamaica, on a trip to cessful in business in that city. One of them, Sam Roberts from Guyana, I booked into the Pegasus Hotel to find the place Guyana, told me, “Our intention is to present select entertainoverflowing with an impressive crowd of black-tie Jamai- ment events for the more mature crowd and celebrate our culcans; the place was humming. I was taken aback. It looked ture at the same time.” like a Caricom occasion. The hotel’s Guyanese manager at the They pulled it off. The time, Eldon Brenner, laughingly told me, “No, Dave. It’s not venue Majestic Event that; it’s the Jamaica Diaspora Association.” I had never heard Center, was top notch; the of the group, but the Jamaican PM Patterson was there, with crowd was great; the most of his cabinet; there was a mix of resident and foreignhome vibes were very based Jamaicans, many big business leaders were there, and strong; I must have spent Harry Belafonte was one of the guest speakers, along with sevclose to an hour aftereral other famous Jamaicans. Jamaica, it turns out, had been wards posing for photos milking this resource of its people living away, and the diviwith Florida Guyanese. dends were clearly evident. This bustling gathering, celebratYou could almost taste the ing an anniversary, was a sight to behold. homeland nostalgia in the air. Guyana needs to copy that strategy. I don’t know about the UK, but I can speak with authority on this situation in Canada and Developments such as the USA. Every single time I play in one of those cities I’m imthe one with the five Orpressed by not only the extent (I know the numbers of us outside lando gentlemen are are huge) but particularly the quality of these people who are clear evidence of this interest I’m talking about, and I have major achievers in such places. And further, to the point here, in seen many such examples over the years in the various North also every one of those cities many of these American cities where Caribbean people have Guyanese have an ear migrated and where Tradewinds have performed. or an eye, and someFor Guyana in particular, where there are such times a heart, for the pressing needs for help, we should be proactively homeland. It comes out following the Jamaican example and cultivatin the Guyana flags on ing this diaspora resource, not sitting in Guyana their windshields. It’s and expecting it will gradually filter its way down there in things people to us through groups like the Orlando one; sigshout to you from the nificant support is obviously going to be missed audience. It comes out in that process. Part of our business of making in the conversations life better in Guyana should be to a have a unit, they entrap you with like the Jamaican one, specifically set up for not only chanafter the show, and neling this expression of interest, but to go beyond that into there are two aspects: campaigning in the diaspora to signal our interest in their one is obviously nostalinterest. gia, and close behind that is the disposition to On the positive side, there is already in existence a far-flung help. “Who can I call? Can you put me in touch with some- and vigorous network of Guyanese associations and groups in body?” Sometimes it’s a concrete contribution; sometimes it’s North America that could be the springboard for a national an offer of support, or specific services. In Guyana, of late, I group that draws on this tremendous resource in the diaspora. am hearing that there is some government interest now in The most recent example was Orlando, but this disposition is Guyana in creating a conduit for this interest from the diaspora. wide-spread, it is sincere, and it is showing its intent, openly It is long overdue. If these intimations are coming spontane- and covertly, everywhere our people live outside. It’s like a fish ously, how much wider must be the interest and the commit- swimming in the sea waiting to be caught; we should throw ment waiting to be capitalized on? out a line and reel it in.
Jimmy Mohess, Sam Roberts & Brian Baccus
Guests at the Dave Martins Concert
Dave Martins & the Tradewinds Live at Majestic Event Center
Skip Roberts, Dave Martins and Sam Roberts
Simone Richards, Mezaun Khan and friends at the Dave Martins Concert
Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker come to Central Florida
rlando Community Arts proudly presents to the Central Florida community, Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker, an original dance presentation, written by Mrs. Beverly Page. The production will feature several local community groups including NuLook School of Performing Arts, Standing Ovations Talent Group and Young Blacks In Action.
formed Winter Wonderland, a scene from Clare & The Chocolate Nutcracker, last Saturday night at the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s 50th anniversary celebration “Style & Grace” Achievement Ball at the Rosen Shingle Creek. The dancers
Central Floridians are invited to take a journey with Clare through her Enchanting Dream as she travels with the Chocolate Nutcracker. From the exciting Christmas Party through their epic battle with the Mouse Queen, Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker travel to Winter Wonder Land, Candy Land and Clare’s birthplace, New Orleans, where they arrive just in time to experience the excitement and pageantry of the famous Mardi Gras parade. The scenes are filled with the spectacle of dazzling costumes and exciting dance moves performed in Ballet, Modern Dance, Swing, Gospel and Hip Hop. This community “Arts in Education” initiative will transform and enhance the quality of life for youth in the Orlando community.
