COCKTAIL CONNOISSEURS Come raise a glass and explore what’s new in Greater Fort Lauderdale. Treat yourself to amazing shopping, dining, nightlife, beaches and more. Plan your adventure at VisitLauderdale.com.
CONTENTS Winter | 2021
PHOTO: CHELSEY REYNOLDS
ALL HAIL THE CARIBBEAN COMEDY KING
COLIN POWELL: LIFE, LESSONS, LEGACY
CREDITS PUBLISHER Calibe Thompson BRAND STRATEGY David I. Muir BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Tamara Phlippeaux EDITORS Erica Young Monique McIntosh ASSOCIATE EDITOR Hannah Gulics ART DIRECTOR Vladan Dojcinovic
Calibe’s Prelude: Caribbean Exceptionalism Island Origins Best of 2021
HEALTH 12 Get the Facts About the Vax STYLE & DESIGN 8 The List: ‘Tis the Season 14 Miami Soul by Interior Designer Kenzie Leon Perry 48 RAPHELITA Couture Designs INSPIRATION 30 Caribbean Trailblazers: 31 Marie McKenzie (Carnival Corporation) 32 Derrick Reckord (Grace Foods USA) 34 Wilkinson “Ken” Sejour (Chef Creole) 36 Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (Candidate for Congress) 38 Isa M. Núñez (Jackson Health) 40 Juliet Roulhac (Florida Power & Light) 42 Dr. Germaine Smith Baugh (Urban League) 44 J.R. McFarling (Urban League) 45 Yolanda Cash Jackson (Becker) 46 John Yearwood (POLITICO) 47 Eric Knowles (Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce) 54 Colin Powell: Life, Lessons, Legacy 58 Gang Alternative: Coalition Strategy TRAVEL 20 Best of Caribbean Travel 2021 CULTURE 26 Majah Hype, Caribbean King of Comedy TASTE THE ISLANDS 60 Winter Favorite Recipes 62 Restaurant Listing ENTERTAINMENT 64 Event Calendar
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Calibe Thompson Rebecca Hugh Hannah Gulics Stephen Bennett Dr. Kimberley D. McKinson CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS David I. Muir Chelsey Reynolds Justin Helmick, Howwls Steve Bennett/UncommonCaribbean.com Choice Photography Jeremie McLeod George Horton Marlene Quaroni CJermaine Photography Shawn Hanna Smith Collection/Gado ON THE COVER: Marie McKenzie, vice president of global ports and Caribbean government relations for Carnival Corporation, is one of 11 Caribbean leaders in industry we’ve profiled in our Trailblazer issue. Exceptional figures in media, food products, construction, electricity, government and more share details on their island origins, motivations, journeys to success and how we can follow in their footsteps. Copyright © 2021 by Island Syndicate. All rights reserved. Island Origins Magazine is published by Island Syndicate. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a review. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at Island Syndicate, 1310 SW 2nd Ct #207, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Printed in the United States of America. Island Origins Magazine ℅ Island Syndicate 1310 SW 2nd Ct #207 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312 417-812-5663 | islandoriginsmag.com email@example.com
CALIBE’S PRELUDE // CARIBBEAN EXCEPTIONALISM
Caribbean Exceptionalism WRITER CALIBE THOMPSON PHOTOGRAPHER DAVID I. MUIR
By definition, the word exceptionalism doesn't actually imply superiority, but that's the way Americans have used it, so that's how I choose to claim it for my people.
believe that many Caribbean people have made a superior impact in the United States, so we can now all claim a legacy of Caribbean exceptionalism. Think Marcus Garvey, Shirley Chisholm, Malcolm X, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and Rihanna to start, but there are many others at the upper echelons of business and industry whose contributions we may never know. As a student of excellence, my excitement to learn about the exceptional people we’ve profiled in this Trailblazer-themed issue has been palpable. The journeys and accomplishments of all these figures, described, in large part, in their own words, are each awe-inspiring and truly motivational. We also asked guest contributor Dr. Kimberley D. McKinson to delve into the life of the late secretary of state and four-star general Colin Powell, an international trailblazer who left a controversial but undoubtedly impressive legacy of leadership in American politics at the highest levels. I personally had the pleasure of speaking with Caribbean king of comedy Majah Hype who, despite recent public scandal surrounding his personal life, is determined to remain focused on spreading laughter. Our 2021 Best of South Florida list features the individuals and companies our directors and audience have found worthy of our highest annual recognition. As always, Steve has done an uncommonly great job describing the best of the Caribbean region. Hannah has highlighted the work of an exceptional interior designer and provided some strong ammunition in the fight against COVID misinformation. And Rebecca has shared some worthy Caribbean-made gift ideas for the holidays and beyond. As the old year ends and the new year dawns, on behalf of the Island Syndicate team, I wish you joy, comfort and peace. In the spirit of those who came before and those on the rise, may you, in your own life, be exceptional in every way. #islandorigins
UN VACCI NATED
IT’S YOUR CHOICE. TAKE THE SHOT. MIAMIDADE.GOV/VACCINE
BEST CUBAN RESTAURANT
BEST FUSION RESTAURANT
Padrino’s Cuban Cuisine
Swirl Wine Bistro
Versailles Restaurant Cuban Cuisine
Broward Meat & Fish Publix
Las Vegas Cuban Cuisine LEGAL SERVICES BEST JAMAICAN RESTAURANT
Dunn’s River Island Cafe
MAJOR EVENTS & CONCERTS
Joseph R. Gosz, The Gosz PLC
Miami Carnival Miami Reggae Fest
RockSteady Butterflakes Bakery
BEST TRINIDADIAN RESTAURANT
Joy’s Roti Singh’s Roti Delight
Best of the Best
HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
Dr. Angelo Gousse, Bladder Health & Reconstructive Urology Institute Primary Medical Care Center Dr. Wentworth Jarrett
TOURISM BOARDS (DIASPORA CAMPAIGNS)
Jamaica The Bahamas US Virgin Islands
Island’s Roti Delight ENTREPRENEUR BEST HAITIAN RESTAURANT
David Mullings (Blue Mahoe Capital)
Chef Creole Seasoned Restaurant
Sharon McLennon (Splendor Realty)
Prinston Jean-Glaude (Primary Medical Care Center)
Florida International University Miami Dade College Broward College
BEST DOMINICAN RESTAURANT
Food for the Poor
Miramar Cultural Center
Mofongo House Restaurant
World Central Kitchen
Little Haiti Cultural Center
These companies, organizations and individuals have been voted best in their categories by a group of respected community leaders, media personalities, taste-makers and readers.
LOCAL LIVE BANDS
Caribbean Bar Association
Rose Heights Band
Florida Caribbean Students Association
Code Red Band
Antillean Shipping MONEY TRANSFER SERVICES
Western Union MoneyGram CAM FOOD DISTRIBUTORS
Grace Foods Badia Madame Gougousse POLITICAL FIGURES
Jackie Nespral Jacqueline Charles AUTHORS
Edwidge Danticat Patricia “Miss Pat” Chin ATHLETES
Briana Williams Jason Pierre-Paul
Frederica S. Wilson Dale Holness Commissioner Jean Monestime
Visions Band Harmonik
THE LIST ‘TIS THE SEASON
Designer Nicole de Gale McIntosh offers a fresh take on classic pearls but with a modern flair. The Simplicity Necklace offers a perfect example, featuring a freshwater keshi pearl pendant available in shades of white, peach and lavender. nikkibiedes.com $160 BBD
Designer Nicole de Gale McIntosh presents shimmering, flirty Eutropia Earrings, featuring freshwater keshi pearls and 14k gold-filled studs. nikkibiedes.com $180 BBD
KEZA BAG Barbados-born accessory designer Blessing Olaniyi sews all her pieces by hand and each is uniquely made with love. As one of her signature styles, the Keza bag comes in multiple prints and tones and is accented by wooden handles. ayola.store $60
SELUDE THIGHHIGH BOOTS Founded in 2018 by Karibbein Ann-Mariee, this brand makes a mark in accessible luxury footwear. See these sexy, olive-hued thigh-high boots as proof with a twist. karibbeinannmariee. com $525
CALYPSO RINGS Available in baby pink, yellow, aqua blue or a multicolor rainbow, these festive rings by designer Rochelle Y. Lewis are made for parties. Add this as a staple to your jewelry collection to dress up any holiday outfit. trelawni.com $10
VOYAGER BAG This Trinidadian men’s fashion brand is all about craftsmanship and gentlemanly elegance. Their vintage-inspired Voyager travel bag is proof positive, made from durable full-grain buffalo leather and brass hardware. ecliffelie.com $442
MAKEDA CAP-TOE OXFORDS
PYER MOSS SCULPT SHOE Haitian-American designer Kerby Jean-Raymond is redefining fashion ― as shown by his futuristic Sculpt shoe, featuring an unusual, disproportionate sole. The piece is finished with the brand’s signature white topstitch and is made from suede and mesh. pyermoss.com $595
Designed with versatility in mind, these cap-toed Oxfords are made from genuine leather and a rubber sole for comfort and durability. Featuring a distinctive oxblood hue, this classic lace-up is perfect for any debonair Caribbean man in your life. ecliffelie.com $220
MARBLE JACKET Inspired by the infamous 1692 earthquake that gave way to modern-day Kingston, this menswear collection is an ode to beauty born from the rubble. Their Marble Jacket is made with premium heavyweight cotton twill and features utilitarian detailing like brass metal zips and plentiful pockets. sixteenninetytwo.com £225
THE LIST ‘TIS THE SEASON
THE BUSYBOARD CO. NAME PUZZLE Handcrafting in Trinidad and Tobago, The BusyBoard Co. makes hands-on toys to promote play and motor skills development. Personalize this creative name puzzle for your little one with a customized color scheme and fun icons like stars, moons and even dinosaurs. thebusyboardco.com $225
TEK A TUPS CARD GAME Created by a woman of Caribbean descent, this drinking card game celebrates the unique joy and hilarity of growing up Caribbean American. With 120 cards and five different game modes, Tek A Tups is the perfect nostalgic game for your next gathering with thirsty friends. tekatups.com $25
MY HAÏTEA BAMBOO TRAVEL KIT Founded by a Haitian mother-anddaughter duo, this brand is inspired by their love of teas and passion for supporting Haitian women farmers. The perfect gift set for any tea fanatic, the travel kit is made from eco-friendly bamboo and can keep your beverage hot for up to six hours. myhaitea.com $24.95
TEN TO ONE DARK RUM Elevate your bar stock with this decadent dark rum founded by Trinidad-born Marc-Kwesi Farrell. Featuring notes of tobacco, cedar, nut loaf and leather, the brew is a blend of 8-year-old Bajan, Dominican and Trinidadian column still rums aged to perfection. shoptentoone. com $48.99
HEALTH // GET THE FACTS ABOUT THE VAX
DEBUNKING COVID-19 VACCINE MYTHS
WRITER HANNAH GULICS PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPLIED
After more than a year living through a pandemic, the world was given hope in December of 2020 when the first wave of COVID-19 vaccines was approved for emergency use.
ajor research breakthroughs from the past two decades enabled scientists to create vaccines in record time — the fastest ever made from development
to deployment. Now, over 3.33 billion people (about 40% of the world’s population) are fully vaccinated. Further efforts, however, are being hindered by misinformation and
MYTH: THE COVID-19 VACCINES AFFECT/ REDUCE FERTILITY IN BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.
