Jamaica takes part in Pretoria’s GRULAC

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Children participate in the Film Festival.

The Jamaican High Commission in Pretoria participated in the 2016 Film Festival hosted by the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries with Diplomatic Representation in South Africa (GRULAC).  The Festival was held from Thursday,October  6 to Sunday, October 9 at the Open Window Institute for Arts and Digital Sciences in Centurion, South Africa.

Jamaica, the only English-speaking country of the 10 participants this year, screened 3 short films from the JAMPRO/JAFTAPropella Initiative.These films, “Origins”, written and directed by Kurt Wright, “Shoot the Girl”, written by Anthony Hendriks and directed by Natalie Thompson, and “Shock Value”, written and directed by Adrian Lopez, were shot on location in Jamaica with a 100 percent Jamaican crew, 100 percent Jamaican talent, and 100 percent Jamaican production service companies.

Children perform at the festival.

Children perform at the Film Festival.

High Commissioner, H.E. Cheryl Spencer, used the opportunity provided by the Festival to promote the work of the Jamaican Film Commission and highlight Jamaica’s award winning participation in International film festivals to date. She indicated that the High Commission would be working to facilitate the participation of the South African film industry in the 2017 Jamaica Film Festival.

Throughout the festival, and prior to the screening of the Jamaican films, patrons were able to view a short promotional video highlighting the country as a venue for film production and showcasing the many popular films which have been shot on location in Jamaica over the years. The Jamaican contribution to the Film Festival was very warmly received as evidenced by the enthusiastic response at the end of the film presentation and the many questions which High Commission staff received  from patrons before and after the screening.--OnPointPress.net

Jamaica’s AG inspires, guests shine, at Manning’s Ball in New York City

Here is the press release and two pictures of the Manning's Ball where Attorney General Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte was honored. Thanks for your support. Carmen Glover, Acting PR Officer MPSA-NY Captions: 1. L-R: MPSA Immediate Past President Mr. Kevin K.O. Sangster, Esq., joins MPSA New President Dr. Paulette Porteous-Cole in presenting an award to Jamaica's Attorney General Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte at the MPSA's 28th Anniversary Reunion Ball, held at Eastwood Manor, on Saturday, October 15, 2016. 2. Jamaica's Attorney General Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte poses with some of the members of the MPSA past and current Board.

L-R: MPSA Immediate Past President Mr. Kevin K.O. Sangster, Esq., joins MPSA New President Dr. Paulette Porteous-Cole in presenting an award to Jamaica’s Attorney General Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte at the MPSA’s 28th Anniversary Reunion Ball, held at Eastwood Manor, on Saturday, October 15, 2016.

10/17/16, NY:  Jamaica’s Attorney General, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, M.P. Q.C., J.P., delivered a searing, inspiring speech on Saturday, October 15 as guest of honor at the 28th annual anniversary reunion ball organized by the New York chapter of Manning’s Past Students Association (MPSA).

“Give back to your country and your school,” she urged the attendees at the event, while providing a road map of her journey from the small town of Paul Island, Westmoreland to her current position as the nation’s chief attorney. “Growing up in Jamaica, going to America was never my goal, even though I ended up studying at two prestigious universities in America,” she said.

Media Professional/MPSA-NY Acting PR Officer/Editorial Director of OnPointPress.net Carmen Glover, who chaired the Ball, poses with her daughter, Ms. Samara Brown, Teacher's Assistant/Marketing Coordinator at OnPointPress.net.

Media Professional/MPSA-NY Acting PR Officer/Editorial Director of OnPointPress.net Carmen Glover, who chaired the Ball, poses with her daughter, Ms. Samara Brown, Teacher’s Assistant/Marketing Coordinator at OnPointPress.net.

She spoke about the fulfillment she derives from living a life of service. She also spoke glowingly about her experiences at her alma mater, where she was named head girl due to her exemplary conduct and impressive academic credentials. “I remember getting the highest score on a test but my teacher, Mr. Revel, was not impressed,” she stated, explaining that he admonished her to strive for better since she was capable of producing at a higher level than her test reflected.

Educator/MPSA-NY Acting Secretary Ms. Elaine Jarrett, takes time out from ushering guests to their seats, to pose for a picture at the Manning's Reunion Ball.

Dedicated Educator/MPSA-NY Acting Secretary Ms. Elaine Jarrett, takes time out from ushering guests to their seats, to pose for a picture at the Manning’s Reunion Ball.

