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Toasting Caribbean culture - Borough celebrates region’s rich traditions and people

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Special Assistant to the Borough President Yvonne Graham joined members of Brooklyn’s Caribbean community for a day of festivities in celebration of the annual National Caribbean-American Heritage Month observance in Brooklyn.

The day kicked off with a breakfast at Borough Hall attended by Markowitz, Congressman Charles Rangel, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes, New York Caribbean Consular Corp and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government in town for the CARICOM conference.

This year, for the first time ever, Brooklyn and New York City co-hosted the historic CARICOM conference, which focuses on the growth and development of the Caribbean Community from a regional perspective. The conference featured heads of state and government from 14 member states of CARICOM, policy makers, members of international organizations and financial agencies, the academic community, the private sector and people of the Caribbean and the United States.

“From Bushwick to Crown Heights, from East Flatbush and Flatbush to Canarsie, every inch of our borough and many neighborhoods throughout the city have been enriched by the contributions of our Caribbean-American communities,” said Markowitz. “Without that vibrant Caribbean beat — the music, dance, commerce, food and the warmth and generosity of the Caribbean people — Brooklyn simply wouldn’t be Brooklyn.”

“The partnerships that we strengthen in the next two days can help us find solutions to our challenges and help us redeem the opportunities that nation-building brings to both the Caribbean region and those in the Diaspora,” said Graham, who hails from Jamaica. “This conference and the bilateral cooperation that will result is more than friendship, fellowship and common interests — this gathering simply represents smart business and serving our constituents in the very best way we possibly can.”

For this unique and colorful gathering of islands and cultures at Brooklyn Borough Hall, a wide array of events were held to capture the sounds, sights, tastes and richness of the diverse cultures of the Caribbean, including a Caribbean cultural market place and mini-concert at Borough Hall Plaza and a restaurant tasting and reception in the Rotunda.

Home to the renowned West Indian American Day Carnival and Parade and our nation’s largest Caribbean population, Brooklyn is known as the “Caribbean Capital of the USA.”

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