Jamaica’s Consul General In New York To Give Eight Independence Awards

NEW YORK – Eight Jamaican Americans will be presented with the Consul General Independence Award for 2006 in acknowledgement of their professional achievements and exemplary community service.

The awards will be presented during ceremonies at the Grand Independence Ball on Saturday, August 12, at the New York Hilton Hotel and Towers in Manhattan.

The Guest of honor at this year’s Ball, celebrating Jamaica’s 44th Anniversary of Independence will be the Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller.

This year’s honorees represent a mix of youth and experience, and covers areas such as education, healthcare, entertainment and culture, entrepreneurship and community empowerment.

The eight honorees are: Amir Abdul Mohammed Abdul-Akbar, community activist, freelance photo-journalist and founder/Executive Director of the Caribbean-American Program for Empowerment (CAPE), Inc; Patricia Chin, co-founder and President of VP Records Distributors, the multi-award winning, distribution company for reggae music worldwide; Barbara Richards, immediate Past President of the Union of Jamaica Alumni Associations (UJAA); Minnell Porter, President of the Giddy Hall School Alumni Association; Dr. Saleem Josephs, who this year graduated from Columbia University (NYC) with three graduate degrees (DDS, MPH, MBA) in one sitting, a first in the history of the Ivy League University; Ray Goulbourne, Senior Vice President of Black Entertainment Television (BET); Paul Campbell, Vice President of Polo Ralph Lauren; and Valrie Wilson, a healthcare worker who has been instrumental in taking medical teams to Jamaica to do volunteer work over the past ten years.

The Independence Ball continues to recognize individuals and organizations for their sterling contribution to their community and country.

“Our people continue to find ways and means to succeed against the odds and this year’s honorees are a true reflection of the theme, ‘And Still We Rise’, Consul General, Dr. Basil K. Bryan said.