Caribbean Americans receive awards

New York, USA June 30, 2006 – Several Caribbean New Yorkers, including Hardbeatnews editor-in-chief, Felicia Persaud, were last night honored with Upliftment and Leadership awards at a Caribbean American Heritage Award ceremony hosted in downtown Manhattan.

The award, now in its second year, was founded by Guyanese-born Monica Sanchez, who also runs the annual Miss Caricom pageant.

Renown actor Danny Glover was on hand to present the awards to the honorees, who also included New York State Senator Kevin Parker, Brooklyn Assemblyman, Jamaican Nick Perry, Councilmember and Congressional hopeful, Jamaican-American Yvette Clarke, Ruth Clarke of the Support Network, Trinidadian Colin Jackman of the Soca Awards and Amir Abdullah Muhammed Abdul-Akbar of the Caribbean American Program for Empowerment, Inc.

The 2006 Shining star award was presented to Phyllis Cort, who was joined by last year’s winner, Louise Lucas.

In brief remarks, Hardbeatnews’ Persaud, who also writes the Immigration Korner column and actively speaks out on the plight of undocumented migrants, used the opportunity to challenge actor and activist Glover, to lend his voice to the fight for immigration reform that will help millions of immigrants living in the U.S. And she urged the politicians in the room and those running for congressional posts, to speak out on the issue.

Glover for his part thanked Persaud for using the occasion to raise the issue and stressed that all must be united in fighting the draconian immigration laws in the U.S., which he says affects not just Latino immigrants but those in the African and Caribbean Diaspora as well.

He also informed Persaud, other award recipients and supporters gathered at the New York County Lawyers Association, that he is already lending his voice to the lobbying effort and recently spoke out on the issue at a San Francisco pro-immigration rally. 

The African-American-born actor, who is widely known for his roles in ‘The Color Purple’ and the “Lethal Weapon” movies, has used his fame to speak out in recent years on several human rights issues, including racial profiling. He currently serves as board chair of the TransAfrica Forum, “a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the general public — particularly African Americans — on the economic, political and moral ramifications of U.S. foreign policy as it affects Africa and the Diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America.” In March 1998, he was appointed ambassador to the United Nations Development Program. (

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