Power couple Karl and Faye Rodney — building the Caribbean from abroadSunday, November 15, 2020
Jamaicans Karl and Faye Rodney are the classic example of nationals living and working overseas who actively and continuously engage in nation-building.
Together, this power couple, in their business and personal lives, have tirelessly devoted their energy to improving and uplifting others.
Jamaican and Caribbean nationals continue to take pride in The New York Carib News which the wife and husband team co-founded in 1981. As the number one weekly Caribbean-American news media, it has grown throughout the years to a multimedia platform, notably adding nycaribnews.com.
The Rodneys are constantly lauded for organising the 1995 Conference of African-American, Caribbean-American, US business persons, US corporate executives, thought leaders, diplomats, and elected officials in the Caribbean to explore the possibilities of cooperation.
What was supposed to be a one-time confab in Jamaica was so successful that it became an annual event by popular demand. Ambassador Andrew Young, who spoke at the event, observed that the conference was the start of a triangle of the joint economic power of the African American community, the Caribbean, and Africa.
Then New York Mayor David Dinkins echoed the thoughts of all concerned when he said his eyes were opened to new possibilities. The proceedings were topped off by a reception, dinner, and entertainment hosted by Mr Gordon “Butch” Stewart, the Sandals founder and chairman, who is also publisher of this newspaper.
Last week, the Rodneys and CaribNews hosted the 25th Annual Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference. The event has come a long way from the first one that was held at Braco Resort in Trelawny, Jamaica, and then rotated through various Caribbean locations. Because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, this year's conference was held virtually — from November 13-14.
A measure of the importance with which the conference is regarded is the people who have headlined the deliberations over the years, among them former Jamaican Prime Minister P J Patterson, US Congressman Charles Rangel, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, Dr Julius Garvey, and Mr Harry Belafonte who was honoured with a special tribute this year.
The motivation then, as now, is to develop better connections between the resourceful and enterprising business people in the larger Diaspora of African Americans and the opportunities in the Caribbean to tap that vast potential.
This was consistent with the vision of Mr Marcus Garvey, the Rodneys have said.
This year, the conference — with the theme 'The Dual Pandemics:. The Global Impact On People Of Colour' — came at a most opportune time, as a new Administration to be led by Mr Joseph R Biden is in the waiting room to assume office in Washington, DC.
The outcomes can help to prepare the Caribbean, its America-based Diaspora, and the African-American community how to survive and thrive in this most challenging of environments. It will also serve to feed ideas into the Biden transition team.
We salute Karl and Faye Rodney.
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