Peppering her remarks with humorous anecdotes, including a dramatic rendering of Miss Lou’s poems that detailed Jamaicans’ penchant for inheriting American accents even if they only visit for a brief time, the attorney general was charming, comfortable and smooth in her delivery. Meanwhile, the guests listened raptly, joining her on the journey as she extolled the virtues of kindness, humility, determination, striving for excellence and demonstrating commitment to helping those who are less fortunate.

In his welcoming remarks, immediate past president Kevin K.O. Sangster, Esq. described the ball as “our signature calendar event, the proceeds of which will go toward supporting ongoing projects at our own dear Manning’s School. As an alumni association, our work over the years has largely been to support our alma mater.” Sangster provided an overview of the achievements that defined his tenure.

2. Jamaica's Attorney General Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte poses with some of the members of the MPSA past and current Board.

Jamaica’s Attorney General Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte poses with some of the members of the MPSA past and current Board.

“Under my presidency, the New York Chapter took on, for instance, the renovation of the school’s Home Economics Center as a key project. We completed phase one last December, improving the Food and Nutrition department into a room befitting a school of Manning’s caliber, and we are now getting ready to complete phase two, the Clothing and Textiles, department, having successfully raised funds to do so.”

Incoming president, Dr. Paulette Porteous-Cole acknowledged the hard work and commitment of the board members and the importance of guests making a sustained effort to support the chapter’s events. At the same time, Dr. Porteous-Cole indicated that one of her main priorities during her tenure was to make a more cohesive outreach to more recent alumni.

Media veterans/Manning's Alums Ms. Virginia Turner, former editor of the Jamaica Gleaner-NA and Ms. Carmen Glover, Former Press Attache, Consulate General of Jamaica-NY/Acting PR Officer,MPSA-NY pose at the Ball.

Media veterans/Manning’s Alums Ms. Virginia Turner, former editor of the Jamaica Gleaner-NA and Ms. Carmen Glover, Former Press Attache, Consulate General of Jamaica-NY/Acting PR Officer,MPSA-NY pose at the Ball.

“As your new president one of my goals is to motivate and encourage our recent graduates to participate in ongoing and future projects affiliated with Manning’s,” she said. “I am also looking forward to re-engage different year groups to participate in our newly revised activities in whatever way they choose to adapt.”

Dr. Cole thanked the members of the media who dedicated print, digital and broadcast time and space to “promote our event so that it is successful.” She also announced the door prize winner and, with assistance from the immediate past president Sangster, presented the attorney general with a beautiful plaque in honor of her distinguished career achievements and service to Jamaica and her alma mater.

Ms. Samara Brown, Teacher's Assistant/Marketing Coordinator at OnPointPress.net, assists MPSA-NY President in choosing the winning ticket for the door prize.

Ms. Samara Brown, Teacher’s Assistant/Marketing Coordinator at OnPointPress.net, assists MPSA-NY President in choosing the winning ticket for the door prize.

The ball was held at Eastwood Manor, in the Bronx, with tickets sold for a modest price. The event was well-attended with an almost capacity crowd. Media professional and acting public relations officer for the chapter, Ms. Carmen Brown Glover, chaired the program. Current and former board members including co-founder of the organization Mr. Anton Tomlinson, Mr. Rupert Thompson, treasurer; Ms. Elaine Jarrett, acting secretary; Ms. Wilma Wynter, Mrs. Jackie Josephs-Haughton and Mrs. Marjorie Foster-Amos attended the event.

The gate prize of a two-person vacation was provided by Fun Holiday Beach Hotel, located in Negril, Jamaica. Arielle Clarke, the daughter of an alumna, performed two songs, while Jugglaz International with DJ Andrew provided the music.–OnPointPress.net–

 

 

                                                                                                                     

 

 

Brooklyn BP donates $500,000 to Southside United H.D.F.C for senior housing

 

(L-R): Southside United HDFC-Los Sures Executive Director Mr. Ramon Peguero accepts a donation of $5000,000 on behalf of the organization from Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, on Thursday, October 13. The presentation was made at a press conference convened by the Borough President as part of his office's One Brooklyn initiative. the donation will be used to develop Rheingold Senior Housing units in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. "Every New Yorker deserves a safe place to raise healthy children and families, and the unlawful over-charging of rent cannot, and will not, be permitted to be an obstacle to that aim," the Borough President said in making the donation. Southside United HDFC-Los Sures isa 44-year-old nonprofit with a long history of providing affordable housing to residents of north Brooklyn.

(L-R): Southside United HDFC-Los Sures Executive Director Mr. Ramon Peguero accepts a donation of $500,000 on behalf of the organization from Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, on Thursday, October 13. The presentation was made at a press conference convened by the Borough President as part of his office’s One Brooklyn initiative. the donation will be used to develop Rheingold Senior Housing units in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. “Every New Yorker deserves a safe place to raise healthy children and families, and the unlawful over-charging of rent cannot, and will not, be permitted to be an obstacle to that aim,” the Borough President said in making the donation. Southside United HDFC-Los Sures is a 44-year-old nonprofit with a long history of providing affordable housing to residents of north Brooklyn.-Photo by Montserrat Diaz.

Brooklyn, NY:  On Thursday, October 13, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams convened a press conference at a neighborhood church in Crown Heights, where he donated $500,000 to Southside United HDFC-Los Sures, a 44-year-old nonprofit with a long history of providing affordable housing to the residents of north Brooklyn.

Southside United HDFC Executive Director Mr. Ramon Peguero accepted the donation on behalf of the organization. The donation was made as part of the Borough President’s One Brooklyn Initiative and the funds will be used to develop Rheingold Senior Housing units in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

“I am humbled and grateful for this donation to Southside United HDFC-Los Sures. We take great pride in creating affordable housing for the residents of North Brooklyn and it is encouraging to have the work of the organization recognized and supported by the Borough President,” said Mr. Peguero. “I look forward to continuing the work to ensure that more housing units are available to residents who need them.”

“Every New Yorker deserves a safe place to raise healthy children and families, and the unlawful over-charging of rent cannot, and will, not be permitted to be an obstacle to that aim,” the Borough President said. “I will continue to pursue all avenues to advance the welfare of tenants in our borough, particularly those being abused or harassed by unscrupulous landlords.”

During the press conference, donations were made to other faith-based organizations with a goal of building a total of 154 housing units throughout Crown Heights in 2017, thereby creating the largest energy-efficient housing development in Brooklyn while ensuring enhanced affordability.

“As this community changes and Brooklyn becomes popular, the popularity must turn into prosperity for every Brooklynite who was here during the difficult years. I’d like to say we were here before Starbucks. We should stay and buy Starbucks,” Borough President Adams said.–OnPointPress.net—

 

Will social, sports activism lead to systemic change?

By kneeling during a celebrated custom in America's favorite sport, Colin Kaepernick has spear-headed a modern message of social activism.

By kneeling during the singing of the National Anthem, a routine custom to tip-off sports games in America, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has spear-headed a modern method of social activism.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

One month after NFL reporter Steve Wyche brought San Francisco 49ers’ Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest to light, the conversation surrounding the motive and method of his actions continue to surge. While some are still debating whether the protest is offensive or not, many have joined the cause to highlight the disparity in the treatment of people of color, particularly unarmed black men, by the police.

After making his intentions clear, Kaepernick's profile increased enough to land him on the cover of October's Time magazine. His popularity has also grown as his soaring jersey sales clearly prove.

After making his intentions clear, Colin Kaepernick’s profile increased enough to land him on the cover of the Time magazine for the first week in October. His popularity has also grown and his g jersey sales continue to soar.

Kaepernick has been clear that the motive for his actions is to create dialogue and bring awareness to the issue of police brutality and misconduct, especially towards people of color. He also stated, “There’s a lot of people who don’t want to have this conversation. You know they’re scared they might lose their job or they might not get endorsements, they might not be treated the same way. And those are things I’m prepared to handle.”

There was no way to predict the reaction to Kaepernick’s stance, yet the amount of support he has received has to be encouraging to people who are tired of seeing people of color die at the hands of the police, who are paid to protect them. When police murder unarmed black and Latino civilians without facing any consequence they send a message that the lives that they take lack value due to their skin color.

Countless others have joined the cause to bring awareness to the unjust treatment of people of color.

Countless others have joined the cause to bring awareness to the unjust treatment of people of color.

Kaepernick has done what many who support the BlackLivesMatter movement have been trying to do for months, simplify the message with a simple, non-violent gesture of protest. His jersey has become a symbol, no longer celebrating the San Francisco 49ers and their rich NFL history, but of a person willing to face adversity to make a stand for the greater good. To date, over 50 NFL players have joined the protest by kneeling or raising a fist during the anthem. Countless athletes across other sports have also made the same gesture and the statement has been made in classrooms as well as political forums.

While the protest receives the headlines, there seems to be positive action resulting from the heightened attention. According to statistics revealed by reporters Ken Klippenstein and Paul Gottinger, “A Gallup poll conducted in July showed confidence in police is at a 22-year low.” The same publication highlights that the rate of police indictments have increased by 5 times over the last 5 plus months.

Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby (left) was indicted within a week of the shooting death of Terrence Crutcher (right).

Tulsa officer Betty Jo Shelby (left) was indicted within a week of the shooting death of Terrence Crutcher (right).

The swift indictment of Tulsa police officer Betty Jo Shelby after she killed Terrence Crutcher, an unarmed black man whose vehicle broke down in the middle of the street last week, instead of helping him get his vehicle towed so that he could go home to his family, shows an ebbing tide away from the days of simply taking the police’s word in these tragic events.

As Kaepernick and other social activists continue to shine the light on injustice in this area, it’s possible that sustained activism will result in enough positive change that will, in turn, help to address other major social issues that plague the nation.–OnPointPress.net

Why ACS will continue to fail while children die

Zymere Perkins, 6, was murdered after allegedly using a bucket as a toilet in an apartment that lacked basic amenities. His mother, Geraldine Perkins, 26 and her ex-con boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, were charged in his death, while others have come forward to report that they knew of the abuse the child sustained for years. According to reports, despite five reports to ACS against the mother, ACS dismissed all the reports as unfounded.

Zymere Perkins, 6, was murdered after allegedly using a bucket as a toilet in an apartment that lacked basic amenities. His mother, Geraldine Perkins, 26, and her ex-con boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, 42, were charged in his death, while others have come forward to report that they knew of the abuse the child sustained for years. According to reports, despite five reports made to ACS against the mother, ACS dismissed all the reports as unfounded.

By Carmen Glover

After work obligations caused me to be late more than once in picking up my daughter from after-school at her elementary Catholic school, I finally decided to resign from my high-profile job as press attaché at the Consulate General of Jamaica in New York.

The New York Daily News is not shy about assigning blame in Zymere Perkins' death.

The New York Daily News is not shy about assigning blame in Zymere Perkins’ death.

I immediately took my daughter on a one-month trip to Florida for fun in the sun, then worked as a full-time freelance journalist before deciding to try the social service field, which, despite a significant cut in salary, offered more stable hours. At one point during my hiatus from full-time journalism, I worked for an agency that was contracted with the Administration for Children’s Services, ACS, purportedly to protect vulnerable children and strengthen families that struggled with substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence, educational, legal, financial and other challenges.

Zymere Perkin's mother, Geraldine Perkins and her ex-con boyfriend Rysheim Smith were arrested and charged in his murder.

Zymere Perkin’s mother, Geraldine Perkins and her ex-con boyfriend Rysheim Smith were arrested and charged in his murder.

What I saw, however, was quite the opposite. Arrogant and lazy ACS workers looked down on agency workers like me. They conducted haphazard investigations when reports of child abuse and neglect were made. Many of them did not visit the children’s schools, daycare centers or day treatment programs, instead hounding the agency workers for ‘updates’ and proceeding to admonish us when we had none to offer as yet. Most significantly, they staunchly blamed the agency workers when things went wrong, wrapping themselves into the cocoon that the ACS cover provided. The result was that children suffered and died.

I am grateful that in the nine years that I worked in the field no child died from my case load but other workers were not as fortunate. With each report of an innocent child dying at the hands of irresponsible, abusive parents such as the recent case of Zymere Perkins, 6, whose mother Geraldine Perkins, 26, and her ex-con boyfriend Rysheim Smith, 42, allegedly beat him often, my heart weeps, even as I know deep down that it will happen again.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio again expressing condolences and vowing to have committee look into the death.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio again expressing condolences and vowing to have committee look into the death as Zymere Perkins’ death puts the ineffective ACS back into the spotlight for another embarrassing failure.

I can recall countless joint home visits where the ACS staff arrived more than 30 minutes late, bossed us around, checked for food, barked out details about an upcoming conference and then left the home, arriving after I did and leaving before me, barely glancing at the children in the home, much less taking the time to conduct a comprehensive visit to ferret out any problems and zoom in on red flags.