FACT: By this point, we probably all have seen Trinidad-born rapper Nicki Minaj’s tweets claiming the COVID-19 vaccine caused infertility for a family friend – a claim thoroughly debunked by Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh after investigation. In fact, research finds the exact opposite. Reports suggest that becoming severely sick from the COVID-19 virus while unvaccinated could potentially reduce fertility. According to Dr. Stacey J. Oddman, MD, “Studies that included the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines demonstrated that they do not impair sperm characteristics and the CDC reports that there is no evidence to support that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause infertility in either women or men.” 12
conspiracy theories, often rapidly spread through social media. To better empower you, we’re debunking some popular COVID-19 vaccine myths and separating facts from fiction.
MYTH: YOU DO NOT NEED TO GET THE VACCINE IF YOU’VE ALREADY HAD COVID-19 IN THE PAST. FACT: Previously having the COVID-19 virus does not
mean that you are immune forever. The timeline of how long naturally-developed antibodies last is still uncertain, but scientists estimate that they are only stable for six months to a year. In contrast, studies have proven that vaccines provide more persistent protection against the virus by artificially teaching your immune system how to produce fortifying protein components. This means you develop longer-lasting immunity on your own, helping prevent severe symptoms or illness from the virus and dramatically reducing your likelihood of infection.
MYTH: THE COVID-19 VACCINES AREN’T SAFE BECAUSE THEIR DEVELOPMENT WAS RUSHED, AND THEY CONTAIN DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES. FACT: Many believe that the vaccines can’t
be trusted because they were produced too quickly. But were they? In the case of COVID-19, scientists had a major head start. Researchers around the world have been studying coronaviruses for decades in preparation for a potential pandemic. They also were perfecting vaccination development methods in response to other recent coronavirus outbreaks like Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012. Thanks to advances in gene sequencing, Chinese researchers were also able to quickly map the complete virus genome and share it with the global scientific community. Because COVID-19 was so rampant, scientists also had a plentiful pool of volunteers for test trials. Currently, both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines offer up to 95% effectiveness and both have been thoroughly tested for safety.
MYTH: THE COVID-19 VACCINES WILL ALTER DNA AND HAVE SEVERE SIDE EFFECTS. FACT: None of the COVID-19
vaccines interact with or alter your DNA. They simply deliver genetic material to inform your body of how to protect itself against the virus if you come into contact with it. None of the vaccines contain a live virus. “The COVID-19 vaccines do not alter one’s DNA because the genetic material that is introduced into the body from the vaccines does not enter our cells, which is where DNA is stored,” says Dr. Oddman. Similar to most vaccines, there are risks of serious side effects, but they are rare. A majority of side effects in clinical trials and in the general public are mild, like pain near the injection site, low-grade fever, headaches and fatigue. Dr. Stacey J. Oddman, MD is the former Chief of Family Medicine at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale.
DESIGN // MIAMI SOUL
Tired of white walls and monotonous spaces, artist and interior designer Kenzie Leon Perry launched Ze Haus Design Studio to bring soulful richness to upscale tropical living in South Florida. WRITER HANNAH GULICS PHOTOGRAPHY JUSTIN HELMICK, HOWWLS
ith a career repertoire that includes hospitality interior design for Jamaica’s premier beachfront vacation spot, Sandals Resorts, Perry is no stranger to creating spaces that instantly feel like a personal refuge. Perry brought these skills to new heights for one special family’s apartment located in the heart of South Miami. The clients had recently overcome extreme adversity and wanted to transform their outdated space into a healing sanctuary. Having two adopted children from China, they also needed to give their girls some semblance of consistency during a season of change. So for Perry, this project became more than making beautiful rooms. It was also about respecting the past and connecting cultures through thoughtful art and design. “When you’re working with a client for residential, the space is very personal to them,” he explains of his process. “It’s really about learning their backstory and how they want to implement nostalgic pieces into a space that is new and refreshed.” What was first supposed to be a kitchen gut and remodel turned into a major renovation, with a new living and dining room offering a delicate blend of Miami modern design with traditional Asian art and motifs. Perry found a harmonious balance between both sensibilities by composing a serene, organic palette prominently featuring warm woods and botanical prints.
DESIGN // MIAMI SOUL
Living Room Pulling from the family’s collection of existing furniture and Asian art, the living room has a more eclectic feeling when compared to the minimalist kitchen. However, seamlessly mixing the home’s overall contemporary style with these more ornate pieces wasn’t easy, says the designer. “A happy medium was keeping the space relatively modern with clean lines,” he notes. “The Asian pieces already have a lot of details and intricacies that cause your eye to want to look at [them],” he explained. So to balance the sleeker finishes with the older, more patinated pieces, the designer incorporated naturally warm tones for new additions like peel-and-stick wood panels and a custom TV console.
Keyes Realty / Barbanell
SAFETY IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY Buses are disinfected nightly with additional cleaning daily. Face coverings are required and remember to keep a safe social distance. For schedules: Broward.org/BCT/Schedules • Wi-Fi available Call Customer Service at 954-357-8400
TTY 954-357-8302, Florida Relay: 711
DESIGN // MIAMI SOUL
Kitchen The custom kitchen functions as the heart of this home. So in addition to incorporating two new walls of crisp white cabinetry, the center island became the design’s true cornerstone. Illuminated by four brass Enkel pendant lights from Kuzco, this 12-foot long custom island features an eye-catching wood slab that was purposefully designed as “a showpiece where you can gather but also used as a kitchen block to cook,” says Perry. “I also wanted to break up the space and introduce a different material. It was important that there was contrast there and that the kitchen flowed organically and naturally with the rest of the space.” Some open shelving allowed the bespoke creation to house live plants and Asian art reflective of their daughters’ culture.
Breakfast Nook Perry carved out an additional corner for intimate gatherings with this cozy breakfast nook, outfitted with Slope leather-clad dining chairs and a Liv Round lacquer dining table, both from West Elm. To punctuate the nook within the open layout, the designer also installed a custom red maple leaf wallpaper, which he commissioned from FrameWorks in Miami. Perry, who recently launched his own wallpaper collaborations with Bijou and Spoonflower, chose the maple leaf as a subtle nod to its prevalence in traditional Chinese art and decoration. “I wanted to bring in that cultural aspect and a pop of color, because [the space] was just creams and beige before,” he explains. “I also wanted to create more layers, so I framed certain areas to feel like a three-dimensional art installation.”
TRAVEL // BEST OF CARIBBEAN TRAVEL 2021
CARIBBEAN TRAVEL 2021
The best of the Caribbean is almost impossible to narrow down. Though for 2021, a select few places, experiences and tasty treasures stand above the rest.
Aerial view of Saba Rock private island resort.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF SABA ROCK
WRITER STEVE BENNETT PHOTOGRAPHY VARIOUS
Best Places to Stay
A one-acre privateisland resort enclave, Saba Rock, built in the 1960s, was once the most legendary scuba diving outpost. Hurricane Irma, though, flattened the place completely in 2017. The new Saba Rock, which opened in October 2021, is a complete (and more upscale) reimagining of the resort. Its greatest luxury is still its location in the heart of the British Virgin Islands.
Saba Rock’s oceanside lodging.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF SABA ROCK
SABA ROCK, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
PHOTO: COURTESY STEVE BENNETT/UNCOMMONCARIBBEAN.COM
THE WAVES AT CANE BAY, ST. CROIX
One of the luxurious rooms of The Waves at Cane Bay.
New, ever-larger and more impersonal megaresorts across the Caribbean continue to push the limits of sustainability. At the opposite end of the spectrum are updated or reimagined versions of previously existing hotels like the King Christian and The Waves at Cane Bay in St. Croix. Instead of completely tearing down the old structures, the new owners of both properties worked within the existing footprint of each structure, adding modern amenities and a fresh breath of style.
Relax in the infinity pool at Nevaeh Anguilla.
PHOTO: COURTESY STEVE BENNETT/UNCOMMONCARIBBEAN.COM
TRAVEL // BEST OF CARIBBEAN TRAVEL 2021
Further up the posh scale, the many and varied private luxury villas across the Caribbean continue to elevate rooming options to new heights. Nevaeh Anguilla, in particular, is utterly amazing. The property’s nine uniquely-appointed rooms, expansive pool complete with grotto and Jacuzzi, tennis courts, movie theater, fitness center, huge gourmet kitchen and secluded beachfront address on the sands of Long Bay make for an unforgettable vacation spot. It’s the warm and attentive service provided by Winston Jones and the rest of Nevaeh’s staff, though, that truly made my September 2021 stay here priceless.
Nevaeh Anguilla’s luxury poolside villa.
PHOTO: COURTESY STEVE BENNETT/UNCOMMONCARIBBEAN.COM
NEVAEH ANGUILLA, ANGUILLA
PHOTO: COURTESY STEVE BENNETT/UNCOMMONCARIBBEAN.COM
Boats docked in water along the Terre-de-Haut Beach.
TERRE-DE-HAUT, GUADELOUPE The islet of Terre-de-Haut in Les Saintes archipelago within the islands of Guadeloupe is definitively tiny. The few historic attractions here – Fort Napoléon chief among them – are interesting. The island is so small, though, that you can actually see them all in less than a day.
That, however, leaves loads of time for the main attraction here: the beaches. More than ten different sublime stretches of sand encircle Terre-de-Haut’s scant 2.32 square miles, making this one of the smallest, yet most dynamic, beach paradises in the Caribbean.
TORTUGUERO, COSTA RICA
A major earthquake, a presidential assassination and prolonged political unrest combined to make 2021 a less-than-ideal time to visit Haiti. The once and future Pearl of the Antilles, though, still boasts the most incredible collection of attractions anywhere in the Caribbean. From the jaw-dropping impossibility that is the mountain fortress of The Citadelle to the bastion of Caribbean history, art and crown jewels inside the MUPANAH Museum, and otherworldly natural sites like Bassin Bleu and Grotte Marie Jeanne, Haiti’s wonders absolutely astound.
For natural attractions, it’s hard to beat Costa Rica. That goes double in Tortuguero. The remote enclave, accessible solely by boat or very small plane, consists of more than 120 square miles of virgin rainforest set along the Caribbean coast. The protected area is home to scores of tropical bird and lizard species, three types of monkeys, sharks, manatees, crocodiles and even sloths. Hiking, kayaking and beachcombing here present next-level opportunities to get up close and personal with nature.
TRAVEL // BEST OF CARIBBEAN TRAVEL 2021
Best Spa Destinations
Best Foodie Destinations
SOL-MER SPA, JAMAICA Hôtel Plein Soleil Gourmet Restaurant
BUBBLE BEACH SPA, DOMINICA Natural is always best when it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation for me, so it’s no surprise that Dominica is my top spa destination. Thermal hot springs all across Nature Island, like Ti Kwen Glo Cho, provide a brand of natural healing that modern spas just can’t match. The quaint and kitschy Bubble Beach Spa is another uncommon option, adding natural soothing treatments to sun, sand and sea.
SAINT LUCIA BOTANICAL GARDENS, SAINT LUCIA Two islands south of Dominica, Saint Lucia also satiates the needs of natural spa lovers. The “Drive-in Volcano” in Soufriere may draw the biggest crowds, but the public baths inside the Saint Lucia Botanical Gardens are equally rejuvenating, if less muddy.
PHOTO: COURTESY HOLIDAY INN RESORT MONTEGO BAY/SBPR
The massage room at Sol-Mer Spa.
