Jamaicans Among NYC Comptroller’s Caribbean Heritage Month Honourees

New York City Comptroller and Mayoral hopeful William ‘Bill’ Thompson, Jr., has come out in support of Caribbean Americans. At an annual celebration marking June as Caribbean Heritage Month, held at the SEIU 32 BJ headquarters auditorium in lower Manhattan, on Tuesday, June 02, 2009, Mr. Thompson who is challenging the incumbent Mike Bloomberg for NYC mayoralty later this year, told a packed hall that since the founding of the USA, Caribbean Americans have been an integral part of the prosperity and success of the nation.

“During Caribbean American Heritage Month, we celebrate the proud traditions of all Caribbean Americans nationwide. Here in New York, we salute the achievements of Caribbean Americans who have put their unique stamp on our city, the men and women who are reaching new heights of achievement and making vital contributions, across a wide range of professions and industries.”

With an estimated population of 5 million spread across the 50 contiguous states, Mr. Thompson said that the Caribbean American Diaspora is one of the largest and most active immigrant constituencies in the USA, “and just as important, the 2009 honourees are keen caretakers of our communities and role models for the next generation”.

Mr. Thompson noted that the Afro-Caribbean population, which accounted for less than 10 percent of Black residents in New York City in the early 1970s, now accounts for nearly one-third of this same demographic, approximately 630,000 persons. He informed that one in five of foreign born residents of New York City have roots in the Caribbean region, including himself.

The annual ceremony, now in its eighth year, recognized six Caribbean American high achievers including three Jamaicans, whose stories of hard work and success through education and careful application, fit neatly into the American story, Mr. Thompson said.

Those honoured were; Rosalind McLymont, editor-in-chief of the Network Journal; Anthony King, regional director/NY, Jamaica Tourist Board; Rev. Dr. Grace Cornish Livingstone, minister, psychologist and author; Jean M. Chin, MD., OB/GYN, Mt. Sinai Medical Center; Sgt. Herve Guiteau, NYPD Community Affairs and Haitian American Law Enforcement Organization and Dr. Dennis Derryck, professor of professional practice, Milano the new school of management and urban policy.

The celebration was presented in association with the Caribbean American Center of New York (CACNY), the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CACCI), Caribbean Women’s Health Association (CWHA), and the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA).