Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller: The Keynote Speaker at the Multi National Business Conference

Jamaican PM, Portia Simpson-Miller Jamaica’s current Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller is the only woman to have headed a Jamaican government. She has a deep understanding of the economic and social issues in Jamaica. At the Conference in Montego Bay in 2010, the Prime Minister, along with former Prime Minister, P.J. Patterson, spoke about the importance of investment, trade and regionalism. Now, Portia Simpson-Miller will address the 17th Annual Business Conference in Jamaica this November.

Karl Rodney, publisher of Carib News claims “As one of the prominent Caribbean leaders, Ms. Simpson-Miller can be expected to offer business executives and owners from all over the U.S. and the Caribbean her views on ways to boost international trade between the Caribbean and North America and the opening of new business opportunities for the Caribbean Diaspora.”

Some highly successful corporate executives from the U.S. are expected to join their Jamaican and Caribbean counterparts at panel discussions and private meetings to explore opportunities for doing business. Over 120 executives of international, national and local firms from both regions, as well as elected officials in the state and local government legislatures and councils, are to participate in sessions.

Additional business and community leaders expected to participate in the conference include: Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Reverend Andrew Young; former editor and publisher of Essence Magazine, Susan Taylor; until recently, NBC Universal’s chief diversity officer and one of the high-ranking television executives, Paula Madison; and Macy’s Senior Vice President, Ed Goldberg.

New York Carib News is organizing this conference. Mr. Rodney states:

“It’s a time of business opportunities and entrepreneurs must explore ways to take advantage of them. Jamaica, like many Caribbean countries, has experienced growth in tourism and in recent times, manufacturing, agriculture, construction and a variety of other sectors. Jamaica is well-placed to attract new investment in a variety of areas.

“Unfortunately, the vigorous recovery has not materialized and we are looking forward to the Prime Minister and the vision she has for her country and its neighbors at this time.”


Founders of Carib News honored for 30 years of publishing at Harlem Week Kick-Off

 Last Thursday, July 19th 2012, at the kick-off of Harlem Week at Gracie Mansion, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce proudly saluted the newspaper founders, Karl and Faye Rodney for Carib News’s 30 years of providing consistent, timely, accurate and reliable information about what’s taking place throughout the Caribbean.

Since it began in 1974 as Harlem Day, the annual celebration, Harlem Week honors the legacy of the various communities in Harlem and pays homage to the local residents, business owners, and politicians to preserve rich tradition of Black history, culture, religion arts and entertainment. This year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg hosted the event.

Some of the first appearances on the stage included a performance from the 2012 Tony award winning cast of Porgy & Bess. Afterward, Lloyd Williams and Assemblyman Keith Wright intercepted Bloomberg’s speech with sad news – Sylvia Woods, the “Queen of Soul Food” and owner of Sylvia’s Restaurant, passed away at the age of 86. She was also set to receive an award that evening for the 50th Anniversary of her restaurant. Tine McRae, the special assistant to U.S. Congressman Charles B. Rangel, accepted the honor on behalf of the Woods family.

Other honors went to Jackie Rowe Adams in honor of her tireless community activism and commitment to anti-violence. In addition, the two Jamaican entrepreneurs, Karl and Faye Rodney, were recognized for filling a tremendous void in the growing Caribbean-American community in New York and beyond by creating the largest circulating publication serving these communities.

New York Carib News CEO Recognized as “Visionary Publisher” at SACD Awards

 Last Sunday, June 23rd, 2012 at Saint Francis College in Brooklyn, The Society for the Advancement of Caribbean Diaspora (SACD) held its Annual Awards Luncheon. The theme that the organization aptly chose for this year was “Working together with our Youth.” Among the several recipients that were recognized, New York Carib News’s publisher, Karl B. Rodney, was among the honoree.

This year’s recipients all fit well with SACD’s theme. Aside from selecting Caribbean American youth from the community that have excelled in various aspects of their academic studies; the organization also made room in their theme to celebrate the achievements of distinguished Caribbean Americans.

Minna Hamilton-LaFortune, in a letter to the Mr. Rodney, “The Board of Directors and membership of SACD would like to pay tribute to Mr. Rodney’s achievements and contributions to America and the Caribbean region with our Community Media and Visionary Award.”

Mr. Rodney recognizes that the youth play an important role in sustaining the Caribbean heritage well into the future. As a publisher and CEO of New York Carib News, he strategically dedicates a portion of the newspaper and website to stories that report on youth education and activities in their communities.

In addition, Mr. Rodney has always contributed to the youth of Caribbean Heritage. He chaired the American Foundation at the University of the West Indies since the late 1990s. Now, he chairs the board of the National Newspaper Publishers Association; an organization that helps the White House reward 40 scholarships a year to college-bound African American students.