PHOTO: COURTESY STEVE BENNETT/UNCOMMONCARIBBEAN.COM
For a clean (okay, entirely pristine) spa experience that still espouses the essence of the West Indies, check into Jamaica’s SolMer Spa. Nestled within a lush and quiet corner of the Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay, the Sol-Mer Spa features a full array of holistic, restorative services, including massage therapy, reflexology, waxing, scrubs, wraps, facials, manicure/pedicure and hairstyling. Uniquely Jamaican accents are woven into many of the treatments. The menu of massages, for instance, offers guests a choice of natural Jamaican oils. One option, a Jamaican bitter orange oil, is specially formulated to de-stress and relax muscles, while another, a Jamaican fever grass oil, works wonders on tension and anxiety – the icing on the cake of any Caribbean escape.
MARTINIQUE Martinique should always be at, or near, the top of any respectable Best Caribbean Eats list. The steamy marriage of traditional French, Afro-Caribbean, Indian, Taino and Creole flavors that comprise Martinican cuisine yields a singular gastronomic experience unparalleled throughout the West Indies. The uncompromising commitment to excellence in food prep and presentation is prevalent everywhere and anywhere you can dine on the island. From the humblest roadside BBQ shack to gourmet beach bars like Le Petibonum (home to local celebrity chef Guy Ferdinand, aka Chef Hot Pants) and celebrated five-star restaurants like Le Zandoli, Martinique’s cuisine never disappoints.
FRENCH SAINT MARTIN A close second to Martinique that’s a lot more accessible to U.S. travelers, French Saint Martin is similarly devoted to the culinary arts. Fantastic French-Creole food is everywhere, and in particular, the seaside village of Grand Case is not to be missed. Local, rustic eateries here, known as Lolos, serve up the best of the island at nice prices.
PUERTO RICO If you like your culinary adventures with a more Latin flair, then Puerto Rico is your top choice. Two areas, in particular, Piñones and Guavate, get your taste buds uniquely in tune with the local sabor. The collection of kiosks that line the beach in Piñones just east of San Juan is nothing short of street-food heaven. Guavate, located in the mountain town of Cayey, is ground zero for Puerto Rico’s famed lechoneras. These restaurants are purveyors of the most mouth-watering slow-cooked roast pork anywhere on the planet.
CULTURE // WHAT'S ALL THE HYPE ABOUT?
What’s All the Hype About? WRITER CALIBE THOMPSON PHOTOGRAPHY DAVID I. MUIR
MAJAH HYPE, CARIBBEAN KING OF COMEDY, IS DEALING WITH MAJAH ISSUES
ajah Hype — or Nigel, for those closest to him — knows he’s a big deal. Before 2020, the social media sensation’s star was on the rise. From the feisty, loveable, relatable characters he played in video sketches online to sold-out performances and his own BET Digital series, Majah Hype was riding high. Then came allegations of physical abuse by his ex-fiancée and a rapid fall from grace. But Hype is proving that laughter really is the best medicine. He maintains that the allegations are false and has worked his way back into the hearts and minds of even more adoring fans. Here’s a bit of my conversation with the selfmade star, with insight into his characters and comedy, his life off-camera and his side of the controversy.
A One-Man Show “My sole purpose is to bring the culture together,” he says. “I don’t care where you’re from — you could be Jamaican, Guyanese, Trinidadian, Grenadian, St. Lucian — my main objective is always to build the numbers in the strength of the diaspora. We’re all Caribbean. We’re all from the West Indies. So why not build up a family?
He still refuses to say exactly what his own Caribbean heritage is. But as he shares the background of some of his most beloved characters, through a little deduction, we conclude that he’s got at least some Jamaican blood. “Di Rass [a Jamaican] is based on my father, just a no-nonsense type of guy. Mitzy was actually a mixture of my experiences going to beauty salons and from my kids’ mothers. I think that life in general is an influence. The first two characters that I’ve ever created were Grandpa James and Di Rass and I really had to look at the characteristics that would make them have longevity and be relatable.” Because no one knows his heritage for sure, every Caribbean community claims him. “I’ve traveled to four different countries where they’ve all said, ‘Welcome home’ without even looking at my passport. It’s a beautiful feeling to be accepted by so many people. That means I’m doing a good job of representing these cultures. And I’ve never had someone feel like I’m disrespecting their culture.” The accents he’s given his characters are the ones he grew up around in the homes of friends and family. I ask about his process for perfecting an accent. He says it’s the same research you’d do for any job. “You always go to the source. One of my neighbors is Bajan, so I picked up certain strategic parts of the accent. But now and again, I have to listen to Bajan music, watch Bajan interviews. You have to pick up the mannerisms in the tone difference between city and country… uptown and downtown. I want everybody to be able to relate to my videos.”
Majah Hype has just shy of two million followers across his social media channels, all looking for moments of comic relief. In Jamaican, Haitian, Trinidadian, Guyanese, Dominican, Barbadian and other spot-on Caribbean accents, he portrays a cast of characters evoking nostalgia and hysteria in anyone with a close Caribbean connection. “My comedy always has to be relatable, so that’s why it’s situational. I love the fact that I can make a “My sole purpose is joke about something that to bring the culture somebody probably went through that wasn’t funny together. We’re at the time but now, watchall from the West ing Majah Hype, it’s hilarious. I also try to shed light Indies. So why not on the stereotypes that we build up a family?” face.”
His acting is all selftaught, and his production outfit consists of himself, a mic stand and his cell phone. “There’s no multi-camera, it’s one camera. I don’t have a script, I just have a
CULTURE // WHAT’S ALL THE HYPE ABOUT?
“If I did sit down and wait on a promoter I’d probably be broke right now.”
scenario. I actually do each character by themself first. For example, if I’m doing Grandpa James and Di Rass, I will do every line that Grandpa James has to do and then I’ll change the frame, change the angle of the camera and I will do every line in response that Di Rass says. I do the edits myself as well.” Regarding whether he prefers making videos or interacting with a live audience — “It’s the best of both worlds. I get to be creative in my own space and see the reactions of the people through their comments. But the ultimate goal is to go on stage. I love to interact with my fans. I love to hear how I helped them through situations or how my videos saved their lives. To actually hear those stories is more gratification to me than money. Those are the things that make me feel good about my job.” His connection with his fans propelled him to produce his own show on BET Digital and led to performance opportunities alongside A-list comedians. “A lot of people don’t know this but I’m with the Gersh agency — the same agent as Dave Chappelle, Jamie Foxx and a host of other comedians. I’ve done shows with Mike Epps, Michael
Blackson, Tony Woods, Guy Torry, Marlon Wayans. I’ve stood up amongst the best and held it down for my culture.” When I saw him live, it was at the Hard Rock’s Guitar Hotel in Hollywood, Florida. “[Performing at the Hard Rock] is a great accomplishment for us — not just me, but for us because it’s opening doors for other people to walk through. I’ve done The Wilbur in Boston, Howard Theatre and The Comedy Store, which is one of the most historic comedy venues. We’ve been breaking barriers in Caribbean culture and Caribbean comedy.”
Behind the Hype His self-made bonafides go beyond the digital realm too. Rather than accept cut-rate offers made by some promoters as he was gaining popularity, he invested in his own live performances, booking his 2018 “Are You Dumb?” tour and 2021’s “Majah Issues” tour. “We work for ourselves. We don’t wait on a promoter to try to downplay our worth and our value. There’ve been so many times when I’ve told my price and they’ll say, “But I could get such and such for five bills yuh know. I could get such and such at $1,500 you know.” Well then go for them! You’re not going to devalue me. “For me, I just build my own revenue by investing in me, because to be honest with you, if I did sit down and wait on a promoter, I’d probably be broke right now.” I ask about the origins of his comedic aspirations. Did he always have dreams of becoming a comedian?
“Absolutely not,” he says. “Growing up I was always the one who was joking and had the room laughing, but it was never what I wanted to do… I was laid off as an electrician and I just started doing the videos because it was just something to pass the time and have fun with. But then it just started to work, the audience started to grow. And when they called me back to work I took the leap of faith and continued in comedy.”
Majah Issues It hasn’t always been smiles for Hype. In 2020, his then-fiancée made a series of allegations that he had physically and mentally abused her. He responded by sharing intimate details about their relationship, pointing to the support of his other exes and exposing a pattern of behavior that brought her motives into question. He stopped talking about it for a while. Then he ventured out on the Majah Issues tour, ready to address the controversy headon. “Who can joke about you more than yourself? They’re serious allegations, but I know the truth and whoever was in my corner from day one, remained in my corner. When the first allegation came out, I didn’t respond to it because I knew that it was foolishness and I knew that it was preying on people’s sensitivity. Then there was a second video of allegations about things that anybody who knows me or my character knows I don’t stand for. I don’t regret responding, but now I wouldn’t have responded the way I did. I was in a dark place, I was in a place of hurt, I was in a place of betrayal. I genuinely loved that person, but I don’t think that was the same interest from the other party… You don’t try to destroy somebody that you love. She had love from Nigel, not just Majah Hype.” As far as the lessons he learned — “I don’t think God makes any mistakes. It showed me that I still know how to love and that was the lesson, that you can love through absolutely anything. I won’t go into anything blindly, without knowing goals or intentions. I was humiliated, I was embarrassed, my kids went through traumatizing situations, but perseverance is everything and I’m in a much better place now.” As he moves forward, he’s gained insight and perspective to share. “Always invest in yourself. And stay positive. We have to look past those toxicities we know are familiar. We have to lift each other, love each other and support each other. That will be the thing that will better our future and our kids’ future.”
As his star once again rises, Hype is staying on the ball with multiple plans and projects ahead. “[I’ve gotten into] real estate, I’m going to be filming a movie with Ky-Mani Marley and I’m also creating a Black-owned business directory called For Us 360.”
You can follow Majah Hype across social media channels @majahhype.
INSPIRATION // CARIBBEAN TRAILBLAZERS
PHOTO: DAVID I. MUIR
From politicians to CEOs, these Caribbean trailblazers are leaving their imprint in South Florida and beyond.
Marie McKenzie JAMAICA
VICE PRESIDENT, GLOBAL PORTS AND CARIBBEAN GOVERNMENT RELATIONS FOR CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” MAYA ANGELOU
From Her Perspective At the start of professional life: My background is in accounting and finance, which created a solid foundation for me career-wise. I have a passion for engaging people. Working in travel, providing great vacation experiences while focusing on the Caribbean is, for me, the perfect marriage. Greatest career strength: Interpersonal skills and the ability to work across various cultural organizations. I sit in a position where I listen to internal stakeholders, but equally important, I must understand the needs of the Caribbean stakeholders and, somehow, I have to bring both together. Positive social change: It’s really just about people understanding each other. I feel that we got closer because we realized we’re really one world with common interests just trying to do the best for our communities, families, companies, employees, etc. And if we’re really focused on the fact that we truly have one common goal, I do believe that, over time, the world will get there. Greatest professional accomplishment: I think it’s yet to be. I hope to leave a legacy where, in this role, I have truly made a difference not just in the company but also in the Caribbean region.