Dancers in Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker at the 50th anniversary Chi Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi. Left to right: 3rd Row: Senator Gary Siplin and his wife Victoria, cast members of Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker, Russell Drake Basileus CHI TAU Chapter, Omega Psi Phi. 2nd Row: Florida Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince, cast members of Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker, Benjamin Crump Esq. Featured Speaker at , Mrs Beverly Page, the Honorable Ernest Page. 1st Row: Cast members of Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker.
The performance will take place on December 1st, at 7pm at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in Orlando. Tickets for this show are available at the Amway Arena Box Office and at all Ticketmaster outlets. There will also be a special school performance reserved for students and senior members of our community earlier that week. These tickets are $10 each and are available by calling 407-403-5519.
were able to meet distinguished members of the Orlando community, including Senator Gary Siplin and the first Female Supreme Court Justice, and Orlando’s first Black Mayor was also on hand with his wife Mrs. Beverly Page. Mr. Ben Crump Esq., was the Featured Keynote Speaker that night. Mr. Crump, of Parks & Crump Attorneys at Law, is a nationally renowned Legal Mind, a recent recipient of the “Henry Latimer Diversity Award” and a Brother of Omega Psi Phi Excerpts of the production will be performed at various lo- serving as the Seventh District Counselor & Basileus of Chi cations across Central Florida. Members of the cast per- Omega Chapter in Tallahassee.
Happy Diwali from the Executive & Members of the Guyanese American Cultural Association of Central Florida (GACACF)
Recognize, continued from page 9
a few old friends, someone in the group mentioned that it was easy to use a portal to chat with far away friends. Since Mark was working at AT&T at the time, the technology organization was left to him. And so it started – as a space to chat. In the first week the site had 35,000 hits. For Mark that was incredible, but he also realized that it needed some control and they decided on passwords.
an elderly home in Guyana.
Impact of GT Lime on Mark Involvement in this social network has made Mark more “aware of my culture.” He feels the need to bring the Guyanese diaspora together; he wants to highlight it. The site has brought him “a lot of pride.” This pride surges in him when he recognizes that he has made community available to his fellow Guyanese. He Immediately it became obvious that photographs were the at- enjoys being called “GT Lime.” tention grabber; it was the most popular viewed thread. Guyanese people wanted to see each other; they wanted to see He believes that the site is a major source of information for events at home. This visual connection seemed to go a long the participants. The site has opened many avenues otherway in preserving Guyanese identity. wise difficult to access. Many prominent figures have crossed bridges using the site. The site has also grown as more memAfter some time Mark noticed that ideas of giving back to bers join and the popularity increases. It is now a space used Guyana, giving to Guyanese, started to grow; the need to be to celebrate important events; it is also used to respect meminvolved exploded and these voices wanted to be heard. bers of the Guyanese community who have passed on; and Guyanese outside of it connects those who have Guyana wanted to be lost touch and who reside connected to some tanon many continents. gible change. But, the most important acAt that point the charities tivities for Mark are the entered and multiplied. charities. For Mark, “the reSuggestions for charities sponse from the center holds came from many people. Mark also informed me that Sister me; the enthusiasm gives me a sense of what we are doing for Mary Peters and Judy Harrison had been instrumental in the the kids – that they can ask for what they need. And that we area of recommendations. have so many sponsors.”
“The response from the center holds me; the enthusiasm gives me a sense of what we are doing for the kids – that they can ask for what they need.”
St. Ann’s orphanage was the first and there were many contributions. Next came St. George’s Cathedral organ rebuilding. As expected the charities varied. Schools and children came next. A list of needs came from the school master at the school in the Pomeroon that catered to Waramari children. In 2011, The Ruimveldt home for children attracted the attention of the GT Lime group. One thousand, two hundred and twenty eight dollars ($1,228) was raised to support this children’s home. According to Mark, “we want to help kids. It gives me a sense of satisfaction.” A stove was delivered and plans were made to help with painting the building. A conversation with the woman in charge of the home was one of emotional gratification for Mark and that meant that he felt “a sense of accomplishment.”
