Health Power Caribbean Circuit Editor’s Page:
Dr. Marco A. Mason on the Advocacy trail
Highlights:Clinton Foundation Forum on Global Development INelson Mandela and Clinton Foundation & Key Others Address Climate ChangeIPanamanian Parade in Brooklyn INew York’s 2010 West Indian Labor Day ParadeI Call for Haitian Strategic Reconstruction IDr. Mason Calls for US/Panamanian Free Trade Agreement I Representative 2009-2010 Honors to Dr. Mason
We were very pleased to recently welcome Dr. Marco Mason as an Editor of Health Power’s Caribbean Circuit, because of his outstanding professional contributions and community service. In addition to his busy schedule – consulting, teaching, extensive travel and lecture tour- Dr. Mason received numerous awards, citations and other honors during the past year.
Areas of specialty and service for which he has been recognized include Policy Advocacy, International Health, Gender Equity, Panamá’s History, Culture, Cultural and Ethnic Competency, Human and Civil Rights, and Journalism. In this context, the following initiatives are a sample of Dr. Mason’s Advocacy Calls, and of entities that bestowed related honors and awards to Dr. Mason in the past year.
Citywide (NYC) Mental Health Coalition for the Black Elderly Community Service Award
This award recognizes outstanding leaders and community professionals who have contributed to advancing the health and mental health of people of African descent.
Dr. Roy Hastick Sr., President and Founder of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI). Other distinguished honorees included the Hon. John Liu, New York City’s Comptroller; and Dr. William Pollard, President, Medgar Evers College, City University of New York.
Dr. Martha Sullivan and Ella Harris presents Distinguished Community Service Award to Dr. Marco A. Mason
Participation in William J. Clinton Foundation 2010 Global Forum
Dr. Mason participated in this Clinton Foundation Breakfast Meeting with George Soros, Bill Gates, and key others. The Forum was hosted by Fortune, Time, and CNN, brought together Fortune 500 and emerging market CEOs, heads of state, and the influential Time 100 The Forum is tapping into the extraordinary promise of the developing world. For more Information: www.GlobalForum2010.com
Nelson Mandela Foundation and William J. Clinton Foundation Join Forces
with UN and European Union to Address Climate Change
The Nelson Mandela Foundation and William J. Clinton Foundation, in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the European Union have decided to pursue the objectives of human growth, educational, and community development to create awareness to the dangers posed on our planet by climate change. To fuel this initiative the group is making a yearly grant donation of $900,000.00 (Nine Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) to 18 lucky international recipients worldwide in different categories for their personal business development and enhancement of their educational plans and to create awareness in their community on the dangers posed on the planet by climate change as a result of pollution.
Dr. Mason Grand Marshall of Panamanian Parade in Brooklyn
Panamanian Parade Grand Marshals Dr. Marco A. Mason and Ms. Telma Lobo
On Saturday, October 9th, 2010, the Day of Independence Committee of Panamanians in New York, Inc (DICPNY) celebrated its fifteenth Pre-Independence Day Parade from Atlantic Avenue to Empire Boulevard via Franklin Avenue. According to Cynthia Brown Franklin, DICPNY’s President, “This year Dr. Mason was selected to serve as the parade’s Grand Marshall, in recognition of his solid and diverse contributions to the Panamanian community at home and abroad, and at the same time to give honor to the long lasting ties that were forged by our forefathers during the building of the Panamá Railroad and later, the Panamá Canal.
New York’s West Indian Labor Day Parade Highlights
For the last forty years, New York’s West Indian Labor Day Parade has been a smashing success, and 2010 was no exception. Dr. Marco Mason was among the distinguished guests and Grand Marshalls for the 2010 parade. Additional distinguished guests included Dr. Claire Nelson, President of the Institute for Caribbean Studies, actor Danny Glover, and Haitian singer Wyclef Jean.
Across America, generations of immigrants have preserved the traditions of their homelands, and these traditions have shaped America’s identity. In this regard, Caribbean-Americans can take pride weaving their unique and vibrant culture into the tapestry of America and enriching America’s diversity. Brooklyn is the renowned home to the largest Caribbean population outside of the Caribbean region, and is justifiably known by all as the Caribbean Capital of America. People from across the country and around the world participate in the week-long celebration that culminates with the incomparable Carnival “Mother of all Parades” due to the fact that it is widely considered the largest parade in the United States.