PHOTO: DAVID I. MUIR
Influence of upbringing: I’m told that I’m relentless, and I think that has a lot to do with how I was raised. My mother raised me to believe that I could do anything I wanted to do and that I belong anywhere I want to be. When I enter the boardroom, while I am a proud Black woman from the Caribbean, I don’t think of all of the defined minority groups that I fall into — Black, female, of Caribbean descent, etc. I enter that room just believing that I belong. I’m qualified and I do the best job that I can to keep it that way.
arie McKenzie has risen through the ranks at Carnival Corporation, the largest travel and leisure company in the world, since she started at the company in 1996. Today, the Jamaican native is vice president of global ports and Caribbean government relations, leading a family of eight cruise brands in engaging Caribbean governments and local and regional organizations. She also guides strategic infrastructure and operational developments in the region she once called home. Her former titles at Carnival have included V.P. of global financial planning and analysis and V.P. of fleet accounting.
5 INTERESTING FACTS About Marie McKenzie 1. Recommended reading: “Who Moved My Cheese?” because it talks about finding the opportunity in change. 2. Advice for the next generation: Worry about nothing. Don’t chase money, chase opportunity and the money will come. 3. Favorite traditional Jamaican meal: Ackee and saltfish. It’s my happy place. 4. Favorite Jamaican tradition: Sundays as a time of worship and faith, when your family comes together for Sunday dinner. 5. Favorite extracurricular activities: I have a passion for fashion. I actually did a short stint in fashion design school, and as a child, I designed a lot of my clothing.
INSPIRATION // CARIBBEAN TRAILBLAZERS
Derrick Reckord JAMAICA
PRESIDENT AND CEO OF GRACEKENNEDY FOODS (USA) LLC
Bahamas recover after major tragedies. Reckord, raised in rural Jamaica with a mandate for success bestowed by his entire community, recalls his father’s “confidence in what [his children] could all accomplish if [they] are committed.” He describes himself as more curious than ambitious, enjoys golf, reading and movies, and is most grateful for his family and good health.
“It always seems impossible until it is done.” NELSON MANDELA
From His Perspective At the start of professional life: I was inspired to pursue a career in business from early high school exposure to a courageous entrepreneur. This individual created opportunities that I found very stimulating and rewarding. Greatest professional accomplishment: I have spent most of my career building an international business for a Jamaican entity. I believe my greatest contribution is helping to shape the vision and confidence that, as an organization and a people, we can accomplish very much beyond our geographic borders, and in the process, create opportunities and great rewards. Greatest ongoing challenge: The greatest challenge is always to take people from different cultures and backgrounds along the journey with us. Beyond the vision, strategy and hard work, we need lots of helping hands at all levels to execute well. Rising through the ranks: My first job was as a management trainee or “cadet.” I took every assignment given very seriously and found that as I delivered on the commitments, more was entrusted to me. I was very fortunate to be surrounded by some exceptional people who taught, supported, challenged and inspired me.
PHOTO: DAVID I. MUIR
Positive social change: I have lived through one of the most divisive periods in Jamaica’s political history, and I have seen a significant change for the better. I’ve also seen a challenge to the democracy theory in America. I look forward to a future where common values and aspirations will unite us. I expect to be part of the change by rewarding the type of leadership I would like to see with my vote and support.
errick Reckord has been at the helm of Grace Foods’ U.S. business since 2018. Jamaica’s GraceKennedy Limited will celebrate 100 years in 2022 and is now an international powerhouse, distributing food products and financial services to more than 40 countries. Reckord has successfully navigated the U.S. growth of the company, which acquired La Fe Foods in 2014, even through the pandemic years. Under his leadership, Grace Foods “brings a taste of the Caribbean to the world,” and it has also helped neighbors like Haiti and The
5 INTERESTING FACTS About Derrick Reckord 1. Greatest career strength: Resilience. 2. Books you recommend: The Bible, “The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and “Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela. 3. Advice for the next generation: Own and take responsibility for your own story, both good and bad. 4. Favorite traditional Jamaican meal: Curry goat. 5. Favorite Jamaican tradition: Christmas with family and friends.
INSPIRATION // CARIBBEAN TRAILBLAZERS
Ken “Chef Creole” Sejour HAITI
FOUNDER AT CHEF CREOLE SEASONED KITCHEN
PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHEF CREOLE
hef Wilkinson “Ken” Sejour is the founder of the popular Haitian-fusion restaurant chain Chef Creole Seasoned Kitchen, which boasts six South Florida locations. With Haitian and Bahamian roots, the businessman, philanthropist and advocate is beloved for his dedication to uplifting his community. He is the co-founder of the Little Haiti Optimist Club and actively raises awareness for Caribbean inclusion in the food industry. For his community service, including sponsoring sports teams, providing school supplies, and offering mentorship and motivational talks to young people, he was given the keys to Little Haiti.
From His Perspective At the start of professional life: Haitian tradition doesn’t allow the option of failure. It’s culture-driven. The fact that we didn’t have a Creole food franchise in our food industry was very troubling to me. The backbone of our Creole heritage is cooking and creating exquisite flavor. I believe that Chef Creole is among the many that will bring the Creole tradition to the world. A greater purpose: My faith has always challenged me to be a big brother and an even bigger figure in order to help those who are less fortunate. I presume one way to help people exercise their freedom in this nation is by providing them with an opportunity to be employed and become an asset to their families as well as their communities. Positive social change: Essentially, I want our leaders to understand that politicians are simply people and they should be held to the same standards to which we are all accountable. Many times, we’re deceived by political figures operating on “maybe,” rather than “yes” and “no.” Once the yes-and-no individuals are recognized, true leadership will advance within our community. Socially, I would like the communities to come
“It’s our responsibility as businessmen that, as much was given, we also give back to the community.” WILKINSON “KEN” SEJOUR
together and hold our educational system responsible for facilitating schooling for trade professions, including electrical, home economics, workshop and mechanics as electives. Hope for the Caribbean community: Education! The fact that we have been taught to stray away from our true heritage and history disenfranchises our lives. The proper education will allow individuals to truly understand our background, naturally surfacing our potential to become greater assets not just to ourselves but to our legacy. Greatest influencers: My mom and dad. At times, I’m questioned about my “rags to riches” story, and quickly after, I have to correct people. There were no rags, only riches, even if viewed differently by others. Coming to a foreign country, my mom and dad made our family look rich all the time, even in a time of struggle. We were raised to be proud and confident in any and every situation. For me, family means: Legacy. It is a village of support. What is the true definition of success? The profession that God, our creator, planned for us to achieve and the family that will establish our history. Favorite extracurricular activities: I enjoy playing music and going out in the sea.
INSPIRATION // CARIBBEAN TRAILBLAZERS
Sheila CherfilusMcCormick HAITI & THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ATTORNEY, CEO OF TRINITY HEALTH CARE SERVICES, INC. AND DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR U.S. CONGRESS
lobbying on Capitol Hill for healthcare reform. She’s running to ensure fair opportunities for federal contracts, increased employment and access to healthcare for her constituents.
From Her Perspective I decided to get into politics because: My daughter has a learning disability. A lot of kids with learning issues just didn’t have access to the same healthcare and behavioral therapies that wealthier people had. I felt like that wasn’t fair. I graduated law school around the time of the Affordable Care Act, so I actually started in the healthcare regulation space and just kept on evolving. It was really about understanding the regulations and how we could ensure that providers were abiding by them and helping people. Greatest challenge: Being an outsider, a lot of people really underestimated how we could pull together a diverse team and move allies. Positive social change: There’s been a lot of emphasis on economic recovery, but I don’t feel like the people are really being prioritized. Cities and municipalities are being forced to adopt different programs to meet immediate needs such as housing, income, jobs and the rising costs of inflation and gas. So I’m running in, and God willing, winning, the January election. Greatest career strengths: The most success I’ve had has been in stimulating the economy and creating jobs. The district needs someone in Congress who’s actually done things like build generational wealth, who advocated on the Hill for healthcare measures that are inclusive and for access, especially when it comes to mental health. Those successes have positioned me for this moment. Influence of upbringing: When I was growing up, my mother’s siblings were all coming from Haiti. We all lived in a twostory house. It could have been 20 of us out there together. They told us [kids], “you can only choose to be a doctor or a lawyer, but you have to succeed.” So even now, we function as a team when it comes to pursuing a dream. I always remember the importance of supporting each other.v
PHOTO: CHOICE PHOTOGRAPHY
5 INTERESTING FACTS About Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick
heila Cherfilus-McCormick is an attorney, CEO of Trinity Health Care Services, Inc. and the Democratic nominee in the 2022 Florida 20th congressional district special election. If elected to replace the late Alcee Hastings, she’ll be the first Haitian American Democrat in Congress. Although she’s never held elected office, she has spent more than a decade
1. Advice for the next generation: Pursue your purpose unapologetically. 2. For me, family is: Your support team and the team that believes in you, fights with you, wins with you. It’s not just blood. 3. Favorite traditional Haitian meal: Lambi ak nwa — conch and cashews. 4. Favorite extracurricular activities: I love karaoke and I love spinning. But I swear I can sing, and I can’t. 5. Recommended reading: “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho and “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield.
THE NATIONAL HAITIAN AMERICAN ELECTED OFFICIALS NETWORK PROGRESSIVE PAC
SHEILA CHERFILUS MCCORMICK U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - DISTRICT 20 FIRST DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE OF HAITIAN AMERICAN DESCENT
WWW.NHAEONPAC.COM Paid for by NHAEON Progressive PAC (www.nhaeonpac.com) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
INSPIRATION // CARIBBEAN TRAILBLAZERS
Isa M. Núñez PUERTO RICO AND CUBA
VICE PRESIDENT OF CONSTRUCTION AND DESIGN AT JACKSON HEALTH SYSTEM
“There is an inherent satisfaction that comes from doing work that makes a difference and improves peoples’ lives.” ISA M. NÚÑEZ
From Her Perspective At the start of professional life: My love for math is what drove me to engineering. My curiosity in architecture when I was young and my interest in construction as I got older led me to select civil engineering as my major. Greatest professional accomplishment: My most impactful work so far has been at Jackson over the past seven years, expanding our services throughout the county and upgrading all of our facilities through the Miracle Building Bond Program. Rising through the ranks: I spent 24 years growing within the construction department at FDOT. In my last project there, I was the lead on the public-private partnership that built the PortMiami tunnel. I then transitioned to chief of engineering services at PortMiami. One year later, I was offered the amazing opportunity to manage the Jackson Health System Miracle Building Bond Program. Influence of upbringing: My parents did not have careers or any advanced education when they fled Cuba, migrated to Puerto Rico and eventually settled in Miami. As immigrants, they struggled but worked very hard to make sure we had the essentials. My father passed away unexpectedly when I was 14 years old. My mom did not drive or speak English, and my older siblings were in college. I never doubted that I would also attend university to get a good education and find a career that would give me a financially stable and comfortable life.
PHOTO: JEREMIE MCLEOD
Positive social change: I would like to see the end of communism in Cuba. It would be amazing for those who left everything behind and started from scratch to seek freedom and a better life in the United States to see a free Cuba in their lifetime.
5 INTERESTING FACTS About Isa M. Núñez
ith more than 29 years of experience in the construction industry, Isa M. Núñez manages a $1.5 billion capital program in her role as vice president of construction and design at Jackson Health Systems. Núñez has led the delivery of six signature projects for Jackson, including major facilities renovations and two new full-service specialty hospital builds. Earlier in her career, at the Florida Department of Transportation, she ascended to the role of construction program manager for the Miami Intermodal Center and, later, for the $1 billion 2014 PortMiami Tunnel project.