Conclusion I have known Mark Bannister many years. Like many Guyanese, our families were neighbors; we shared many friends and many school experiences. I am proud to bring Mark Bannister, his colleagues, his supporters and his social network to center stage. GTLime plays a large role in my continuous need to connect with Guyanese and Guyanese culture. It is reassuring to know that the space is open and available. The reunions are affirmations of my continuously evolving Guyanese identity. Youtube excerpt: You can find an excerpt of the interview at the youtube address below:
This year, 2012, GTLime plans to focus their contributions on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJPGnc_0Co0
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BRYAN AND GARY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING A PUBLIC FORUM FOR SOME OF THE MOST PROVOCATIVE AND THOUGHT PROVOKING TOPICS THAT DEAL WITH EVERYDAY LIFE. HERE’S A LETTER THAT ASKED: WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOUR KIDS DIDN’T LIKE YOUR MAN? Dear Bryan and Gary: I met my fiancé two years ago and I am ready to live my “Happily ever after” RIGHT NOW. He is a wonderful man with a great career. He is very sensitive to all my needs, he helps with my bills, takes me out to fancy restaurants, sends me flowers and he loves me. This could be my last chance at TRUE LOVE. What more could a woman ask for??? I am so ready to be with this man, that last month when he proposed, there wasn’t a snowballs chance in hell I was not going to say yes. The problem I’m having however is the fact that my kids don’t like him. As a matter of fact, they can’t stand him. It’s been six years since my divorce and I’ve been raising them on my own with little or no help from their father, but I could use some HELP and GOD KNOWS MAMMA’S GOT 6 YEARS WORTH OF NEEDS that need tending to. Now, I want my kids to be happy at all costs, but should I sacrifice my happiness for theirs? Or should I marry the man I love and hope things will work out? What would you do? BRYAN: Well Gary I think this is as simple as it gets, as parents we have a responsibility first to our kids and then to any man or woman that comes into the equation. So I think her choice Gary is clear, she needs to sacrifice her happiness for theirs. That’s what a good parent would do. What would you do? GARY: Man I couldn’t disagree with you more. These are kids we’re talking about man. I remember when growing up, the policy was that kids could be seen but not heard. So I couldn’t disagree with you more. She needs to make herself happy and that happiness will flow through to the kids. BRYAN: O.K., but what if they are still not happy? Don’t you think it’s a bit selfish to look out for yourself before making sure that your kids are alright? Surely if this person TRULY loves her, he would understand and be willing to wait. GARY: Look man, you must be crazy. I know if I was that man, I’m not sticking around waiting and hoping that this woman’s kids liked me. They have been dating for two years and to the way the letter was written, she’s been saving herself for marriage. Now this man has already
waited TWO LONG LONG YEARS, and you want him to wait longer. I don’t know a man alive that would want to wait much longer. BRYAN: Well it’s not really about the man though Gary; it’s about this woman and her kids. I think she would be selfish to put this man above her kids. GARY: Selfish, are you kidding me? If a plane is going down they tell you to first secure yourself before you tend to Bryan your children. The same applies to this lady; she needs to secure herself before worrying about her children. This lady’s got 6 years worth of NEEDS that NEED to be taken care of man. Don’t you understand that? Could you wait that long to have your NEEDS taken care of? (LOL) BRYAN: This isn’t about me. GARY: True, but the woman asked you “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?” And I’m asking, if you had SIX LONG YEARS OF NEEDS that NEEDED to be taken care of and you found the right person to take care of it, would you want to wait? Huh, would you want to wait for kids that are going to grow up, going to move away, and probably not even write or call? BRYAN: (LOL) But wouldn’t it be better to try and make sure that your kids are happy with this man, however long it takes, than to put THEM and HIM in a situation that could become a nightmare and mess up your happily ever after? GARY: Yeah Yeah Yeah, but you still didn’t answer my question. Would you wait? BRYAN: Maybe, but let’s let the readers decide. Would you sacrifice your happiness for your kids? LIFE IS A JOURNEY THAT’S FULL OF UPS AND DOWNS, TWISTS AND TURNS, SUCCESSES AND FAILURES, AND A LOT OF THINGS IN BETWEEN. WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF FACED WITH THIS DECISION? E-MAIL US AT BACK2BASICLIVE@GMAIL.COM .
