WASHINGTON, D.C. – Founder and Chairman of Portland Holdings, the Hon. Michael Lee-Chin was one of four Jamaicans among the nine honourees as the 2019 Caribbean American Heritage Awards were presented in various categories at the 26th annual gala on Friday, November 22, 2019, at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. The Awards gala was organized by the Washington-based Institute of Caribbean Studies.
Mr. Lee-Chin received the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award; surgeon, entrepreneur and professor Dr. Kinsley R. Chin received the Excellence in Medicine Award, Donnette Cooper received the Trailblazer Award, while Ray “Gramps” Morgan, of Morgan Heritage, received the Outstanding Contribution to Music Award.
Presenting the honourees with their respective awards, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, commended them for the sterling contribution they have made over the years and continue to make in their respective spheres. “The awards are not only a tribute to your remarkable accomplishments but also a reminder of the enormous responsibility you all have been given to pass the torch to succeeding generations, who will build on your achievements.”
Ambassador Marks hailed the important role that the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS), organizers of the award, continues to make by serving the Caribbean Diaspora across the United States these past 26 years. “I therefore commend the ICS, led by its founder and leader Dr. Claire Nelson, for the remarkable role it has played for more than two decades in highlighting the significant contributions be it by the Caribbean Diaspora to the USA and advocating for the Caribbean’s interest”. The Ambassador pointed out that the ICS has also provided a forum for American nationals of Caribbean heritage to advance the interests of their respective home countries while continuing to contribute to the development of their adopted home.
The Ambassador further noted that the change in political dynamics and evolving perspectives on migration in the USA and the world at large will allow the ICS to leverage its influence for the upliftment of the Caribbean community in the United States.
Other Caribbean nationals who received awards are Haitian American corporate leader Evans Charles, Guyanese neuroscientist Dr. Andre Fenton, Trinidad and Tobago-born engineer-turned-entrepreneur Dr. Winnette McIntosh Ambrose, filmmaker Euzhan Palcy of Martinique, and Dominica-born Erwin Raphael.