1. Recommended reading: Any of Brené Brown’s books and “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle. 2. Advice for the next generation: Think globally. Don’t limit yourself to your immediate surroundings, the town or even the country you grew up in. Go out and explore. 3. Favorite traditional Latin-Caribbean meal: Garbanzos are my favorite, but I also love all types of beans and legumes, such as black beans, lentils, and chicharos (split peas). 4. F avorite extracurricular activities: I love doing yoga and circuit training, eating out with friends, reading, traveling, spending time outdoors and exploring new things with my kids. 5. Favorite Latin-Caribbean tradition: I love the traditional Noche Buena, which is celebrated on Christmas Eve.
lth a e H U e h T ard d n a t s n o Jacks r of care fo
t n e urg care. B O A R D - C E R T I F I E D D O C T O R S A L W AY S O N D U T Y At UHealth Jackson Urgent Care we provide the highest standard of care, while keeping you safe. With our board-certified physicians from the Unviversity of Miami Health System on site seven days a week*, you’ll get the treatment you need – so you can get back to being you again. JacksonUrgentCare.com Country Walk 13707 S.W. 152nd St. Miami, FL 33177 305-585-9200 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Cutler Bay 18910 South Dixie Hwy. Cutler Bay, FL 33157 305-585-9230 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Doral 7400 N.W. 104th Ave. Doral, FL 33178 305-585-9250 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Keystone Point 13120 Biscayne Blvd. North Miami, FL 33181 305-585-9210 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Our charges for medical services are less than the charges for comparable medical services at Jackson Memorial Hospital. *North Dade Urgent Care is closed on Sunday.
BSP Job #: JHSA-21-C079_DrAndPatient_IslandOrigins_affinity_SEP Client: JHS-UrgentCare Description: HalfPage Bleed: 8.75" x 5.625" Non-Bleed: 8" x 5.125" Color: 4c Date: August 23, 2021 11:14 AM Mech Person: GU Issue: SEP - NO CROPS
North Dade 16555 N.W. 25th Ave. Miami Gardens, FL 33054 786-466-1900 Monday - Saturday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Sunday: Closed.
INSPIRATION // CARIBBEAN TRAILBLAZERS
the title sponsor for the Music Exhibit. Roulhac was also the first woman of color gubernatorial appointee on the prestigious Board of Trustees at her alma mater, the University of Florida.
“There is no right way to do a wrong thing.”
EXTERNAL AFFAIRS DIRECTOR AT FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT COMPANY (FPL)
JULIET’S FATHER, RAMON MURPHY
From Her Perspective Motivation and personal mission: My desire to give back in a meaningful way came when I first practiced as a lawyer. I sought to build relationships and participate in organizations where I could network and make a difference in people’s lives. In my role as external affairs director at Florida Power & Light Company, I am empowered to work with the communities we serve to help make them better places to live, work and raise a family. Professional challenges overcome: Being authentically kind sometimes can be perceived as a weakness. To overcome this challenge, I had to find a balance. I discovered you can be authentically kind, be a leader and take the risks you need to obtain success. What I may have considered a challenge at one point is now, in fact, a strength. Influence of upbringing: I had a very strict upbringing and was raised with strong family values where faith was at the center of our lives. Those values carried me into being successful in college – the work came first for me.
PHOTO: DAVID I. MUIR
A favorite life lesson: My father always used to say you had to find at least one good thing about people. I can think back to a conversation with a homeless woman who had a very compelling story. You find very often that people are looked over, dismissed. Everyone should be offered the opportunity.
n attorney by trade, Jamaican-American Juliet Roulhac of Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is the conduit between the behemoth organization and the South Florida community. In her position as external affairs director at the largest energy company in the United States, she acts as a liaison, managing relationships between officials, local organizations and the communities they serve to develop better strategies for FPL. Caribbean organizations aided by her efforts include the Caribbean Bar Association, Jamaican Women of Florida and Island SPACE Caribbean Museum — where FPL is
Greatest influencer: Dorothy Pine-McClarty. She was one of my parents’ very best friends and the first female partner in the largest law firm on the island in Jamaica. Jamaica is a very patriarchal society. When I was a young girl, I didn’t see women in powerful positions. Dorothy was a unicorn!
5 INTERESTING FACTS About Juliet Roulhac 1. Greatest career strength: Kindness. It’s important for me to build up my team and those I work with. 2. Advice for the next generation: Ask for what you want, whether it’s a resource or job opportunity, and do the best with what you have. 3. To me, “family” means: Everything. Family is all about love and support and everybody needs both. 4. I’m most grateful for: My belief in God, who pulls and pushes me through. 5. Favorite Jamaican tradition: The holidays! Food traditions like Jamaican pudding (cake with fruit and rum) and sorrel remind me of the holidays and of home.
At Florida Power & Light Company we are working together with the communities we serve to make Florida an even better place to raise a family and do business.
We congratulate FPL’s Juliet Roulhac as a 2021 Island Origins Trailblazer recipient and celebrate her contributions to help make a difference in the Caribbean American communities in Broward County.
INSPIRATION // CARIBBEAN TRAILBLAZERS
Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh
“If you don’t quit, you win.” HEIDI BAKER
From Her Perspective
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
At the start of professional life: I have always been inspired by service. From when I was a little girl, I would help my mother, a Sunday School teacher, prepare her lessons. For me, the idea of working in the community and advancing change just felt very natural. Today, I am inspired by the tenacity and resilience of the families that I see every day that simply won’t quit. I remind them of a tiny secret of the universe: if you don’t quit, you win.
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE URBAN LEAGUE OF BROWARD COUNTY
Rising through the ranks: In addition to his construction day job in the Public Works Department in the U.S.V.I., my father did gypsy taxiing. I was paid weekly to wash the car floor mats. The willingness not to take anything for granted and not to despise the days of “small things” has helped me to enjoy and rise to the positions that I have had thus far in my career. Greatest career strength: My ability to connect dots relatively quickly to advance the agenda of the Urban League and other mission-oriented for-profit or non-profit entities. Also, I am a learner, and I enjoy discovery. I will spend time researching, reading and sharing knowledge.
PHOTO: DAVID I. MUIR
Influence of upbringing: Like most Caribbean and Black people of my generation, our beginnings and upbringings were humble. My parents are hardworking and they transferred that to each of their children. I believe we have so much to offer this world, and our time is limited. Let’s be fully used up before our time runs out on this Earth.
r. Germaine Smith-Baugh leads the Urban League of Broward County, the local chapter of a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in underserved urban communities. The U.S. Virgin Islands native currently oversees the $21 million in ULBC assets she has built with her team since assuming leadership in 2006, and governs state-appropriated funds for seven other National Urban League affiliates. As a champion for equity and inclusion, her impressive resume includes opening the $9 million Community Empowerment Center in Historic Sistrunk and earning U.S. Treasury Department recognition for a ULBC subsidiary that supports the efforts of their Entrepreneurship Center and Small Loan Fund. Dr. Smith-Baugh, or Dr. G, as she’s fondly known, was a Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship Fellow and inductee in the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame.
Positive social change: I believe that we need to be in the margins, asking the people for whom we believe we are creating better outcomes how they see and want their world to be. We have a tendency to build up these power structures devoid of the people who will be most impacted. If we do a better job of putting the people in the middle, the outcomes we seek would far outlast any power structure, political and/or social.
5 INTERESTING FACTS About Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh 1. For me, family is: The beginning and the end. Nothing else, other than my relationship with God, will matter in the end. And I pray that I show up and set an example for them now in a way that they won’t leave me abandoned in a nursing home…smile. 2. I’m most grateful for: Peace of mind. 3. Favorite V.I. tradition: The gathering of family and friends around the holidays — Christmas, Carnival, Easter and the list goes on. 4. One surprising fact: I don’t mind being the quiet one in most situations. 5. Recommended reading: “The Warmth of Other Suns,” by Isabel Wilkerson, “The One Thing” by Keller and Papasan and the Bible.
NEED HEALTH INSURANCE? WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED. ACA Navigators can help find low or nocost insurance plans for you. Contact the Urban League of Broward County at 866-247-ULBC or ACA@ulbcfl.org Don't delay. Open Enrollment ends on January 15, 2022
INSPIRATION // CARIBBEAN TRAILBLAZERS
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” AFRICAN PROVERB
From His Perspective
Motivation and personal mission: Having migrated to America young, I had to scratch and claw for everything. The Boston public school system didn’t afford us great opportunities, but I personally didn’t let that set my watermark. Pride, determination, hard work and perseverance were instilled in me. In my current role at the Urban League of Broward County, I have an opportunity every day to give back, and I do so proudly.
SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT OFFICER AT URBAN LEAGUE OF BROWARD COUNTY
Greatest professional contributions: I believe every day is an opportunity where I can uplift and encourage business owners and entrepreneurs, reminding them “all things are possible” and assuring them that they are on the cusp of doing great things. A memorable turning point: I can recall my high school football coach telling me that I wasn’t big enough and would never play D1 football. That motivated me like nothing else. I proved him wrong, proudly playing at a D1-AA school (Northeastern University). This story helps me help others look past their current situation and focus on the goal which leads to the prize.
PHOTO: DAVID I. MUIR
Greatest career strength: My ability to listen, empathize and be solution-oriented. I’m a believer in “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” In business development, I try to uplift and give a sense of hope where someone may want to throw in the towel.
.R. McFarling helps Urban League of Broward County’s entrepreneurship clients navigate roadblocks and implement programs they can leverage to build their legacy. Though the organization advances lives through education, business services, community development, justice, housing and healthcare, McFarling’s focus is on minority small businesses. With a 15-year history in business development, McFarling has found that his work at the ULBC marries his skillset with his strong desire to impact the community. Hailing from Spurtree in Manchester, Jamaica by way of Boston, Massachusetts, he admires the grit of the Jamaican people each time he visits the land of his birth. He relies on the internal compass — calibrated by those humble beginnings, his parents’ voices and an innate mental determination — to steer his actions, mindset and motivations. He also still loves to engage his talents as a former DJ when the opportunity arises.
Hopes for the Caribbean family: As we grow professionally and expand our centers of influence, it’s important that we leverage any and all opportunities to “give back.” I would certainly want to see those of Caribbean descent prosper while also continuing to find ways to impact their countries and communities.
5 INTERESTING FACTS About J.R. McFarling 1. F irst job: Elementary-school-aged snow-removal expert shoveling snow for my neighbors. 2. A dvice for the next generation: All you’ve experienced doesn’t define you because it’s your story to write, not someone else’s to interpret. 3. Favorite traditional Jamaican meal: Oxtail with rice and peas and spinners, but also cow foot soup, beef soup and fried fish. 4. Major influencers: My wife, who encourages me to chase my dreams, my mom, who gives unwavering love and my twin sister, who keeps me level. 5. O ne surprising fact: I love cooking, and I’m also very handy — I can fix almost anything around the house from tiling to painting to plumbing to landscaping.
Yolanda Cash Jackson
“Treat yourself as a professional who happens to be a minority rather than a minority who happens to be a professional.”
YOLANDA CASH JACKSON
LOBBYIST AT FLORIDA STATE CAPITOL AND ATTORNEY AT BECKER & POLIAKOFF
From Her Perspective I gravitated to law because: I wanted to be in a field where I could simultaneously effect change and be my own boss. Greatest career strength: Knowing how to connect the dots. In my business, intersectionality between government, law and community is absolutely necessary. We have a very diverse community, and a good attorney needs to understand how different communities interact with government, lobbyists, advocates and even elected officials. It’s important to be culturally competent, and to be adept at connecting the right people at the right place at the right time.