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Jerk & Caribbean Festival Orlando
ctober 28th Orlando’s Caribbean community was in vited to experience one of the first of many Jerk Festivals to be presented in the greater Orlando area and they had a blast of a time. The thousands of attendees reveled in the music, the beautiful weather, the craft booths and most importantly the Jerk. Promoters under the trade name of ‘FullA-Vybez ‘, the promoters of the Palm Beach Jerk and Caribbean Culture Festival, hosted this year’s Jerk and Caribbean Festival in Orlando for the first time and made every effort to engage the local community. They partnered with many local community non-profit organizations to give $2.00 from every ticket they sold to be donated to the Hope For Danielle fund.
competitions to come, the competition was stiff. Contestants from across Florida competed for the title of Jerk Champion, locals restaurants like Caribbean Sunshine Bakery, Taste of Jamaica, Gwennies, Kingston’s Best and Cliffs Jamaican were all locked into the competition for Jerk Champion. After the judges went through two (2) rounds of judging for presentation, cleanliness and taste; it was a close call. Our judges Sandra Fatmi, President and Dennis Hall, Past President, of the Jamaican American Association of Central Florida and Anita Singh Owner of PS Freight/Laparkan Shipping had a difficult task. However, when the final numbers were tallied by owner of the Caribbean American Passport, Sam Roberts, Taste of Jamaica edged out Caribbean Sunshine and Gwennies to take home The crowd enjoyed the entertainment provided by Professor the title of Jerk Champion. Nuts, Cham (Baby Cham), Terry Linen, the Code Red Band and last but not least …..the legendary Freddie McGregor. The Based on the crowd’s response to the event presented by Full-Afood booths were busy and served up some of Orlando’s best Vybez all can conclude that the event was a great success and that Jamaican food. At this, the first of Full-A-Vybez, many Jerk the Orlando community look forward to their next presentation.
President of the Jamaican Association - Sandra Fatmi and members of the Association and community
Mark Smiley & Sophia Campbell, Winners of the 2012 Orlando Jerk Fest
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Poinciana News Photos by Phillip Browne Kissimmee/Poinciana Correspondent
Staff at The Reelection Office for President Obama
They gave of their time..Instead of hanging with friends.
Young artist created Office art
Caribbean-American Rick Singh wins Orange County Property Appraiser’s seat Continued from page 1 ciation of those who contribute to their community, and work to continually improve the lives of fellow citizens. Singh learned by example at a young age that community service is not only a part of being an engaged, responsible citizen, but that we all are responsible for the world that we create for our neighbors, and leave for our children. This led to him ser ving as a soldier in the U.S. Army, organizing local cultural events, and hosting a local radio program for the area’s Indo-American and Caribbean community.
Property Appraiser-Elect Singh’s campaign theme of “Real Experience, Real Fairness, and Real Accountability” rings true in Orange County and across the state – they are the tenets that will allow the state of Florida to remain great,” stated Florida Civil Rights Association J. Willie David, III. “The Florida Civil Rights Association look forward to working with Property Appraiser Singh. Together we will ensure that all residents of Orange County are treated fairly and equally and that smart policies are enacted that provide the citizens of Orange County with an open door access to the Orange Rick and his family have resided in Orange County since 1986, County Property Appraiser’s Office.” The Florida Civil Rights he ran a family owned business until 1993 and is a licensed Association will also call on Property Appraiser-Elect Singh real-estate broker in Central Florida. He has built and run a to be pro-active in going after homestead fraud cases without successful appraisal business, Abacus Appraisal Services, for preferential treatment. 11 years, as well as Amvin Real Estate. Barack Obama’s re-election win as president of the United States The Florida Civil Rights Association issued the following state- and Rick Singh’s election win to a countywide office in Florida ment, following the election victory of Rick Singh, Orange demonstrates the rising clout of the minority population, inCounty Property Appraiser-elect. cluding blacks, Asian Americans, and especially Hispanics, explained David. Both Obama and Singh’s win reveals a hisThe Orlando based Florida Civil Rights Association congratu- toric turning point in American politics. lates Rick Singh, the newly elected and first Guyanese American property appraiser of Orange County, Florida. Singh won “This election was a seismic shift for minorities, David stated.” the November 6th general election with 53% of the vote over In 2011, Florida Legislature’s voter suppression war on comBill Donegan, who served as the Property Appraiser for Or- munities of color became a banner year for minorities instead; ange County, since 2001. they showed-up in droves to the polls to vote against the Legislature’s Jim Crow era tactics, David stated. “The Florida Civil Rights Association sends its heartfelt congratulations to Property Appraiser-Elect Rick Singh. Winning Singh proved he could clear the high hurdles he faced by showa political office is difficult as is, let alone as a Guyanese Ameri- ing he is qualified, confident, and competent right out of the can running for countywide office in a state where “voter sup- gate, said David. Singh’s win is good news not just for Guyanese pression” against people of color is widespread. Americans. It’s good news for a diverse and inclusive Florida.