President Obama Recognizes New York Carib News Publishers for their Volunteer Service

 Last Sunday, New York Carib News’s publishers, Mr. Karl B. Rodney and Mrs. Faye Rodney received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. This honorable presentation took place at the weekly newspaper’s annual Fathers reception at the Bentley Hotel Penthouse in the Upper East Side of New York City.

Among the fathers that were honored at the reception; Basketball Hall of Famer, philanthropist, public speaker and humanitarian, Thabiti Boone, presented the Rodney’s with this award on behalf of the President and the Council on Service and Civic Participation.

This award marks the pinnacle in the Rodney’s more than 40 years of service to New York City’s Caribbean American community and beyond. Mr. Rodney says, “We are grateful for this recognition by the President, and will continue to do our best on behalf of our community.”

In a personal letter that was placed with the official certificate, President Obama writes, “We need a new era of responsibility – a recognition on the part of every American that we have duties to ourselves, our Nation, and the world. These are duties that we do not grudgingly accept, but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit than giving our all to a difficult task.”

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was established in 2003 to honor volunteers that have set a standard for service, encouraged a sustained commitment to civic participation, and inspired others to make service a central part of their lives. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals, families and groups that have achieved a specific standard – one measured by the number of hours of service over a 12-month period or the hours accumulated over the course of a lifetime.

Carib News’s First Mother of the Year, Estelle Dubuisson Helps Alleviate Child Hunger in Haiti

 Earlier this month, I went to New York City’s Jamaican restaurant, Negril Village where New York Carib News held its 27th Annual Mother of the Year Recognition Program. Here, I had the pleasure of meeting and learning about business women that are both mothers to their own children and communities.

This year’s honorees included Verona Greenland, president and CEO of Morris Heights Health Center; Dr. Michena Brooks, general podiatrist at Family Medical Practice in Brooklyn; Jeanette HoSang, owner of Royal Caribbean; Flossie Salmon; Linda Jefferson, First Lady of the Metropolitan Baptist Church; and actress, Sheryl-Lee Ralph. I however, sat down with Estelle Dubuisson, the 1985 Mother of the Year – the first woman to ever receive this honor.

Estelle is president of the organization, Friends of the Children of Lascahobas, Haiti. Although she was first honored for her efforts 27 years ago; the Caribbean American community continues to recognize Estelle as a mother in the lives of so many.

Estelle founded her organization back in 1976, right after returning from her visit to her childhood town, Lascahobas. This visit helped Estelle discover her inner desire to help those in need. She says:

“I went to Lascahobas to help my mother rebuild her house. When I got there I heard of a woman that went into labor but didn’t have the money to go to the hospital.” As a result, this woman died of childbirth. This news left an alarming and lasting impression on Estelle. She also learned how the poverty in Lascahobas indirectly contributed to children’s premature deaths.

“I heard of 4 children in my mother’s neighborhood that died in one day. I asked her what had happened, and she was told that their deaths were a result of a 3-day fever and diarrhea.”

When she returned to New York, Estelle shared these stories with her doctor. Together, they developed the idea for an organization that would help alleviate child hunger and suffering.

In 1982, just two years after the company was officially recognized as a charitable organization under section 501©(3), Friends of the Children of Lascahobas, Haiti opened a childcare center that fed 95 children one meal a day, five days a week. In 1983, the organization registered 35 children in local schools. Those that were 6 years of age went to day school, and those between 9 and 12 years old were placed in an evening school.  

In 1998, Estelle along with her organization achieved what she feels is the “greatest accomplishment” – building a hospital that has been recognized by the health department of Haiti.

In 2001, Estelle thought of an initiative that could help mothers and children in Lascahobas – the Cooperative Economic Group Project. According to the organization’s website, each woman in this program receives a sum of money to purchase goods for resale and uses the profits to feed and educate her children and continue her business.

The Cooperative Economic Group Project ultimately helps mothers develop reliable income. Today, 31 groups of women are supporting their children and business through this program; 10 groups have already completed this program and become eligible for credit union loans.

Along with the 2012 honorees at the 27th Annual Mother’s Day Recognition Program, Estelle Dubuisson was still celebrated as a mother to the communities she serves. Mr. Rodney says:

“Her commitment to children represents the kind of project we at New York Carib News embrace. The help she offers is direct and concrete.”

In my eyes, Estelle’s greatest achievement perhaps, one that only a few individuals I know can attain, involves helping mothers in Haiti support both themselves and their children. Estelle also recognizes that she could have never accomplished what she did without the help from all those in New York’s Caribbean American community, especially Mr. and Mrs. Rodney.