Millions took to Eastern Parkway this past Monday in celebration of Caribbean culture and pride at the 48th annual West Indian American Day Labor Day Carnival.
It was one of the busiest Labor Day weekends I have experienced as I took in a number of events— from the Bronx to Brooklyn and Harlem along the way.
The millions who converged on Eastern Parkway is indicative of the large number of Caribbean-Americans living in this great city and their massive contribution to the economic vitality of New York City, not just on Labor Day but throughout the year. It remains a shame, however, that Corporate America, by and large, has yet to fully recognize the power of this demographic in the United States.
“We have contributed so much creative and intellectual power to the success of the United States, and we have infinite potential to do great things—both locally and globally,” said Caribbean-American and Brooklyn resident Kwayera Archer-Cunningham.
“Now that the festivities are over, let’s work together to send our message of unity to Corporate America so we can all reap the benefits of prosperity and allow every community to thrive,” said Archer-Cunningham, an innovative, award-winning nonprofit executive and leader who believes passionately in strengthening communities by building sustainable philanthropic networks and ensuring that resources are directed to those most in need.
Meanwhile, we extend our prayers to Carey Gabay, a Caribbean-American lawyer in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, who at press time was fighting for his life after being hit by an apparent stray bullet during pre-carnival festivities in Brooklyn.
According to a statement from the governor’s office, Gabay, first deputy general counsel at Empire State Development and formerly an assistant counsel to the governor, “is an outstanding public servant who joined our administration in 2011.” The statement continued, “He is a Harvard-educated lawyer who works for the state because he wants to give back to others and make a difference. He is just 43 years old and is a kindhearted man. Carey is a friend to all who have the pleasure of meeting him. I ask that New Yorkers join us by keeping him, his wife, Trenelle, and his family in their prayers at this time.”
The governor’s office said that the tragic shooting “is the latest heartbreaking reminder that the crime of gun violence must stop. Enough young, innocent people have died, and it must stop now.”