McBee Is Almost Here As Producer Announces Free Student Tickets

News Americas, New York, NY, June 20, 2024: The first American presentation of Alwin Bully’s Caribbean drama “McBee” is almost here. “McBee” will be presented as a one-night-only staged reading at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) at 153-10 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, New York, 11432 on Sunday, June 23, at 7 p.m., with a complimentary Caribbean Cuisine Reception in collaboration with Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurant starting at 5:30 p.m. The event honors the late Dominican-born writer, Bully, and is part of this year’s Caribbean American Heritage Month festivities in New York City.

Set on an unnamed Caribbean island, “McBee” tells the story of political power couple Allan and Alice McBee. After Allan receives a prophecy from three Rastafarians that he is destined to become Prime Minister, they plot to fulfill the prophecy with explosive consequences.

The cast features Luke Forbes (Amazon Prime’s “Harlem”) as McBee and Denise Hunt (“How Stella Got Her Groove Back”) as Alice, alongside Yinka Adey, Jerry Benzwick, Lincoln Brown, Dianne Dixon, Emilio Evans, Gerard Joseph, Miranda Melhado, Mitzie Pratt, and James Duke Walker. Janel C. Scarborough serves as Consulting Producer.

Broadway World Award winner, Jamaican David Heron, producer and director of the American premiere of the play, anticipates “an evening to remember” and a fitting tribute to Alwin Bully. “Our VIP balcony tickets sold out several days ago, so we look forward to hosting a large and enthusiastic audience, including some of New York’s best and brightest future entertainment professionals, for what is sure to be a very special occasion,” he said.

Heron has also announced a Free Student Ticket Initiative. This program will allow high school and college students from across New York City to attend the event at no cost. Students or their teachers and principals can request tickets by contacting Sure Thing Productions. Preference will be given to students pursuing or planning to pursue careers in theater, film, television, or the performing arts. Tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and student ID may be required.

Patricia ‘Miss Pat’ Chin, VP Records co-founder, and Anita Bully, widow of playwright Alwin Bully, will be guests of honor. Miss Pat will sell and sign copies of her book, “Miss Pat – My Reggae Music Journey,” and offer free memorabilia giveaways courtesy of her V and P Foundation.

Kendel Instant Ginger Teas, a main sponsor, will provide free tea sampling during the pre-show Caribbean Cuisine reception. Additional sponsors include The True Tribute Organization, IMC Media, and Results Promo and Marketing.

For more information about the production and the Free Student Ticket Initiative, visit mcbeetheplay.eventbrite.com or call 646-533-7021.

Caribbean Immigrant Advocate Named Head Of NYC Mayor’s Office Of Nonprofit Services

News Americas, New York, NY, June 17, 2024: New York City Mayor Eric Adams has announced the appointment of a Caribbean-born advocate, Johnny Celestin, as the executive director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services. The appointment comes during National Caribbean American Heritage Month in the U.S.

Haitian American Johnny Celestin is now Executive Director Of the NYC Mayor’s Office Of Nonprofit Services

In his new role, the Haitian immigrant will lead efforts to engage and communicate with nonprofits, develop capacity-building programs to facilitate easier contracting with the city, and advance the recommendations of the Joint Task Force to Get Nonprofits Paid on Time.

“For nearly three decades, Johnny Celestin has led by example, advocating across multiple nonprofits to uplift those who need a helping hand, ensuring our social safety net catches New Yorkers most in need, and providing relief to those in his home country of Haiti,” said Mayor Adams. “In this new role, Johnny will use his expertise to help nonprofits continue to deliver compassion and care to New Yorkers across the five boroughs. Together, with government and nonprofits working together, we can work to build a better, stronger city.”

Celestin expressed his gratitude and commitment to the role, stating: “The nonprofit sector is critical for our city, providing essential services and enriching our communities. My experience fostering opportunity and advocating for equity at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses has prepared me for this exciting new challenge. Together, we can ensure the office fulfills its multifaceted mission head-on, including streamlining funding access for nonprofits, promoting equity, and maximizing community impact.”

Celestin brings nearly 30 years of leadership experience across various sectors, including his previous role at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises. He has also worked with organizations such as the Robin Hood Foundation, Atlantic Philanthropies, and the Clinton Foundation. Celestin is currently a faculty member at the Studley Graduate Program in International Affairs. He was recently the executive director of the Future Leaders Foundation (FLF) and the Centre Haïtien du Leadership et de l’Excellence (CLE), a Haitian foundation focused on identifying, shaping, and connecting Haitian leaders to build a stronger and more equitable Haiti.

