Local News

Caribbean-Americans win City of Miami Community Icons Awards

MIAMI – In celebration of Black History Month, City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones honored 12 distinguished African American leaders that have made a difference in the community and their prospective professions on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 at the Historic Lyric Theater.

Among the 12 outstanding leaders in the areas of Art, Medicine, Sports, Education, Business, Activism, Law, Humanitarian, Journalism and Religion several Caribbean-Americans were recognized for their significant contributions to the community and in their profession.

The Caribbean-Americans that were honored include, Inner Circle – Music, Father Jean Fritz Bazin – Religion, Lavarice Gaudin – Local Activist and Judge John Johnson – Law.

Inner Circle Music is a twenty-year phenomenon in the reggae field and one of the first Jamaican groups to tour in the United States and is a well respected Grammy-winning quintent with a long string of successes stretching back to the mid 1970’s.

The Reverend Jean Fritz Bazin is Rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Paul et les martyrs d’Haiti, was awarded the Gandhi-King-ikeda Award from the Martin Luther King International Chapel at Morehouse College in Atlanta in 2003. Before his arrival in Miami in 1982, Canon Bazin served as parish priest and Human Rights Officer for the Caribbean Conference of Churches in Barbados. He currently hosts a weekly radio program in Creole and a Sunday Mass on Haitian Television Network.

Lavarice Gaudin a native of Haiti who has lived in the United States since 1981, has worked in grass roots organizations to achieve equality of opportunity for Haitian immigrants and oppressed individuals in South Florida. He was the former president of both the Haitian Refugee Center and the Organization for the Development of Haiti.

Judge John Johnson the youngest of seven children of Bahamian immigrants who settled in Miami in 1903, grew up in what is now called Miami’s Overtown community and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. After earning his Law degree at Howard University, Judge Johnson received his appointment ot the Bench as City of Miami Municpal Judge on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1955. When his term ended in 1959, he had tried approximately 50,000 cases. Judge Johnson was the first director of the Model Cities Legal Services Program, a charter member of the Church of the Open Door, a pioneer member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

In addition the following individuals also received awards, Gene Tinnie – Art, Otis Pitts – Business, Dr. Robert Ingram – Education, George Knox – Humanitarian, Thelma Gibson – Politics, Dr. Carl Yaeger, Jr. – Science/Medicine, Nat Moore – Sports and Ed O’Dell – Journalism.

Related Articles

Back to top button