PHOTO: DAVID I. MUIR
Greatest professional challenges: The “isms” of race or sex or fear or stereotypes. Going into this field, dealing with those issues was challenging at first. Another challenge is the “imposter syndrome” [the state of doubting your abilities and whether you deserve your accolades] I felt. As the first in my family to attend and graduate from law school, and then becoming the first African-American female to work at the oldest law firm in Florida, imposter syndrome was real to me.
member of national legal firm Becker & Poliakoff’s management committee, Yolanda Cash Jackson works with policy-makers as an attorney and lobbyist in South Florida and at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee. The Bahamian-American will chair the Miami-Dade Beacon Council starting in 2022, is a co-founder of the National Black Lobbyist Association, has been a member of numerous prestigious boards and has multiple awards and recognitions for her work. Based on her direct efforts, Florida became the first state to honor an African-American woman — civil rights leader and educator, Mary McLeod Bethune — in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall. In 2020, Jackson created the HBCU Pathway to Law fund — the University of Florida law school’s largest endowed fund — to grant full scholarships to at least five HBCU graduates annually.
For me, family is: My support system, my source of pride and strength, and my understanding of who I am. It has completed a circle that I never thought would be complete. Our Caribbean legacy: I am my family’s historian. I’ve spent probably the last 15 years, on and off, reconnecting with the family that left the Caribbean in the early 1900s. That has to change. We cannot lose the very thing that drove our ancestors to come to this country. The pride, the culture, the moral fiber, the strength, the history. We cannot allow that to be diminished. It is so important to the continued success of what they came for in the first place — to build a better life and to provide opportunities that they didn’t have in the islands.
3 INTERESTING FACTS About Yolanda Cash Jackson 1. Favorite Caribbean tradition is: Junkanoo 2. Favorite traditional Bahamian meal: The meal that my grandmother used to prepare almost every Friday: stewed conch with pigeon peas and rice. My second favorite is boiled fish, grits and Johnny cake. 3. People would be surprised that: I really enjoy cooking and do it well.
INSPIRATION // CARIBBEAN TRAILBLAZERS
John Yearwood TRINIDAD
GLOBAL EDITOR AT POLITICO
“Tales of the hunt will forever glorify the hunter until the lions tell their story.” AFRICAN PROVERB
ohn Yearwood is a multiple-award-winning, internationally respected figure in the world of media and journalism. Currently the global editor at POLITICO, he is the former world editor for the Miami Herald, an authority on global affairs referenced by platforms such as NPR, BBC and Al Jazeera, and executive board chairman of the International Press Institute. The Trinidadian-American has engaged with such indelible figures as Nelson Mandela and Barack Obama, and he brought the Miami Herald to the precipice of winning a Pulitzer Prize when he spearheaded coverage of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
From His Perspective First job: General assignments (GA) reporter with the Dallas Morning News. As a GA reporter, I recognized that the immigrant population was increasing at a steady clip in Dallas. I proposed a beat to focus on the new immigrant community, which led to more and more stories about international affairs. Ultimately, I became an editor at another Texas newspaper and continued exploring international coverage. That led directly to my current position. Greatest professional accomplishment: I led a team of reporters and editors at the Miami Herald to explore issues of racial identity in Latin America. It was called A Rising Voice: Afro-Latin Americans. Even though it has been many years since the series was published, I still get calls from organizations and institutions wanting to know more about the series or asking me to speak at conferences about it. Greatest career strengths: Curiosity and knowledge of international issues and connections with people around the world who are actively involved in setting international policy. Recommended reading list: “Things Fall Apart” by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, “Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019” by Ibram X. Kendi, “Long Walk to Freedom’’ by Nelson Mandela and “The Downing Street Years” by Margaret Thatcher Advice for the next generation: A great deal of your success in life will be based on luck. You’ll discover in time that the harder you work, the luckier you’ll become.
PHOTO: GEORGE HORTON
4 INTERESTING FACTS About John Yearwood
1. Most grateful for: Family and good friends 2. Favorite traditional Trinidadian meal: Pelau (a one-pot chicken, rice and bean dish) 3. Favorite extracurricular activities: Running on the beach and going to the movies 4. One surprising fact: I’m actually an introvert
Eric Knowles THE BAHAMAS
PRESIDENT & CEO AT MIAMI-DADE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
“But for the Grace of God, there go I.” a sense of being and self-reliance. He effects change by being engaged at the policy and procedural level, most gratified when members of his chamber win, grow and work with one another.
From His Perspective At the start of professional life: I have had the pleasure of being engaged with several chambers of commerce throughout my career, representing organizations like the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium. I was a board member and the chairman of the board with several of those chambers. Rising through the ranks: My first job was as a soldier at the age of 17. I joined the military as an airborne paratrooper and spent three years in the Army. This was the catalyst that built my understanding of who and what I can be. My senior drill sergeant wrote of me that I had a “can do attitude,” one that I have carried throughout my career. I rose to where I am today by understanding the importance of simple things — mopping the floor, making your bed, shining your shoes. These are the things that build your base for success. Greatest career strength: I am a people person. I am not a micromanager. You hire people to do a job, let them do it. Influence of upbringing: I grew up building snowmen and sandcastles in Nassau, Bahamas and outside of Buffalo, NY, in Lockport. My grandmother took me to the Bahamas when I was eight months old. I lived there until I was five years old, when my father was discharged from the U.S. Army. I moved back and forth between Miami and Lockport all my life. I spent a lot of time in a Pentecostal Church in Miami and a Baptist Church in Lockport.
PHOTO: MARLENE QUARONI
For me, family is: Everything. My elders, who paved the way, and my children, Erica and Catherine. I have instilled in them independence and an understanding that to whom much is given, much is required. I also have friends who have become family, those who are there in the thick of the fight.
5 INTERESTING FACTS About Eric Knowles
ordon Eric Knowles has been the President and CEO at the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce since 2014. The chamber is responsible for advocating for the interests of Black- and minority-owned businesses in the MiamiDade area, guiding its members to capital, opportunities and other resources. Knowles was also senior director of government affairs for the Miami Dolphins from 2006 to 2012 and Sun Life Stadium from 2009 to 2012. He ascribes his proactive life approach to the influences of his mother and grandmother, who taught him independence,
1. Favorite traditional Bahamian meal: Peas and rice — not rice and peas (lol). Grouper, conch salad, stewed conch, stewed fish. 2. Favorite extracurricular activities: I teach yoga, I’m an avid golfer, actor, model, voice-over actor, road biker and poetry writer. 3. One surprising fact: I taught Sunday School at one point in my life. 4. The change I’d like to see: That we work together more — don’t stay within our silos or wait for Carnival to come together. 5. Advice for the next generation: Save your money, invest… and floss.
WRITER HANNAH GULICS PHOTOGRAPHY VARIOUS
ovingly named after designer David Rolle’s great grandmother, the RAPHELITA brand is one that continues to shock with bold designs and fearless styling. Designing for a primarily Caribbean market, the Bahamian designer and “Mission Catwalk” Season 5 winner’s aesthetic is unapologetic, loud, confident, creative, intense and stunning all at once, intended to personify the women who will be wearing his fashions. “I am really inspired by the women around me. My task is to make a woman look good, but what I care about most is how she feels.” Instagram: @raphelita_
Pretty in Pink A delicate floral lace longsleeve blouse with an off-theshoulder neckline complements a hand-pinned brocade floral skirt. “All of those little falls [were] done by hand. It started off as a completely full skirt and I wanted it to look a little sexier. So we did pintucks to expose the legs.”
PHOTO: CJERMAINE PHOTOGRAPHY
STYLE // RAPHELITA
PHOTO: CJERMAINE PHOTOGRAPHY
“You have to be kind of fearless. Everybody won’t always like it, but as long as it feels right to you, that’s what matters most.”
Green Goddess Layered in brocade fabric, this green blouse and these luxurious floral-printed pants are cinched at the waist with one of Rolle’s grandmother’s vintage belts.
PHOTO: CJERMAINE PHOTOGRAPHY
STYLE // RAPHELITA
Ebony Onyx Inspired by vintage prom dresses, Rolle attached Quinlan mesh cape sleeves to the mix of laser-cut Quinlan and neoprene fabrics in the alluring bodice, and the dress completely came to life.
PHOTO: SHAWN HANNA
Golden Glamour This gold mesh blouse with laser-cut medallions is paired with gold snake print shorts, a thick satin belt and busy fringe boots.
The outfit “speaks to the type of women I dress. I feel like this girl walks into the party and you know that she’s from the Caribbean. She has all the flavor, all the spice.” islandoriginsmag.com
STYLE // RAPHELITA
Serpentine This one-shoulder, high-slit, gold, snake print and sequin dress is from Rolle’s After 7 Collection. “You get so much skin in the most tasteful way,” he says. “I love the animal print. I love the sequins. I love the fluidity of the dress. If you’re that girl, you can show up to brunch in this dress.”
PHOTO: SHAWN HANNA PHOTO: SHAWN HANNA
Wanna Shag? This anything-but-basic mini from the After 7 Collection features a malleable shift dress design and wide sleeves, all covered in shredded black georgette crêpe fabric.
INSPIRATION // COLIN POWELL: LIFE, LESSONS, LEGACY
Life, Lessons, Legacy WRITER DR. KIMBERLEY D. MCKINSON
n his 1995 autobiography, “My American Journey,” Colin Powell recalls a near-death experience in Jamaica during his visit there three years earlier while representing the United States as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Flying in a Jamaica Defence Force helicopter, Powell heard a sudden, sharp crack. The helicopter’s transmission had seized. As a former soldier who had survived a helicopter crash during his tour in Vietnam, he knew well what would happen if the aircraft that carried him and his wife Alma failed – plummeting them into the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea below. Reflecting later on their swift rescue by Jamaican pilots, Powell could not help but marvel at the irony of the moment. “What had been the land of my folks’ birth,” he wrote, “had nearly become the site of their son’s death.” Powell was thousands of miles away from Jamaica when he passed away from COVID-19 complications on October 18, 2021, at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Yet the land of his family’s birth shaped so much of the man he became: the four-star general who made history as the first Black national security advisor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state. As an unyielding public servant dedicated to fortifying a more perfect union, he will forever be remembered not only as a great American but also as an embodiment of the Caribbean-American ideal.
In November 1968, during his second Vietnam tour, Powell survived a helicopter crash and pulled others to safety. (Courtesy Colin Powell)
An American Dream in the South Bronx So much of Colin Powell’s journey represents the hopes of American immigrants for their children. Perhaps Jamaican immigrants Luther and Maud Ariel Powell had lofty wishes for their son when he was born on April 5, 1937, in Harlem, New York. They were among the earliest waves of West Indian migrants – the proverbial “tired and poor, those huddled masses” that came to this country in search of a better life. But the America Powell met at his birth was in turmoil. The country was still recovering from the Great Depression, and would soon be plunged into the fog of World War II. Yet in his memoir, Powell remembers his early years living in the South Bronx defined not by darkness, but by light – bathed in the warmth of his close-knit West Indian community. In true Caribbean fashion, Powell recalls being simultaneously scolded and fussed over by matriarchs “who
Colin Powell with new bride Alma (left) and Jamaican parents Luther and Maud. (Courtesy Colin Powell)
General Powell became the first Black national security adviser under Republican President Ronald Reagan (left) in 1987. (Public Domain)
INSPIRATION // COLIN POWELL: LIFE, LESSONS, LEGACY
A young Colin Powell with his Jamaican father, Luther, in New York. (Courtesy Colin Powell)
Army captain Colin Powell in Vietnam,1963. (Courtesy Colin Powell)
Colin Powell with Ambassador Sue M. Cobb. (Courtesy of Cobb Family Foundation Inc.)
set the standards, whipped the kids into shape, and pushed them ahead.” He remembers watching his father, a shipping clerk who first came to America on a banana boat, toil “to become something more than he had been, and to give his children a better start than he had known.” These experiences, both mundane and extraordinary, taught him that success came only through hard work and personal sacrifice. “Education, personal achievement, respect, [and a] God fearing” nature were vitally pressed in Powell’s home, says Jamaican-born scholar Dr. Basil Bryan, who grew acquainted with Powell while serving as Jamaica’s consul general in New York and deputy ambassador in Washington D.C. The enduring lessons learned from this West Indian community helped Powell forge his own work ethic and moral compass, which the U.S. military would put to the test.