Before joining CLE, Celestin served as the deputy chief of staff for Haiti’s Minister of Planning, overseeing various special projects. He brings extensive leadership and international experience in administration, program management, change management, governance, leadership development, and community development. His diverse career includes roles at Accenture LLP, The Robin Hood Foundation, and The Clinton Foundation.

Celestin is also an entrepreneur, having founded several businesses and organizations, including The Black Pearl Café and 420Lenox LLC in Harlem, the Haiti Innovation Fund at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the Center for Innovation and Management in Haiti, and Black Pearl Innovation S.A. in Haiti.

He holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from The New School University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Iona College. Celestin has also earned various certifications in Organizational Performance from Accenture, Leadership and Teamwork from MIT, New Communities Movement (Saemaul Undong) from Yeungnam University, and Community Development from Coady International Institute.

Celestin is a change maker, bridge builder, and engaged citizen passionate about social change and social justice. He serves on numerous boards, including CLE, SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods), and the advisory board for New School University’s Graduate Program of International Affairs (GPIA). He co-hosts Le Mo-Jo show, a weekly live show aiming to inform and engage the Haitian diaspora community.

Johnny Celestin is married to Leila and is the proud father of Jenna Emily.

Mayor Adams’ administration has made significant investments to support the city’s nonprofit sector, including a $741 million investment for human services workers employed by nonprofit organizations. The administration’s initiatives have unlocked over $6 billion for nonprofits and reformed discretionary contract processes to ensure timely payments.

With this appointment, Celestin is set to lead the Mayor’s Office of Nonprofit Services into a new era of collaboration and impact, supporting New York City’s nonprofits in their vital work for the community.

Caribbean Grammy Winning Star To Headline Jersey City Fourth of July Celebration

News Americas, New York, NY, June 18, 2024: Grammy Award winner, Caribbean born singer Wyclef Jean will headline this year’s Fourth of July celebration at Jersey City’s Exchange Place, promising a spectacular and unique holiday experience.

Caribbean born singer Wyclef Jean, seen here playing at the “Sounds of Little Haiti” concert at the Haitian Cultural Complex in 2017 in Miami, Florida, will perform at the 2024 Jersey City Fourth of July celebration. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The free event kicks off at noon, showcasing performances by local talent throughout the day. The musical lineup features DJ Funk Flex at 6 p.m., followed by rapper Fat Joe at 7 p.m. The main event will see the Haitian immigrant taking the stage at 8 p.m., delivering his renowned energy and hits to the waterfront audience.

The celebration will culminate in a breathtaking fireworks display by the Grucci family, starting at 9:25 p.m. over the Hudson River. Fireworks will be launched from two barges in the river, offering a wide viewing area along the waterfront. Spectators can enjoy the show from the Hudson River Walkway, stretching from Grundy Pier to the Colgate Clock.

In addition to concerts and fireworks, the day-long event will feature food vendors, family activities, and more, hosted by Jersey City Night Market along the Hudson River waterfront. Attendees can expect a vibrant atmosphere with plenty of entertainment and dining options.

For more information on the event, including transportation, directions, and what to bring, visit the city’s website at July4thNJ.com.

Past Fourth of July concerts in Jersey City have featured headliners such as Snoop Dogg, Pitbull, and Flo Rida. This year’s celebration with Wyclef Jean promises to continue the tradition of star-studded performances and community fun.

Team USA Advances To Super 8 Round Of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

News Americas, LAUDERHILL, Fl., Sat. June 15, 2024: Cricket USA has made history by advancing to the Super 8 of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. This marks the first time the US team has reached the second stage of an ICC World Cup cricket event.

USA fans show their support prior to the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024 match between USA and Ireland at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium on June 14, 2024 in Lauderhill, Florida. (Photo by Matt Roberts-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Their final Group Stage match against Ireland was washed out due to rain at Broward County Stadium on Friday, June 14, 2024, resulting in the teams sharing the points. This draw ensured that Team USA finished three points ahead of Pakistan, who have one match left against Ireland.

A Team USA fan shows his support prior to the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024 match between USA and Ireland at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium on June 14, 2024 in Lauderhill, Florida. (Photo by Matt Roberts-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Team USA’s journey to the Super 8 included victories over Canada and Pakistan, and a narrow defeat to India, who topped Group A and also advanced to the next stage. Team USA will next face South Africa in Antigua on Wednesday, June 19, as part of the Super 8 round hosted across the Caribbean.

