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Former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson to be honored at Caribbean American Heritage celebration in Northern California -June 10th, 2007, Oakland, California

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The Northern California Caribbean American Heritage Month Committee and the Kerosene Lamp Foundation will host the second annual Caribbean American Heritage Month Celebration at the City Hall Rotunda on June 10th at 3 p.m. The Most Honorable P. J. Patterson, ON, PC, QC, recently retired Prime Minister of Jamaica will deliver the keynote address: “Caribbean American Global Leadership: Our Time, Our Vision, Our Role” and in tribute will be presented with the Caribbean American Legacy Award.

In 2006 the White House signed legislation championed by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) designating June as national Caribbean American Heritage month. Lee proclaimed “Their history is interwoven with ours and should be recognized and celebrated.”

Percival Noel James Patterson affectionately known as “PJ” is suitably qualified to be honored given his commitment, work and impact in the Caribbean region. He served as Head of Government of Jamaica for fourteen unbroken years or four consecutive terms, an unprecedented record in Jamaican electoral history, before retiring from active politics in March 2006. He remains the most enduring and successful democratically elected global leader who is of the African Diaspora and specifically emerges from the Caribbean.

He served as chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) for four terms and lead the Regional Body toward the enrichment of the Caribbean jurisprudence through the establishment of the Caribbean Court of Justice.

He was instrumental in establishing the mechanisms that resulted in the evolution of the Caribbean Free Trade Area into CARICOM; And in the crafting of the Grande Anse Declaration which established the framework for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy.

He chaired the CARICOM Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on External Negotiations since its inception and is credited for developing a unified negotiating position of CARICOM countries in the International arena.

He served as Chair of the Group of 15 developing nations (G-15), Group of 77 & China (G77)

Caribbean American Heritage Month celebrations will be held all across the country. The Northern California Celebration will be held at the Rotunda Building at City Hall, 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, California 94612 on Sunday, June 10, 2007, 3:00 – 6:00 pm. The reception promises to be an intimate evening celebrating local, national and international individuals with special Legacy Awards to Congresswoman Barbara Lee, The Most Honorable PJ Patterson and Dr. Claire Nelson. Local community awards will also be given to Val Serrant and Jackie Artman and tributes will be paid to Shirley Chisholm and other notable leaders. This event is sponsored by CBTV1, Jumbi Productions, Beaumont and Associates and the Jamaica Association of Northern Calfornia.

For more information contact: Shorron Levy @ (510) 382-1400, [email protected] or Darrin Thurman @ (510) 910-4038, [email protected].

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Written by Staff Writer