They showed more interest in basking in titles rather than any genuine desire to keep the children safe. Their case notes and reports were sparse, oftentimes they plagiarized my notes. They lacked detailed knowledge about the families but, again, their focus seemed to be designed to belittle the agency workers while elevating themselves, showing scant regard for their innocent charges: the children.

ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrion offers no solutions.

ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrion offers no solutions as vulnerable children continue to die while inept ACS workers fail to catch the warning signs or respond effectively to reports of abuse and neglect.

At the other end of the spectrum were the parents, many of whom had numerous prior cases to the extent that having involvement with ACS and preventive agencies was a way of life. As soon as they signed up for services they began to ask for things: beds, money, food, Thanksgiving items and Christmas presents. It seemed like a quid pro quo: parents accepted preventive services to avoid a court case with ACS but all through the process the parents’ have one major goal and that is to get as many ‘free’ things as possible from the agency while pretending to agree that they need to change. As soon as the case is closed, they resume their dysfunctional lifestyles, often having another case opened after some time elapses.

Children were routinely told to lie to the workers and when a worker who had investigative background like I did as a journalist, supervisors often became jealous of the worker’s ability to connect the dots. In the meantime, the children suffered, because the agency workers did all the legwork while the ACS workers took the credit, were better paid and declined to provide thorough follow even through they were empowered to do so since they had stronger resources.

Zymere and a pal enjoy ice cream one happy day in his short sad life.

Zymere and a pal enjoy ice cream one happy day in his short sad life.

Then when a child died, City Hall unveiled a multitude of initiatives, uttered ineffective words of comfort until the publicity and furor lessened. Then the next child would die and the vicious cycle was repeated. But there will be no end in sight because there is no system in place to track families long-term after they have contact with ACS. Meanwhile, ACS workers are simply trying to shift the cases from their case load to that of the preventive agency so that they can move on to a new case. Nothing improves and children die.

Perhaps now that I am back to working full-time as a journalist, I can effect some change.–OnPointPress.net–

Mayor’s CUNY application fee waiver aids low-income students

Proud CUNY graduates.

Proud CUNY graduates joyously celebrate the culmination of years of hard work and grit.

The decision by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to waive the $65 fee for low-income students applying to the City University of New York (CUNY) is a good first step in the right direction.

When CUNY was first established, it was free and the institution has produced many scholars, Nobel Peace Prize winners, entrepreneurs, politicians and graduates who have excelled in every field imaginable. Over the years, CUNY’s fee structure has priced out the very population it was designed to help—low-income, immigrant, ambitious students who lack financial support.

CUNY-students-purposefully-stride-to-class-while-others-mill-around-to-socialize

While some CUNY students-purposefully stride to class, others mill around to socialize.

Flanked by CUNY representatives on Monday, September 26, Mayor de Blasio announced that low-income students, who come from a family of three, earning $37,000 or less per year, are eligible for the fee waiver.

“$65 matters,” to these families, the mayor said, adding, “This is something that we think is going to make a big difference.”

CUNY has produced notable graduates spanning every profession.

CUNY has produced notable graduates spanning every profession.

He is correct. Low-income students, including those who are homeless, products of the foster care system, or otherwise deemed to be at risk of falling through the cracks, should not be priced out of public colleges.

CUNY, the largest public university system in the country, enrolls a significant number of graduating high school students each year. By making it possible for low-income students to apply to CUNY, free of charge, the mayor is giving vulnerable students a chance to participate in higher education, which is a good first step towards a sold future.–OnPointPress.net— 

 

Co-op City’s 10/1 college fair features NASA speaker

college-fair

By Carmen Glover

Co-op City in the Bronx, New York City’s largest residential development housing more than 65,000 residents, is doing its part to make college and career information accessible to its residents. Longtime social worker and Co-op City board member Evelyn Turner is hosting an annual college and career fair on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at Dreiser Auditorium, 177 Dreiser Loop, Bronx, NY, 10475. A guest speaker from NASA will address the attendees at 1:00 p.m.

Registration for students in grades three through six begins at 9:00 a.m. and those students will receive information and guidance between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Registration for students in grades seven through 12 begins at 11:30 a.m. and they will be seen from 12:30 p.m to 3;30 p.m.

For more information contact Evelyn Turner at 917-324-1033 or email: EvelynTinez@aol.com.–OnPointPress.net–