LEADING LADIES BEHIND THE SCENES AND ON THE FRONT LINE Welcome to my column on Leading Ladies behind the Scenes. Our column will introduce you to leading ladies who have branded their own recognition and blazed their own trails. These ladies work behind the scenes but manage the front line with high impact results. You might have heard their names or admired their work, but never met them up close and personal. Our column will give you the chance to meet these ladies so you can place a face with the name and their trendsetting work in our community, various organizations and in business. Thank you for celebrating their value with us.
Nouchelle Hastings: “Girl What Do You Bring to the Table?”
Michele Long, CEO of Table for Two and Illuminating Spirits
ichele Long, a true renaissance woman, is known as Meesh to her friends. A transplant from New York City, Michele relocated to Orlando and worked in finance and accounting, but developed a passion for bringing people and food together. She and her husband David would throw the best house parties. She would make the food and David would make the music. Meesh was always given the task of event planning by her lady friends and it resulted in her personal joy. Michele began to realize that there was more to life than bottom lines and reports; perhaps life was calling her to another place. Looking at her neighborhood, she saw a need for a community center on the East side that specialized in upward mobility for young children, mainly boys. “There is nothing out here for them to do that gives them entertainment and a drive to develop them culturally” said Michele. She was moved to begin her first venture, Illuminating Spirits or I.S. Initially thought to be a place or a safe haven for youth, Michele quickly discovered that Illuminating Spirits would also give gravity to the soul and to inspire one to their fullest potential. I.S. as referred to is the flame to the wicker and the crackle to the fire that illuminates the soul within (both young and old). By all accounts and testimonials, Illuminating Spirit is a soul2soul oasis. Before you inspire others you must first discover and ignite the passion within you which is the goal of I.S. More than a safe haven, Michele was approached to make events happen for the families of friends and her son’s friends. Successfully planning weddings, vacations, seminars, teas, beauty parties, showers, etc., Michele felt another spark to do more and began to invest in the community by joining various civic organizations. She wanted to know the ins and outs of what was happening so she could help our children and bring culture to their families as well.
honors with a degree in Hospitality Management. Michele decided that taking her passion to the next level would serve two purposes: it would help the healing process and give her confidence in keeping her son’s memory alive through the illumination and lifting of spirits for others. Her craft to bring the atmosphere to the homes of friends and family was the hidden catalyst to keep ‘love’ alive but she never figured that the same catalyst would lead her to another milestone in life. Understanding the fragility of life, she put her heart and soul into every opportunity and wowed clients with out of the box ideas and themes. The Journey Begins Wanting to gain experience, Michele worked for nearly free after graduation as on many occasions she never got paid for her hard work. Fed up with fast talkers and building the dreams of others, she decided it was time to build her own. With education, passion and a purpose, she organized Table for Two. Table for Two is an Illuminating Spirits partner and collaboration. I.S. Table for Two offers an economical way to have a romantic meal at home for you and your partner. They take the hassle and expense of buying all the items required to achieve the perfect atmosphere. At I.S. Table for Two they allow you to stay at home and enjoy the comforts of your own environment by bringing the restaurant to you. Built on passion, founded by integrity, Table for Two provides impeccable and trusted service. When we asked Michele about the secret component behind her success she said, “This service is not only for couples. We have expanded it to include you and up to 7 of your closest friends. This setting allows you and your guests to dine together as couples or in an intimate group in a spirit of joy and fellowship. We have award winning chefs, uniformed servers and the most exotic table presentation that you cannot find in a restaurant setting. We can accommodate your setting with the right vibes of music and ambiance to dazzle not only your palette but the creation of tranquility. When we come we bring the kitchen with us, when we leave we take the kitchen with us – all inclusive, no planning, preparing or cleaning on your part and for those who prefer the invisible do not disturb sign, leave us a key and you can take your illumination to a whole new level.”
As life would have it, Michele and David would face a tragedy in the loss of their baby son E.J. Needing to fill the loss and For more information contact I.S. Table for Two at: emptiness, Michele prayed for a ‘will’ to keep E.J.’s memory alive. Phone (407) 697-0972 Not knowing where this would take her, Michele began to seek Email email@example.com purpose and educate her passion. She enrolled in Le Cordon Website: istablefortwo.com Bleu College where she mastered the culinary experience. The experience was more intense for her because she was the oldest To reserve your holiday function mention CAP Magazine and in the class and the most analytical. Michele graduated with receive a percentage off for a future reservation.
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Image Caribbean Cultural Society, Inc.
Celebrating the Spirit of the Caribbean and Empowering Our Youth
he Image Caribbean Cultural Society Inc., a non-profit organization based in Orlando, Florida will be travelling to Montego Bay, Jamaica in November 2012 in part to honor its all-inclusive prize trip commitment to Shana Simpson the current Ms. Orlando Caribbean. This organization which facilitates the empowerment of young people by implementing programs that fosters the development of values and appropriate attitudes, promotes personal growth and goal achievement is responsible for staging the Ms. Orlando Caribbean Pageant. The general idea is to motivate young women involved in the pageant to persevere through strenuous, demanding and time consuming processes long enough to acquire the attitudes that would sustain outstanding achievement. The talented Ms. Simpson emerged from among eight finalists through a five month grooming period as the winner when she took four of the sectional prizes including that of most intellectually inclined. Her poise and commitment to her duties as Ms. Orlando Caribbean has been evident in the quality of her participation and willingness to serve in many community projects in Central and South Florida and will now take her beyond the shores of the United States to Beautiful Jamaica.
While in Jamaica not only will Shana enjoy the beauty, splendor and charm of the island but our team will establish and synergize relations for investment purposes between communities in St. James and business organizations in Central Florida for the benefit of our people. Dr. Roslyn Thompson, owner of New Hope Chiropractic Wellness Center, Grissel Lloyd, Director of Technology and Communications of Image Caribbean Cultural Society, Inc., Otis Wright director of Youth for Youth International (Jamaica Chapter) a branch of Image Caribbean and Heather Chisholm, Executive Director will be participating in the visit. We also have the pleasure of working with Dr. Christine Valentine, Vice President of Cornerstone Christian University and we have the media support of the Back 2 Basics Radio Show through Brian Ivey. During our visit, we will pay a courtesy call on the Mayor of Montego Bay His Worship Glendon Harris and other community leaders. As part of our contribution to the community a school supplies project for children in need, will be staged by New Hope Chiropractic in association with Image Caribbean at the Maldon Primary School in Southern St. James. The intention is to establish a foundation for continued support to communities in St. James. Over the years we have managed to stage many major events and implement programs with strong community support both locally and overseas. In fact, our sponsors have given new meaning to the phrase “community spirit.” We continue to thrive on a foundation laid by members of the community as we maintain what can be deemed a social partnership. The support helped us to achieve remarkable goals through strong motivation and passion to serve. Today, we celebrate achievements derived from a commitment to personal growth and learning as we’re continually clarifying our vision and understanding of our environment for the benefit of those we serve. WWW.IMAGECCS.COM WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/IMAGECCS INFO@IMAGECCS.COM 321-947-0798 Heather Chisholm, MSW. Executive Director
Billy Ocean receives Achievement Award from Caribbean American Passport Newsmagazine Mr. & Mrs. Mathura, Billy Ocean, Brian& son Austin Bacchus
Trinidadian Billy Ocean Grammy Award Winning Singer showing off his Pan Playing Skills.
Billy Ocean & Creig Camacho
CAP News Magazine Owners Sam & Guenet Roberts with Billy Ocean
Manager of Mr. Ocean, Billy Ocean with GT Limeâ€™s Mark Bannister
Billy Ocean & Singer Leon Coldero with his Family
Kamla, Gareth, Brian & Austin Bacchus with Mr. Ocean
Billy Ocean Receiving Life Time Achievement Award with left to right Brian Bacchus, Billy Ocean, Guenet Roberts, Trinidad & Tobago Consulate General Dr. Ramnanan, at event coordinated by the owners of the Majestic Event Center Mr. & Mrs. Mathura
A Proud Trinidadian Billy Ocean with Publisher of CAP News Magazine Guenet Roberts after receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award