On Friday 13 November, 2020, Melissa Noel, an award-winning multimedia journalist and Caribbean correspondent led the panel on Culture – Global Impact On Society: A Tribute to Harry Belafonte. 

The conversation was a discussion around tourism and the global impact that our Caribbean culture has on society. 

Panelists included the Hon. Olivia Babsy Grange, Minister of Culture, Jamaica, Marta Moreno Vega, founder of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), an actress and producer Gina Belafonte.

Noel started off the conversation by posing this question to the panel – What do you think are some ways that we can build on the awareness that people have right now? 

Belafonte shared first saying that she thinks we have an opportunity to reclaim many narratives and also shape the stories that we want to tell and that we want to include Caribbean lifestyles, our history, our rich culture, and the roots of our Caribbean ways. With the onslaught of Zoom events and live streams that the pandemic brought, people have an opportunity to come together in ways that we generally and typically did not prior.

Dr. Vega reminded us that as Caribbean people we have had an incredible impact here in America, throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. 

She said, “We have to understand that our  presence has been consistent and with that, the traditions that are our legacy addresses our ancestor’s traditions.” She reminded us that it has been a process and that “we’ve always been pressed from the Harlem Renaissance forward.”

On moving forward as a continuum, all panelists agreed that they are now meeting people where they are, and with the use of technology platforms, they can easily do so. 

“The bringing together of all of the branches of who we are with our root traditions and the reality going forward is that normal was not good. So, we have to create a new normal…We have the responsibility now that we know,” said Dr. Vega.

Read more at the link below.https://www.nycaribnews.com/articles/cmbc-2020-discussing-culture-and-tourism/