The Birth of a Leader In his memoir, Powell remembers feeling transformed when he first donned the simple olive-and-brown uniform of City College’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Back then, his uniform was bare and unadorned, devoid of the insignia which would later symbolize his distinguished career. The military has long given first-generation Americans a way to claim their nationhood, display their patriotism and find rare opportunities for advancement. This proved true for Powell, even when forced to swallow the bitter medicine of playing “the good Negro” in the newly desegregated U.S. military. Powell managed to find a sense of belonging within the institution and cleaved to its structure and discipline while serving two tours in the Vietnam War. His star would rise quickly as a leader in the military and later at the State Department. Sue M. Cobb, former U.S. ambassador to Jamaica during the George W. Bush administration, notes that Powell was “one of the kindest, most thoughtful, careful, and loyal leaders and friends” she had ever known. Pamela E. Bridgewater, former U.S. ambassador to Jamaica during the Barack Obama administration, shares this sentiment. “He wanted people to be the
Secretary of State Powell, President George W. Bush and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice prepare for an international meeting in 2001. (Photo: Smith Collection/Gado)
Sec. Powell, a rare bipartisan Washington player, was consulted by administrations on both sides. Here, he is pictured with President Barack Obama in 2009. (Public Domain)
very best that they could be,” says Bridgewater. And though he “demand[ed] excellence, he helped others reach that level if they hadn’t gotten it.” Bridgewater continues to hold dear a Powell mantra: “take care of the troops and the troops will take care of you.” This human-centric approach to military leadership provided the foundation for what would become known as the Powell Doctrine: a set of criteria dictating the use of force abroad, predicated on the protection of U.S. strategic interests, a clear plan for winning, a set exit strategy and wide public support. In summary, war should be decisive, but only as the last resort. These principles helped him guide America through the 1991 Gulf War – a conflict defined by calculated military intervention and international support.
Litmus Test Powell’s record made him a rare breed among an increasingly partisan nation. Serving both Republican and Democratic presidents, he became a Washington figure respected by politicians on both sides of a thorny aisle. Still, any honest interrogation of Colin Powell’s life must contend with a singular, uncomfortable truth: Powell may have been a high-ranking military and political leader, but he could not overcome America’s imperialistic ambitions. In the name of this country, he ultimately played a part in decimating the lives of many peoples of color abroad. Powell was accused of whitewashing his 1968 investigations into the Mỹ Lai massacre of unarmed South Vietnamese civilians by U.S. troops. And in 1989, during the U.S. invasion of Panama to overthrow dictator and former CIA ally Manuel Noriega, Powell, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, oversaw the bombing of impoverished communities like Panama City’s El Chorrillo, a neighborhood first populated by Caribbean migrants who came to work on the Panama Canal. One of Powell’s most enduring legacies will be his role in the Iraq War while serving as secretary of state. History will remember how he contradicted his own doctrine when he advocated for invasion before the United Nations Security Council in 2003.
The America he represented that year, however, differed dramatically from the nation that launched the measured military operations of the 1991 Gulf War. This was America post-9/11 — scared and fearful of unseen enemies seemingly emerging everywhere. Internally, Powell’s advocacy for a more calculated response could not deter a presidency primed for war. Instead, taking advantage of Powell’s staunch reputation, the administration intentionally selected him to sell the Iraq War to the world, using erroneous evidence that ignored marked objections among America’s own intelligence community. He would later describe that event as one of his most momentous failures. Through it all, Powell’s ethos, successes and defeats serve as inspiration for the next generation of Caribbean-American leaders. These future luminaries must confront systemic racism, climate change and gender inequality. To their great benefit, they will have the indomitable legacy that Powell left behind, proof that people of West Indian descent belong comfortably among the leadership of the highest offices on the world stage. Powell invested his hopes into this next generation when he founded the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at his alma mater, City College of New York (CCNY). The nonpartisan institute is dedicated to nurturing more minority voices in shaping American policy – ensuring the future of the nation need not depend on one great man. It will be left in the hands of prepared and capable people.
INSPIRATION // GANG ALTERNATIVE
GANG ALTERNATIVE, INC.
Coalition Strategy With its mission of “building character that lasts,” Gang Alternative, Inc. (GA) channels power from its strong community coalitions to support youth and build safer communities. WRITER HANNAH GULICS PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF GANG ALTERNATIVE, INC.
n many South Florida areas, poverty and substance abuse ravage young people and their families. Through its five Pillars of Service (Positive Youth Development, Family Strengthening, Community Upliftment & Partnerships, Health & Wellness and Workforce Development), GA offers free resources to alleviate these challenges and empower communities to make lasting change. As an experienced coalition-builder, GA understands that only through collective action can true community-level change be made. Through its Urban Partnership Drug Free Community Coalition (UPDFCC), GA has worked toward reducing underage drinking and marijuana use for over 10 years using a 12-sector approach to bring community members from all levels together to enact change.
To build capacity among the youth it serves, UPDFCC is also guided by the Youth Frontline Coalition (YFC), which operates in several middle and high schools in Little Haiti, Liberty City and the surrounding areas. YFC is a youth-led/ adult-guided movement where young people learn valuable life skills and connect with their peers to combat social norms that encourage substance abuse. GA also leads the Urban Partnership for Success Collaborative Miami (UPSCM), seven drug-free community coalitions that convene monthly to dissect data and determine substance abuse prevention policy needs. In addition to community coalitions addressing alcohol and marijuana use, GA leads a Service Partnership coalition through its United People Lifting Indi-
viduals and Families Together (UPLIFT) program. The UPLIFT Service Partnership is a place-based coalition of social service providers working together to deliver coordinated services to families. UPLIFT also provides direct services to families in need, providing access to public benefits, housing, mental health services and more. Leonard F., a husband and father of two who was recently referred to UPLIFT, says, “This staff always reserves a warm welcome when serving me. I got a fee of $1,000 to pay my rent, and [the Care Coordinators] took care of all my files before reactivating my food stamp card.” There is no wrong door at GA — the organization’s programs are all interconnected, so no matter what you need, one of GA’s programs can help.
To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit Gang Alternative at www.MyGA.org.
TASTE THE ISLANDS // WINTER FAVORITES
Winter Recipes When the temperature falls, traditional Caribbean comfort foods come to the table. From drinks to entrees, these recipes are perfect for your winter islandinspired meals alone or with friends and family. 60
These classic snacks are meat-stuffed, savory cornmeal pies prepared in banana leaves. WHAT YOU NEED: • store-bought banana leaves • strings, to tie For the filling: • 1 pound lean minced beef or lamb • 2 onions, chopped • 2 shallots, chopped • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed • 1 teaspoon thyme • 1 teaspoon rosemary • 1 teaspoon black pepper • ½ stalk celery, chopped • ½ cup olives, pitted and chopped • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce • 1 tablespoon capers • 1 teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon paprika For the dough: • 2 cups corn flour • 3 cups hot water • 1 teaspoon salt • ½ teaspoon sugar • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil
WHAT TO DO: 1. Add the meat to a pan on medium heat and saute until browned. Add the seasonings and stir until combined and the meat is brown and cooked through. Remove the filling from the heat and set aside to cool. 2. To make the dough, combine the corn flour with the hot water, salt and sugar and knead until pliable. Divide into a dozen small dough balls. 3. Dip one of the dough balls in the olive oil and flatten it out into a rectangle on top of a piece of banana leaf. 4. Add about three tablespoons of filling to the center of the flattened dough and fold over to gently seal the sides. Fold the leaf around the pastelle to seal and tie it shut with a piece of string. 5. Boil in a pot of hot water for 18 to 20 minutes. Drain the water, unwrap and serve hot.
This spiked dessert drink is famous in Puerto Rico for its creamy rum and coconut flavors. WHAT YOU NEED: •½ can of coconut milk, about 7 ounces • 5 ounces evaporated milk •2 ounces sweetened condensed milk, or to taste
• 5 ounces white rum • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg • cinnamon stick, to garnish
WHAT TO DO: 1. Gather all ingredients except the cinnamon stick, place into a large blender and blend for about two minutes or until all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is slightly frothy. 2. Pour the mixture into an airtight container or mason jar and refrigerate until cold. 3. Before serving, shake well to make sure the settled spices are incorporated. 4. Serve the coquito in short glasses with sprinkled cinnamon and cinnamon sticks. Enjoy!
JAMAICAN ESCOVITCH RED SNAPPER
This dish is tangy from vinegar and spicy from Scotch bonnet pepper flavors that will delight as an appetizer or main course. WHAT YOU NEED: • 4 medium fresh red snapper, scaled • lemon juice, to clean • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper • 12 pimento seeds • 1 onion, sliced • 1 red bell pepper, seeded
• 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded • 1 carrot, grated • ½ cup rice wine vinegar • 1 tablespoon sea salt • cracked black pepper • 1 teaspoon paprika • 1 teaspoon garlic powder • vegetable oil, for cooking
WHAT TO DO: 1. Rinse the red snapper in water and lemon juice. Cut three to four diagonal lines across the sides of each fish to absorb the seasoning. 2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, paprika, sea salt and black pepper. Season the fish using this mixture. 3. Add vegetable oil, pimento seeds and ½ of the Scotch bonnet pepper to a pan set on medium heat. When oil is hot, add the fish. Fry for five minutes on each side until brown and crispy. 4. Once cooked through, remove from heat and place on a paper towel to absorb the oil. 5. In a separate pan, heat ½ cup of vegetable oil on medium heat. 6. Cut bell peppers into strips, add them to the pan and stir. Add the sliced onion, grated carrot and the other half of the Scotch bonnet pepper with seeds and saute. 7. After about five minutes, add the rice wine vinegar and cook for another five minutes. 8. Add the sauteed vegetables on top of the fish and serve.
