New York City’s Caribbean American community came together in a show of strength and unity in downtown Manhattan today for a special flag-raising celebration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Gathered at Bowling Green, New York City Mayor Eric Adams; Kenneth Bryan, Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization; and other officials delivered remarks to members of the media and the Caribbean American community. Chairman Bryan also serves as Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands. Other attendees included Guyana’s Minister of Human Services and Social Security Vindhya Persaud as well as members of the Caribbean diplomatic corps in New York City.

Kenneth Bryan, Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Minister of Tourism and Ports for the Cayman Islands

“This community of Caribbean states represents the unwavering spirit of the Caribbean people. It is therefore fitting that this historic occasion is being held in conjunction with the observance of Caribbean-American Heritage Month, which recognizes the contributions and achievements of our brothers and sisters of Caribbean origins, who call the United States of America ‘home’,” said Chairman Bryan.

Chairman Bryan also spoke about CARICOM’s contribution to the region’s development and the symbiotic relationship between the United States and the countries and territories of the Caribbean.

“As we reflect on the countless ways that Caribbean Americans have – and will continue to – contribute to the way of life in this great nation, let us always be mindful that the ties between the United States and the Caribbean are underpinned by a spirit of friendship and the recognition that we each share a stake in the other’s success,” he concluded.

Echoing the statements made by other speakers, Mayor Adams acknowledged the positive impact and influence of people of Caribbean origin on nearly every aspect of life in the United States and highlighted the senior officials in his administration who are of Caribbean heritage.

“I applaud the CARICOM consular corps in New York for its efforts to strengthen the enduring bonds between the Caribbean and our global city, and uplift members of the Caribbean diaspora in the five boroughs,” declared Mayor Adams.

CARICOM is the oldest surviving integration movement in the developing world. It is a grouping of 20 countries: 15 Member States and five Associate Members.

The official remarks were followed by the raising of the CARICOM flag in the oldest public park in New York City.