Sponsored by the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA), which was established in 1967, the event plays a pivotal role as an economic stimulus for New York City and the State of New York. According to a report by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), New York City has benefited tremendously from the innovative spirit, determined work ethic, and steadfast commitment to family values of its West Indian residents. The Carnival attracts vendors, costumed bands, musical bands, floats, masqueraders, and more than 3.3 million participants, and it contributes approximately $86 million annually ($101,277,619 in 2010 dollar value) to New York City’s revenue.
Patriot Award Granted to Dr. Mason
“El Consejo Nacional de la Etnia Negra de Panama (CONEN) granted the special Patriot Award to Dr. Mason in recognition of his dedicated services on behalf of the Afro-Panamanian community at home and abroad.
Call for Haiti’s Strategic Reconstruction
According to Dr. Mason, in order for non-governmental organizations to participate in the post-earthquake strategic development of Haiti, these organizations must be identified and as a collective, must first be accredited by the United Nation Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). There are new and emerging plans and benchmarks for Haiti. The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission was set up after the January 12th earthquake as a joint Haitian-international effort to effectively channel billions of dollars of donated reconstruction aid. Like everything else about the recovery effort, the commission, led by Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and former President Bill Clinton announced dozens of new projects with clear benchmarks and the commitment of more than $1 billion to complete them. The hospital is a project of Partners in Health, an exemplary nongovernmental organization whose founder, Paul Farmer, has spoken forcefully about the need to break bad old habits of international aid, which in half a century has never reached the goal of creating a functioning country run by Haitians for Haitians. He stated that only 3 percent of earthquake aid has gone to the Haitian government. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies recently announced that it was distributing new plastic tarps to 80,000 families. They are replacing old tarps that have frayed in the last seven months while people have waited, fruitlessly, for homes.
Support for United States/Panama Free trade Agreement
Dr. Mason and the IPA support the concept of Fair Reciprocal Trade in the Bilateral Accord between the United States and Panama, under the US/Panama Free Trade Agreement. The United States and Panama already enjoy a long-standing vibrant trade and investment relationship. Indeed the U.S. is the main foreign supplier of goods and services to Panama. The hopes are that this agreement will make this relationship durable and reciprocal. Panama has a demonstrated record of vibrantly transforming itself, embracing far-reaching socio-economical and social reform. However, in Panama despite continuous economic growth averaging 3.5 percent between 1997-2003, moderate and extreme poverty remains practically unchanged. This suggests that the country’s high level of income inequality and structural issues in economic and social policy are preventing growth from reducing poverty in the country. Hence, there is a need to target interventions into the areas of extreme poverty and directed to those groups that are living in destitutions. Therefore, any approach to foster trade and competitiveness must include a strategy to reduce poverty in Panama, particularly, aimed at improving the quality of life in the at-risk African descendant community.
In short, the US/Panama Free Trade Agreement provides an extraordinarily dynamic opportunity to build even stronger ties, create new economic opportunities, promote social justice, and strengthen democracy issues, which are priorities for all Americans. Accordingly, to accomplish these ideals, the negotiations, outcomes of the agreement must include provisions for the inclusion from the benefits generated ten percent to be set-aside and directed to the at-risk, traditionally discriminated African Descendents Community in Panama. The provisions should include and set-aside funds to promote trade capacity building design to provide Panama’s poorest population the tools needed to build better lives. Moreover, the treaty will offer a unique opportunity to galvanize almost one million Americans with close ties to Panama- families, ex-patriots, immigrants, citizens and voters that represent a powerful asset for the strengthening of commercial ties, security, understanding and mutual respect between the two countries. The accord requires solid support and leadership, not protectionism that advance both the United States and Panama’s economic, social and broader regional interest.
Fulbright Program Hosted in Panama
This year, Panamá hosted the Annual U.S. Fulbright Student Enhancement Seminar. The seminar gives participants an excellent opportunity to share, tour, learn and network with current and past students, about the people, culture, and legacy of their respective host country.
More about Dr. Mason’s Journey/Story/Achievements (Nuestros Caminos/Nuestras Historia/Nuestros/Logros) — Dr. Mason is the Editor/Publisher of El Noticiero Popular Panameño,
the No.1 Panamanian digital magazine, with seven years of continuous publications and a global reach of 250,000.