Team USA fans show their support during the ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024 match between USA and Ireland at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium on June 14, 2024 in Lauderhill, Florida. (Photo by Matt Roberts-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Reaching the Super 8 stage also guarantees Team USA’s automatic qualification for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2026 in India and Sri Lanka. Additionally, Team USA will receive a minimum prize of $382,500 for making it to this round.

The Super 8 format consists of eight teams divided into two pools of four. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the semi-finals. Team USA is grouped with South Africa, West Indies, and either England or Scotland, depending on the remaining Group Stage outcomes.

Aaron Jones, Team USA’s representative, shared his thoughts at the post-match press conference in Florida. Fans interested in supporting USA in the Caribbean can purchase tickets at t20worldcup.tickets.com.

USA Cricket Super 8 Schedule:

Wednesday, June 19: vs South Africa @ 10:30 AM in Antigua

Friday, June 21: vs West Indies @ 8:30 PM in Barbados

Sunday, June 23: vs England or Scotland @ 10:30 AM in Barbados

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 is co-hosted by West Indies and USA from June 1 – 29, 2024. This event is the largest in the tournament’s history, featuring 20 international teams playing 55 matches across nine cities. It is the first time the USA hosts matches in a T20 World Cup, with 16 First Round matches held at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium (New York), Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium (Dallas), and Broward County Stadium (Lauderhill). The West Indies, who last hosted in 2010, will hold matches in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. Cricket West Indies and T20 World Cup Inc. oversee the local delivery of the event, supporting the growth of cricket in the USA.

RELATED: CARIBBEAN HERITAGE PLAYERS IN TEAM USA

Top Non-Fiction Books Of Summer 2024

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Sat. June 15, 2024: Looking for some new non-fiction books to read this summer. Here are the Top Non-Fiction Books of 2024 according to Goodreads.

#1

Want to Read

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#3

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#4

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#5

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#6

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#7

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#8

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#9

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#10

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#11

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Will Rain Stop Play Again This Weekend At Broward Stadium?

News Americas, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Fri. June 14, 2024: With the first ICC cricket match in Broward County washed out on Tuesday between Sri Lanka vs. Nepal due to rain, fans are wondering if the same will happen today and this weekend?

The LED board reads “Match Abandoned” during a rain delay of the ICC Men´s T20 Cricket World Cup West Indies & USA 2024 match between Sri Lanka and Nepal at Central Broward Regional Park on June 11, 2024 in Lauderhill, Florida. (Photo by Matt Roberts-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

The much-awaited ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Cricket competition is here in Broward County, Florida, but no one thought rain would lead to a wash out. It’s left to be seen what will happen this morning between the USA and Ireland as they are set to clash at 10:30 AM at Central Broward Park and Broward County Stadium.

The other matches lined up for this weekend are:

Saturday, June 15: India vs. Canada​; match starts at 10:30 AM​

Sunday, June 16: Pakistan vs. Ireland​; match starts at 10:30 AM

PARKING

Convenient onsite parking is available at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium, with ample spaces accessible from West Bound, East Sunrise Blvd. Parking opens two hours before the first ball on match days. Arrive early to park and explore the stadium before the event begins.

GETTING TO THE GROUND

There is no public transport to the stadium. General ticket holders are encouraged to use the nearby parking options or ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Ride-sharing drop-off is at Lauderhill Performing Arts Center (3800 NW 11th Pl, Lauderhill, FL 33311).

Access and Parking

General Access: From North Bound, Road 441, turn right into 11th Pl, Lauderhill, FL 33311.

Parking: Access from West Bound, East Sunrise Blvd. General Parking is $40 + tax.

Ride Share: Use the app and specify the stadium as your destination.

Train

If travelling from Miami, Aventura, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, or Orlando, take the train to Brightline Fort Lauderdale Station, less than 5 miles from the stadium. Groups of 4+ save 25% on SMART fares.

ENTRY TIMES

Gates open two hours before the first ball of all matches at Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium:

Morning Matches: Gates open at 8:30 am (EST), first ball at 10:30 am (EST).

Evening Matches: Gates open at 5:30 pm (EST), first ball at 7:30 pm (EST).

Arrive early to avoid queues and enjoy pre-match entertainment.

