Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH) to be Held in Washington DC

For 19 years, Caribbean American visionaries have been honored by the Institute of Caribbean Studies in Washington, DC.  This year, the honorees include a jazz musician, football player (soccer), and the editor in chief of Essence Magazine.  This year, it will be held on November 16th at the Capitol Hilton Hotel.  It will be hosted by Maureen Bunyan and Neki Mohan.

The president of ICS, Dr. Claire Nelson was honored earlier this year as a White House Champion of Change – I was privileged to be able to attend the event honoring Dr. Nelson and others who were being honored for their work in building bridges between the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States.

“Our 2012 list of honorees is a true reflection of the rich heritage of the region. And as we focus on the milestones of Jamaica as well as Trinidad & Tobago celebrating their 50th Anniversary, we have been lucky to have honorees who represent some of the best talents of these two countries,” Dr. Nelson added.  “We invite everyone to join us in celebrating these nine individuals but also these landmarks in Caribbean history.”

Proceeds from the CARAH Awards support ICS programs including LIFESeed, a youth entrepreneurship training program; the Annual Caribbean American Legislative Week; AllSPICE during Caribbean American Heritage Month and Embassy Evenings. To learn more about the Caribbean American Heritage Awards, visit

Tickets are available online only. Click here to Purchase Tickets.

More about the honorees…

2012 Honorees – Caribbean American Heritage Awards



Hon. Monty Alexander O.D. is a renowned jazz musician known for his uplifting spirit of musical expression. With a long musical history, spanning five decades, Monty has graced many stages and collaborated with many artists including Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, and even assisted Natalie Cole in her tribute album to her father, “Unforgettable.” The influence and popularity of his music is supreme. In 2011, Monty Alexander dominated the US Radio Charts with three number 1 spots. He is a classicist in the reggae jazz idiom reinterpreting Bob Marley’s music for a whole new audience. His musical prowess is like none other; he is an extraordinary talent and proud son of Jamaica. Purchase Tickets.



Colin Channer is an acclaimed author and assistant professor of English. Widely known for his novels, “Waiting in Vain” and “The Girl With the Golden Shoes,” Channer has also excelled at short fiction and has written for the screen and adapted his own work for the stage. In 2001, Colin founded the Calabash International Literary Festival Trust. The trust provides writing workshops, publishing seminars and film series, which is all showcased in the land of his birth, Kingston Jamaica. This festival is widely revered and considered to be one of the most vibrant literary festivals in the world. Purchase Tickets.



Dean Garfield, of Jamaican heritage, is the President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). Since taking the helm in 2008, Dean has established ITI into a powerhouse of advocacy, insight and influence. He has worked tirelessly to foster a policy environment that embraces cutting-edge research, game changing technologies and national economic champions as central to the foundation for sustained job creation and growth. Under his leadership ITI has defined the tech agenda for global policymakers, expanded its membership and influence and launched a foundation that serves as the preeminent thought leader on innovation. Dean has received numerous awards and acknowledgments, including, being named on The Root 100 most influential African Americans in the U.S. Purchase Tickets.



Robert Greenidge – from the tender age of eight, Robert began playing the sweet melodic tunes of the steel drums. By the age of fifteen he was playing with Trinidad and Tobago’s leading steel orchestra, “Desperadoes,” and by sixteen he had performed at the First Negro Arts Festival in Africa. His talent and musical ear has blessed him with the opportunity to perform and record with greats such as Jimmy Buffet and the Coral Reefers Band, John Lennon and Ringo Star of the Beatles. Robert’s projects are varied and a testament to his talent. He has recorded numerous albums and has worked on various movie soundtracks, including Commando and Clara’s Heart, Television shows – Tonight Show with Jay Leno, commercials and workshops and clinics. He is a consummate PANMASTER. Purchase Tickets.



Shaka Hislop born in England to Trinidadian parents and is a former football player with an illustrious fifteen year career. He has played with several English teams, FC Dallas in the United States and he also represented the Trinidad National Team at the 2006 World Cup Finals. Presently, he serves as an ESPN soccer analyst on their discussion show ESPNSoccernet Press Pass. Shaka has received various awards including, the “Hammer Player of the Year,” the PFA Special Merit Award and he was also the first member of the Trinidad and Tobago World Cup Squad to be inducted into their Hall of Fame. Aside from his soccer skills, Shaka is a trained mechanical engineer, having earned his degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Purchase Tickets.



Andrew ‘Andy’ Ingraham is the Founder, President and CEO of NABHOOD (National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers, Inc.). Ingraham is also the President of Horizons Marketing Group Intl. Inc., a marketing and public relations corporation with special emphasis on African American and multicultural tourism. Considered the ultimate insider and a trendsetter, he has been featured in many leading publications, including, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Under his astute leadership NABHOOD’s members today are attracting significant hote investment dollars from organizations and indiviudals that want to increase diversity in the hotel industry. We are fortunate that his Bahamian’s vision is giving the entire hotel sector a potent shot of energy, inspiration and business acumen as NABHOOD endeavors to increase the number of African-Americans developing, managing, operating and owning hotels; increase vendor opportunities and executive level positions for minorities. Purchase Tickets.



Having been described as a visionary and consummate communicator, it is no surprise that Constance White is the editor-in-chief of the prestigious African-American publication, Essence Magazine. She is a veteran journalist, editor and author, who is also revered as one of the countries most respected fashion experts having been a brand consultant for eBay, founding fashion editor for Talk magazine and style reporter for the New York Times. Her work has appeared in several prominent publications including, British Vogue and Glamour. This wealth of experience has garnered her many mentions, including being ranked in the top ten of the New York Daily News’ 2008 “Fashion’s 50 Most Powerful.” This daughter of Jamaica is doing her native island proud as one of the leading StyleMakers in the World. Purchase Tickets.