NEW YORK CITY, New York June 14, 2018 (CMC) – New York City Comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, has honored three Caribbean Americans, as part of Caribbean American Heritage Month celebrations.
Earlier this week, Stringer bestowed the honour on Haitian educator, community organizer and activist, Dr. Monalisa Ferrari; US Virgin Islands-born pastor, Gilford T. Monrose; and media personality, of Panamanian heritage, DJ Norie.
“We have three amazing honorees,” Stringer said. “Our city has long been a beacon of hope for immigrants. From Canarsie, in Brooklyn, to Gun Hill, in the Bronx, Caribbean-American New Yorkers’ vibrant energy, strong community, and entrepreneurial spirit have become part of the very fabric of our city.
“Our nearly one million Caribbean-American citizens have made this city what it is today,” he added. “You’ve helped build our boroughs, you’ve lifted up our neighborhoods, and you’ve served New Yorkers as nurses, doctors, police officers, lawyers, firefighters, and entrepreneurs.”
“You’re our neighbors, friends, colleagues, family members,” he continued. “And immigrants enrich us in ways that can’t be counted. By bringing the arts, cultures, and cuisines from their home countries, they strengthen our diversity and enhance what David Dinkins called, the ‘gorgeous mosaic’ that is NYC.
“That’s why we need to make it easier for people coming here to become citizens,” Stringer said.
He noted that more than 670,000 New Yorkers — over 20 percent of the city’s immigrant population — are eligible for naturalization, but haven’t applied, because of the cost.
Ferrari works at the New York City Department of Education as a professional development coordinator, and has previously served as a dean, middle school director, lead teacher and mentor.
She also serves as executive director for the United Front of the Haitian Diaspora, as well as president of the Society for Haitian Research.
“I’m extremely honored to receive such a prestigious award, and I’m quite grateful for this award,” said Ferrari in her brief acceptance speech.
Monrose has been a religious leader and community activist since moving to New York City in 1999.
He serves as Chaplain for the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in New York and director of Faith Based and Clergy Initiatives at the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office.
DJ Norie, who is considered “America’s most influential radio personality for dance hall reggae,” has been involved in “DJ-ing” since he began hauling equipment around East Flatbush, Brooklyn, as a teenager.
The honor ceremony was preceded by two selections from Andrew Clarke, of the Brooklyn-based, Jamaican folk group, Braata Productions: “Rivers of Babylon” and “Smile Jamaica”.