TICKET RESOLUTION

For ticket-related inquiries, visit the ticket resolution office at the Main Gate entry for assistance.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES

The stadium offers a variety of food and beverage options, including snacks, meals, and drinks. Alcoholic beverages are available at selected points. Note that outside food and drinks are not allowed inside the stadium.

How The Caribbean Is Reviving Endangered Species

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. June 13, 2024: The Caribbean is home to many unique animals, from marine mammals to rare lizards. Just as many people head off to the Fisherman’s trail to see White Storks and dolphins, the Caribbeans see a lot of wildlife tourism too. 

Over the years, though, many species faced extinction due to threats like overfishing and pollution. But recent efforts show that the tide is turning and the work is helping these species recover.

Recent Success Stories

White Cay Rock Iguana

Thirty years ago, fewer than 150 White Cay rock iguanas lived on a small island in the Bahamas. Today, there are over 2,000. Conservationists achieved this by removing invasive species like ship rats and raccoons. These invasive animals threatened the iguanas by eating their eggs and young, and so today stand a better chance of survival.

Antiguan Racer Snake

The Antiguan racer snake was once the world’s rarest snake. In 1995, only 50 were left on one small island. Conservationists worked hard to protect these snakes and they ended up relocating them to predator-free islands, which increased numbers to over 1,000.

Sombrero Ground Lizard

The Sombrero ground lizard lives on Sombrero Island off the coast of Anguilla. Due to deforestation and hurricanes, their numbers dropped below 100. Conservationists removed invasive species from the island, which helped the lizard population more than triple since 2021. 

Cross-Border and Regional Efforts

Marine Reserves

New marine reserves have played a big role in protecting endangered species. A recent example is the Hermandad reserve in Ecuador. This reserve helps protect migratory species like sea turtles, whales and sharks from industrial fishing and even climate change. It forms part of the East Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor, which stretches from Ecuador to Costa Rica, showing that international co-ordination has reaped rewards​​.

Caribbean Biological Corridor (CBC)

The CBC is a joint effort by Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. It started in 2007 to protect over 200,000 square km of coastal ecosystems. These areas are key for migratory routes and the reproduction of species like whale sharks and sperm whales.

Comprehensive Management Strategies

Managing invasive species has played a major role in the strategy behind the conservation efforts. The lionfish invasion, for example, poses a threat to local marine life. Efforts to control their population are ongoing. Another issue is the spread of Sargassum, a type of seaweed. Countries are working together to share data and find ways to manage its impact on beaches and marine habitats​​.

Less than half of the countries in the region sufficiently measure how well these areas are managed. Improving this can help ensure that conservation efforts are effective. One step towards this has been the Visión Amazónica initiative in the Amazon, which aims to integrate protected areas across nine countries.

Community and Policy Engagement

Conservation efforts also support local economies. As mentioned, local communities benefit from tourism because it’s a big attraction. Of course, sustainable tourism is important, and this needs to operate on a local level too. Training programs help local people become involved in conservation, such as teaching law enforcement officers how to protect wildlife. 

So far, regional cooperation has been the key to successful conservation. The UN Biodiversity Conference aims to protect 30% of land and sea areas by 2030, but more localised collaboration and sharing of data has been the real turning point. 

The Caribbean is making significant strides in conservation. As the beach and sea remain a big tourist attraction, the importance of sustaining local wildlife has become a priority. By working together and implementing effective strategies, the region is helping each other to help endangered species recover.

The Caribbean Will See More US Flights

News Americas, New York, NY, Thurs. June 13, 2024: The Caribbean is set to welcome an increase in flights from the US starting this month, continuing through the year and into next year.

Jamaica will see more US flights.

Southwest Airlines has launched new services from Orlando International Airport (MCO) in Florida to four Caribbean destinations for the summer travel season. Starting June 4, the airline began daily flights to Grand Cayman, Nassau, Providenciales, and Punta Cana. These new routes complement Southwest’s existing services from Orlando to Aruba and Montego Bay, Jamaica, along with an expansion of service to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

From May 24 to September 2, Southwest expects to connect nearly 57 million customers to destinations across North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America, providing over 4,000 daily flights.

Meanwhile, American Airlines is adding new routes and increasing flights to the Caribbean in time for a winter warm-weather escape. The airline will introduce eight new flights, including a new route to La Romana in the Dominican Republic. This daily flight from Miami will start on December 5, operated by an Airbus A319, making American the only US airline to fly directly to La Romana.