TASTE THE ISLANDS // RESTAURANT DIRECTORY
LISTING IN SOUTH FLORIDA 925 NUEVO’S CUBANO’S | $ Cuban Serving succulent roast pork and delicious sandwiches. 925 N. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale 925nuevoscubanos.com
ALBERTE’S RESTAURANT I $$ Haitian Unique and authentic Caribbean dishes with live music on Fridays and Saturdays. 1201 N.E. 38th St., Oakland Park albertesrestaurant.com
ALEXSANDRA’S CARIBBEAN CAFE | $ Caribbean, Jamaican Soak up some sun while enjoying their famous jerk chicken sandwich and patties. 235 E. Commercial Blvd., Lauderdale-by-the-Sea
ALI’S ROTI SHOP | $$ Caribbean, Indian, Vegetarian Trinidadian mom and pop shop serving favorites like doubles & aloo pie. 303 S. State Road 7, Plantation
LA BELLE JACMELIENNE CAFE | $$ Haitian Caribbean decor and friendly staff serving up a wide array of Haitian cuisine. 3328 S. University Drive, Miramar
BAMBOO SHACK | $$ Bahamian Quick-service restaurant serving snacks and traditional Bahamian items. 18450 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami Gardens bambooshack.us
BAHAMIAN REEF SEAFOOD RESTAURANT | $$ Seafood Low-key and casual with colorful interior. 7836 N.W. 44th St., Sunrise b ahamianreefseafoodrestaurant.weebly.com
BOHIO LATIN FLAVORS | $$ Dominican, Latin, Caribbean Family-style restaurant offering music, mofongo, shrimp and dancing. 2181 State Road 7, Margate b ohiomargate.com
BUTTERFLAKES BAKERY & GRILL | $ Jamaican Local spot for patties and hot food.
CHEF CREOLE | $$ Haitian Simply delicious signature Haitian seafood. 200 N.W. 54th St., Miami c hefcreole.com
CLIVE’S CAFE | $$ Jamaican Popular spot for jerk chicken and curry goat.
5890 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami
COLADA CUBAN CAFE | $ Cuban Family-owned bakery serving savory and sweet Cuban treats and other Cuban cuisine. 525 N. Federal Highway,
CALYPSO RESTAURANT & RAW BAR | $$ Caribbean Try their Caribbean-style seafood, Jamaican jerk and curry dishes. 460 S. Cypress Road, Pompano Beach c alypsorestaurant.com
1198 S.W. 27th Ave., Fort Lauderdale d onarturorestaurant.com
DONNA’S CARIBBEAN RESTAURANT | $$ Jamaican Authentic Jamaican food all day, plus cocktails and Sunday brunch. Ten locations around South Florida. 5434 N. University Drive, Lauderhill d onnascaribbean.com
Fort Lauderdale coladacubancafe.com
DUKUNOO JAMAICAN KITCHEN | $$$ Jamaican Wynwood’s full-service, upscale, Caribbean dining experience.
CONCH HEAVEN | $$ Bahamian Lots of conch-based comfort foods with locations in Miami and Plantation in Florida as well as Atlanta and Riverdale in Georgia.
316 N.W. 24th St., Miami d ukunoojamaicankitchen. com
11275 N.W. 27th Ave., Miami
5100 W. Commercial Blvd. #3, Tamarac b utter-flakes-bakery-grill. business.site
DON ARTURO RESTAURANT | $$ Cuban Traditional Cuban food in a setting where kids are welcome.
CONCH KRAWL BAHAMIAN/ CARIBBEAN RESTAURANT | $ Bahamian, Seafood Enjoy traditional Bahamian and other Caribbean dishes. 2600 S. University, Miramar
DUNNS RIVER ISLAND CAFE | $$ Jamaican Authentic Jamaican cuisine with beautiful ambiance serving the Hallandale area. 908 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale Beach
THE DUTCH POT JAMAICAN RESTAURANT | $$ Jamaican Authentic Jamaican cuisine. 3120 W. Broward Blvd.,
Fort Lauderdale d utchpotrestaurants.com
FINLEY’S BAHAMIAN RESTAURANT | $$ Bahamian Try a breakfast dish served with Bahamian johnny cakes or grits or a daily lunch special 731 Hammondville Road,
Pompano Beach fi nleyspompano.com
HAVANA 1957 | $$$ Cuban Enjoy hearty cuisine and live music in a setting filled with relics of Cuba. 405 Española Way,
Miami Beach h avana1957.com
ISLAND FUSION GRILL | $$ Jamaican, Cuban, Vegan Jamaican, Cuban, Asian and Creole flavors with seafood and vegetarian options. 4811 S. State Road 7, Davie i slandfusiongrill.com
LC ROTI SHOP | $ Indian, Vegetarian Cash-only eatery, serving homemade roti with pepper sauce.
19505 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami
AVERAGE COST PER PERSON BEFORE DRINKS, TAX AND TIP. $ Under $10 / person $$ Under $20 / person $$$ Under $40 / person $$$$ Over $40 / person
LITTLE HAVANA | $$ Cuban Authentic Cuban Cuisine 12727 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami l ittlehavanarestaurant.com
LOCALICIOUS OLD FASHIONED ICE CREAM | $$ Ice Cream Old-fashioned, handmade ice cream including Caribbean flavors. 4220 N.W. 12th St., Lauderhill l ocaliciouscaribbeanicecream. com
JAMAICA KITCHEN | $$ Jamaican Known for their extra spicy beef patties. 8736 S.W. 72nd St., Miami jamaicakitchen.com
JOY’S ROTI DELIGHT | $ Trinidadian, Indian Counter-service cafe with Indian-inspired Caribbean cuisine. 1205 N.W. 40th Ave., Lauderhill
JUANA LA CUBANA CAFE | $ Cuban Offering a simple, Cuban soul food menu. 3308 Griffin Road, Fort Lauderdale juanalacubana.com
JUANA’S LATIN SPORTS BAR & GRILL | $$ Latin Casual Dominican, Puerto Rican and American sports bar and grill. 11602 City Hall, Miramar juanalatinsportsbar.com
LAS OLAS CAFE | $ Cuban Freshly squeezed juices and Cuban sandwiches. 644 6th St., Miami Beach
LAS VEGAS CUBAN CUISINE | $$ Cuban, Latin American A dine-in hot spot with 12 South Florida locations offering Cuban meals and cocktails. 2807 E. Oakland Park Blvd.,
Fort Lauderdale l asvegascubancuisine.com
EL MAGO DE LAS FRITAS | $ Cuban Cozy spot for Cuban burgers. 5828 S.W. 8th St., Miami
MANGU CAFE RESTAURANT | $$ Dominican This Dominican dive offers dishes like pernil and goat stew.
2007 W. 62nd St., Hialeah
MANJAY RESTAURANT | $$ Haitian Modern take on traditional Caribbean dishes with creole-style cuisine. 8300 NE 2nd Ave., Miami
MARIO’S CATALINA RESTAURANT | $$$ Cuban Dine in a relaxing ambiance with a menu featuring Cuban and Spanish cuisine. 1611 N. Federal Highway,
Fort Lauderdale catalinarestaurant.net
EL OTRO TIESTO CAFE | $$ Dominican Dominican-Japanese fusion with a twist. 3023 Biscayne Blvd., Miami e ltiestocafegroup.com
PADRINO’S CUBAN CUISINE | $$ Cuban Serving the best mariquitas, mojito and flan for the past 40 years. 1135 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale p adrinos.com
PANFIYAH | $$ Jamaican Try their popular jerk chicken and shrimp pasta. 7183 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Lauderhill p anfiyah.com
POLLO EL COJIDO | $$ Dominican Delicious mofongo, quesadilla and sancocho. 5843 N. University Drive, Tamarac
POLLO TIPICO | $ Dominican Traditional Dominican dishes in a laid-back atmosphere. 5011 FL-7, Davie
PUERTO SAGUA RESTAURANT | $$ Cuban Known for their soup and oxtail stews. 700 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
REED’S CATERING & CONCESSIONS | $$ Seafood, Caribbean Late night seafood truck, with a specialty of conch salad. 12203 N.W. 27th Ave.,
SHEIKS BAKERY & ROTI CAFE | $ Caribbean, Indian Caribbean and Indian offerings include halal meats, spices and bakery products. 184 University Drive,
Pembroke Pines s heiksbakery.com
REGGAE PON THE GRILLE | $ Jamaican, Caribbean Buffet-style dining offering tasty Jamaican dishes.
STEELPAN KITCHEN & BAR | $$$ Caribbean-inspired Beachside gourmet dining at the Sonest Fort Lauderdale Hotel.
8032 W. McNab Road, North Lauderdale r eggaeonthegrille.com
999 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach
ROCK STEADY JAMAICAN BISTRO | $$$ Jamaican, Caribbean Nicer than your average Jamaican eatery with menu items like jerk chicken, curries and crab fritters. 2399 N. Federal Highway
Blvd., Fort Lauderdale s teelpanftl.com
SWIRL WINE BISTRO | $$ Caribbean, Wine Bar With fresh, high-quality ingredients, their culinary team offers a variety of cuisines and wines. 1435 Lyons Road,
Coconut Creek s wirlbistro.com
Unit C, Boca Raton rocksteadyjamaicanbistro. com
SAZON CUBAN CUISINE | $$ Cuban Tasty Caribbean cuisine and live weekend entertainment. 7305 Collins Ave., Miami Beach s azoncubancuisine.com
SHALAMA’S HALAL ROTI SHOP | $ Caribbean, Indian Casual ethnic take-out spot with authentic roti, curries and pepper sauce. 1432 State Road 7, Margate
VERSAILLES | $$ Cuban, Latin American Serving tasty Cuban cuisine and culture since 1971, this spot is a hub of the Cuban community. 3555 S.W. 8th St., Miami v ersaillesrestaurant.com
YARUMBA RESTAURANT & LOUNGE | $$ Dominican Try their traditional stews or Churrasco with live music. 4740 N.W. 167th St.,
Miami Gardens y arumbarestaurant.com
ENTERTAINMENT // EVENT CALENDAR
Event Calendar DECEMBER
Fri. 12/03 - Mon. 01/03
St. Kitts & Nevis - Sugar Mas Where: St. Kitts & Nevis Admission: TBA Info: skncarnival.com Celebrate 50 years of Carnival in St. Kitts and Nevis with a swimwear pageant, bubble Jouvert, Carnival queen pageant and more.
JANUARY Sat. 01/01
Caribbean City | New Years Day Where: Oak Craft Bar, Fort Lauderdale Admission: $0 - $50 Info: eventbrite.com Start the new year with Ca-
ribbean food, drinks and the best authentic dancehall and soca music. Mon. 01/03
The Cookout NEW YEAR 2022 Where: Brick Nightclub, Miami Admission: $0 - $50 Info: eventbrite.com Enjoy old school reggae, hip hop and afrobeats at this 21+ pop up party and cookout. Fri. 01/14 - Sat. 01/15
Rebel Salute Music Festival 2022 Where: Grizzly’s Plantation Cove, Ocho Rios, Jamaica Admission: TBD
Info: rebelsalutejamaica.com Rebel Salute celebrates icon Tony Rebel’s birthday with some of the best reggae and dancehall music. The 2022 lineup includes The Wailers, Rodney Price aka Bounty Killer, Dawn Penn and more. Until June 2022 Season
Haitian Folkloric Dance Class Where: Little Haiti Cultural Complex, Miami Admission: $10 Info: eventbrite.com Traditional Haitian folkloric dance classes in an expressive, fun setting with NSL Danse Ensemble. No previous dance experience is required.
Fri. 02/04 - Sun. 02/20
Once On This Island Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Fort Lauderdale Admission: $49 - $65 Info: browardcenter.org Winning a 2018 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical, this play, set in the French Antilles, is about a woman on a quest to find her purpose. Sat. 02/12
5th Annual Soul Vegan Festival 2022 Where: Lummus Park, Miami Admission: $20 - $50 Info: eventbrite.com This food festival features the best of plant-based African American/Caribbean cuisine.
*Due to frequent COVID-19 related changes, please check with promoters before heading to these events.
Storytelling Excellence I S L A N D S Y N D I C AT E . C O M
PHOTOGRAPHY PRINT PUBLISHING VIDEO PRODUCTION