On Monday, Jan. 18, the Caribbean-Americans for Community Involvement (CAFCI), in collaboration with the Village of Royal Palm Beach and supported by a grant from the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, presented its 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration.
The event was livestreamed from the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center and viewed from CAFCI’s Facebook page by a large audience. The program was a mixture of prerecorded and live performances with a small, socially distanced audience.
The event began with the flag ceremony by BSA Troop 111 of Royal Palm Beach, followed by Steve Higgins’ beautiful rendition of the national anthem. Cultural Committee Chair Elet Cyris welcomed the audience and introduced Master of Ceremonies Mark Shim, noting that the event is a little unusual this year due to the pandemic. Canon Winston Joseph offered the invocation.
CAFCI President Dennis Wright described CAFCI’s mission, placing emphasis on the Student Assistance Program and the organization’s involvement in the community. Royal Palm Beach Mayor Fred Pinto gave greetings from the village and welcomed the attending elected officials, which included Vice Mayor Jeff and Caroline Hmara, Councilwoman Salena Samios, Councilwoman Jan Rodusky and Councilman Richard Valuntas. Pinto also recognized Port Commissioner Joseph Anderson, Port Commissioner Jean Enright and State Sen. Bobby Powell Jr.
Following several entertaining performances, Anderson introduced Powell, the keynote speaker, who delivered a powerful, on-point message about the works and life of Dr. Martin Luthor King Jr. and how pertinent his message is in today’s political environment.
The program emphasized this year’s theme, “A Time for Hope, Peace, Joy & Love.” The program included performances of dances, singing, poetry and instrumentals from Copeland Davis, Katie Gilmore, Steve Higgins, Miles Hoyt and Benjamin Collin, Jordaine Randon, Rachel and Ryan Rose, Morgan Shim, Soul Movement, Hildreth Stoddard-Brown, Matt Stone, Quincy Wilson and Rochelle Wright.
CAFCI thanks its Cultural Committee with Chair Elet Cyris, Marjorie Aiken, Paul Baker, Henworth Ferguson, Winsom Genus-Martin, Shirley Morrison, Genieve White and Percival Wood, as well as the technical support crew of Richard Jackson and Radcliffe Brown.