Brian Znotins, American’s senior vice president of network and schedule planning, stated, “Customers will have more reasons to choose American than ever before for nonstop fun in the sun this year. We are excited to continue growing our network to the region with more flights this winter to the Caribbean and Latin America than any other US carrier ever.”

American Airlines’ additional new routes this winter include:

Charlotte to St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Saturday-only service starting Dec. 7 on a Boeing 737

New York to Barbados: Daily service starting Nov. 5 on a Boeing 737

New York to St. Lucia: Saturday-only service starting Dec. 7 on a Boeing 737

New York to St. Maarten: Saturday-only service starting Dec. 7 on an Airbus A319

New York to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Saturday-only service starting Dec. 7 on a Boeing 737

Philadelphia to Barbados: Saturday-only service starting Nov. 9 on an Airbus A321

Philadelphia to Costa Rica: Saturday-only service starting Dec. 7 on a Boeing 737

Frontier Airlines is expanding its services to include a new route from San Juan (SJU) to St. Croix (STX), starting in April 2024.

Sun Country Airlines has announced new nonstop flights from Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Montego Bay, Jamaica, as part of its winter schedule. These flights will operate from mid-December 2024 through early April 2025.

Punta Cana Flights: Starting December 26, 2024, initially running twice per week, with an increase to four times per week from January 23, 2025, until April 7, 2025.

Montego Bay Flights: Commencing January 25, 2025, operating twice a week until April 5, 2025.

The expansion of flight services by these major airlines underscores the growing demand for Caribbean travel, promising more convenience and options for travelers looking to enjoy the region’s warm weather and vibrant culture.

US Official For Guyana

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. June 12, 2024: US Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ambassador, Bonnie D. Jenkins, will travel to Guyana tomorrow.

Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ambassador, Bonnie D. Jenkins,

Ambassador Jenkins will be in Guyana from June 13 – 14, 2024.While in Guyana, the Under Secretary will participate in bilateral meetings, meet with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and attend side events to underscore the U.S. commitment to arms control, nonproliferation, and international security.

Her visit comes just days after The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), slapped sanctions on three Guyanese, including a government official.

Ambassador Jenkins, PhD, has served as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security since July 22, 2021. As Under Secretary, she oversees three bureaus: the Arms Control, Deterrence and Stability Bureau; the International Security and Nonproliferation Bureau (ISN); and the Political-Military Affairs Bureau. In addition, as of May 2023, Secretary of State Antony Blinken named Under Secretary Jenkins as the senior official to lead the Department’s efforts on AUKUS implementation. She is the first African American to serve as an Under Secretary of State.

Jenkins previously served in the Obama Administration as Special Envoy and Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the ISN bureau from July 2009 until January 2017. In that role, Ambassador Jenkins coordinated U.S. government efforts on threat reduction programs alongside international programs that prevent non-State actors with intent to do harm from acquiring chemical precursors, biological pathogens, nuclear material, and radiological sources to develop Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). She was also the State Department’s lead for all four of the Nuclear Security Summits held from 2010 to 2016, as well as the U.S. Representative to the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.

Caribbean American Sean Kingston Out Of Jail and Performing

News Americas, New York, NY, Weds. June 12, 2024: The “Beautiful Girls” superstar is back. Caribbean American star Sean Kingston marked his return to the stage with an inspiring performance at Alabama’s Sand Mountain Amphitheater on Saturday, June 8th, following recent legal allegations. He is out on $100,000 bail after spending time in jail in California and Florida.

Sean Kingston is on bail and performing. (Photo by Johnny Louis/Getty Images)

Last month, Kingston was arrested at his show in Fort Irwin, California, following a raid on his Miami mansion that linked him to a widespread fraud ring allegedly run with his mother, Janice Turner. He was extradited to South Florida and booked into the Broward County jail. Local 10 reports that the 34-year-old recording artist, whose real name is Kisean Paul Anderson, faces several felony charges after authorities accused him and his mother of committing over a million dollars worth of fraud.

His arrest in California occurred soon after Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) deputies raided the mansion he rents in Southwest Ranches on May 23. During the raid, authorities also arrested Kingston’s 61-year-old mother, Janice Turner. Both mother and son now face serious allegations tied to their involvement in a major fraud operation.

Kingston addressed his situation, saying, “I am gonna use this situation and have it be a fuel to my fire, I’m back.”

As Kingston prepares to face a judge, the music world watches closely, awaiting further developments in this high-profile case. The allegations have sent shockwaves through the industry, putting a spotlight on Kingston’s legal troubles and the potential ramifications for his career.