Rita Marley To Be Honored With Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award

Legendary reggae matriarch Rita Marley will be honored at the 17th Annual Caribbean American Heritage Awards Gala hosted by the Institute of Caribbean Studies.

Nana Rita, an endearment she acquired when she was enstooled in Ghana, will accept the award on Friday, November 12, during the gala dinner to be held at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC.

The widow of reggae icon Robert ‘Bob’ Nesta Marley and an artist in her own right, Nana Rita has an extensive career of advocacy and talent that spans the globe.

“Nana Rita was a perfect recipient for our Marcus Garvey award. This award recognizes those who unselfishly advocate to empower and to uplift the people of the Caribbean and Africa,” said ICS president and founder Dr. Claire Nelson. “Throughout her life, through her music and her numerous actions, Nana Rita has demonstrated an unconditional to helping youth, lifting the image of Africa on the global stage, and to assist her Jamaican people. We are honored that she has accepted this award.”

The Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award is presented each year to an outstanding individual whose life work demonstrates a commitment to the principles of human empowerment and unity of people of African descent.  Previous recipients include reggae artist Jimmie Cliff, Slinger Francisco, also known as ‘The Mighty Sparrow’, and Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert of Toots and Maytals.

As the executive director and founder of both the Bob Marley Foundation and the Rita Marley Foundation, Nana Rita has been instrumental in solidifying her husband’s iconic status and empowering youth in Africa and Jamaica. She transformed the Bob Marley house into the Bob Marley Museum, manages the renowned Tuff Gong International recording company, and has been recognized for her stellar voice as a member of the legendary I Threes.

Through the Rita Marley Foundation, she promotes Jamaican and African culture and music among youth including at the foundation’s annual Youth Symposium. She continues to advocate for Africa and has assisted more than 200 African children and adopted 35 children in Ethiopia.

The Caribbean American Heritage Awards Gala will be co-hosted by Maureen Bunyan, anchor of WJLA TV and John Blake, host of Caribbean Experience on WHUR FM 96.3. Lauded as the premier celebration of Caribbean-American achievement, the gala has attracted leaders and honorees such as Prime Minister of St. Lucia the Honorable Kenny Anthony and Prime Minister of Barbados the Honorable Owen Arthur, as well as Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Black Enterprise publisher Earl Graves.

The gala follows a one-day symposium, Invest Caribbean 2010, focused on emerging markets in the Caribbean. Under the theme, ‘Emerging Opportunities in the Green Economy’, the Invest Caribbean 2010 forum will highlight business opportunities in the Caribbean, and feature as speakers US and Caribbean government officials, policy makers  and private sector leaders. For more information on other honorees, visit 2010 CARAH Awards Honorees.