Chairman of the Guyana Independence Celebration Committee (New York), Rickford Burke, has disclosed that the Guyanese community is receiving an unprecedented outpouring of support from United States federal, state and city officials for Guyana’s 52ndIndependence Anniversary celebration in New York City from June 3-16, 2018.
He said that the eyes of the world are on the Guyanese community as the Independence celebration creates history as the second, largest West Indian celebration in New York City, after the Labor-Day parade. The Committee Chairman added that the leadership of the wider Caribbean community is also steadfastly supporting his committee and the celebration in a demonstration of Caribbean unity.
Speaking Monday with Nelson King, New York correspondent for the Caribbean Media Corporation, the Committee Chairman cited the support from elected officials and other Caribbean-American leaders as an inspiration for unity among Guyanese. He made a direct appeal for all Guyanese in the United States diaspora to put political and other difference aside and work together for the good of Guyana and all Guyanese. “There is strength in unity. We are 500,000 strong in the New York Tri-State. This is the time for us to demonstrate oneness and our inseparable and envious characteristic – our common Guyanese identity. Now is the time for unity and togetherness,” he emphasized, as he expressed confidence that his committee will continue to be an agent for positive change in the diaspora.
Burke hailed Guyana as “the most hospitable country in the Caribbean region with an illustrious culture and rich in natural resources, and whose diversity of races and ethnicities creates a social fabric that is incomparable. This is the essence of our nation and who we are as a people.” He posited that the commemoration of the birth of the Guyanese nation must be a signal occasion for all Guyanese to put grievances and differences of opinion aside and come together to celebrate the nation and its journey from colonialism to modern development. Burke pledged to work closely with all stake holders of the diaspora to engender national harmony and cohesion. He asserted that Guyana cannot attain developed nation status without cohesion and national harmony and that all Guyanese bear responsibility for bringing about this reality.
The celebration comprises the annual Independence Parade (Mashramani in New York) on June 3, 2018, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at Church and Brooklyn Avenues, Brooklyn. The after parade Unity Concert on June 3 is at 1:00 p.m. at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway & Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238. The Independence Cup Soccer Tournament will take place on June 16, at Old Boys High School Soccer Field 777 Rutland Road, Brooklyn.