From left, New York City Council Member Andy King presents New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito with the New York City Council 12th District Real Leadership Award. They are joined by Council Member King’s wife Neva Shillingford-King, an executive vice president at 1199 SEIU and co-organizer of the event, and teens Amear Rattray and William Mitchell Jr., members of the Bronx Youth Empowerment Program, which is based in the 12th Council District. (240994)
Credit: Contributed

Several elected officials kicked off National Caribbean American Heritage Month with a celebration of nine people of Caribbean heritage at the Our Caribbean Heritage Celebration last weekend at the Celeste Bartos Forum, New York Public Library in Manhattan, hosted by City Council Member Andy King.

Among this year’s honorees were City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; United Nations Ambassador to Dominica the Hon. Bannis-Roberts; Gabriel J. Christian, Esq.; Henry A. Garrido, DC 37 executive director; Ambassador Curtis Ward, former ambassador of Jamaica to the United Nations; the Hon. Dr. Irving W. André, Superior Court of Justice, Dominica; Crispin Gregoire, United Nations Development Program’s chief of the Caribbean Strategic Monitoring and Support Unit of the Regional Bureau of Latin America and the Caribbean; and Dr. Clayton Shillingford, former president of the Dominica Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Supporters of Our Caribbean Heritage Celebration include Congress members Gregory Meeks and Eliot Engel; borough presidents Ruben Diaz Jr, Bronx and Eric Adams, Brooklyn; state senators Jamaal Bailey and Kevin Parker; State Assembly members Latrice Walker, Rodneyse Bichotte, Victor Pichardo, Diana Richardson and N. Nick Perry; and City Council members Bill Perkins, Fernando Cabrera, Rory Lancman, Rosie Mendez, Mark Levine, Rafael Espinal, Laurie Cumbo, Corey Johnson, Vanessa Gibson and Jumaane Williams.