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The Caribbean diaspora in the United States is comprised of almost 8 million people who were either born in a Caribbean nation or whose ancestry is Caribbean, according to the U.S. Census Bureaus’ 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). The Caribbean diaspora is a sizeable, well-educated, and affluent demographic. A large majority tend to invest in their countries of origin, in addition to making significant contributions to the American economy.

Caribbean-Americans have influenced every facet of the American society for generations. This includes the performing and visual arts; music (Rap has its roots in Jamaica); popular culture; science; medicine; business; politics, and the culinary arts. And let us not forget that, without the success of the Haitian Revolution, the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, by which the United States doubled its land mass, may not have been consummated.

Join the Jamaican Nationals Association of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area (JNA) in association with the Caribbean-American Political Action Committee (C-PAC), Jamaican Association of Maryland (JAM), and the Montgomery County Executive’s Caribbean American Advisory Group (CAAG) for this virtual forum on “The Contributions of the Caribbean Diaspora to America.”

This Forum is endorsed by the Global Diaspora Northeast.

Presenter Bios

Surgeon and medical professor Dr. Julius W. Garvey was born on September 17, 1933 in Kingston, Jamaica to United Negro Improvement Association founder Marcus Garvey and activist Amy Jacques Garvey. The younger of two sons, Garvey was raised in Jamaica. He graduated from Wolmer’s Trust High School for Boys in Kingston in 1950; and then earned his B.S. degree from McGill University in Montréal, Canada in 1957, and his M.D., C.M. degree from McGill University Faculty of Medicine in 1961.

Garvey began his medical career by interning at The Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal in 1961. In 1962, he began his first residency in surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital of New York, completing his residency in 1965. Garvey also completed residencies in surgery at the Harlem Hospital Center in 1968, and in thoracic & cardiovascular surgery at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in 1970.Garvey became an instructor in surgery at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1971. The following year, he joined the Albert Einstein College of Medicine as an instructor in surgery, later becoming an assistant professor of surgery. While teaching at Columbia University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Garvey also served as an attending surgeon in cardiothoracic surgery at the Harlem Hospital Center and Montefiore Hospital, as well as associate attending and head of thoracic surgery at the Montefiore Morrisania Affiliate. In 1974, Garvey was named attending-in-charge of thoracic surgery at Queens Hospital Center, in addition to serving as an attending surgeon in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Garvey became the Long Island Jewish Medical Center’s acting program director for the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery from 1980 to 1982, and assistant professor of surgery at State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1978 to 1988. Garvey also started his own private practice in 1983. Garvey served as chief of thoracic and vascular surgery at Queens Hospital Center from 1993 to 2006, and chief of vascular and thoracic surgery at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center from 2000 to 2004. In addition to his other medical appointments, Garvey served as an attending surgeon at North Shore University Hospital, Franklin General Hospital, Massapequa General Hospital, Catholic Medical Centers, and Little Neck Community Hospital.

Garvey was a certified fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, the International College of Surgeons, and the American College of Chest Physicians, as well as a diplomate of the Board of Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery, the American Board of Surgery, the American Academy of Wound Management, and the American College of Phlebology.

Garvey and his wife, Constance Lynch Garvey, have three children: Nzinga, Makeda, and Paul.

Bio extracted from The HistoryMakers.

In August 2019 Dr. Garvey was awarded the Order of Jamaica (OJ), for distinguished contribution in universal civil activism, and the promotion of entrepreneurship and the legacy of Garveyism and pan-Africanism.

Dr. Karren Dunkley (Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University) is a public intellectual, strategist, intercultural competency/leadership coach, and internationally recognized educator who has served in various high-level leadership positions in New York City and Philadelphia. Dr. Dunkley has enjoyed a life of service in education as an urban district leader, principal, teacher, and coach. She boasts a stellar record of advancing equity, access, and excellence for children and their families. Dr. Dunkley served as the principal of Parkway Center City High School in The School District of Philadelphia. Under her leadership, Parkway Center City was ranked #6 & #11, respectively, among Philadelphia public high schools, according to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania School Performance Profile & District Report Card. 

Dr. Dunkley loves working with people and supports many organizations dedicated to human empowerment and development. She has lectured at several colleges and universities across the United States and Jamaica, presented and facilitated at national conferences on such topics as “Executive Coaching Techniques,” “Coaching Partnerships Between Community-Based Organizations and School Staff,” “Using Innovation to Close the Opportunity Gap,” “Race and the Achievement Gap,” “Diversity and Inclusion in Education, and “Diversity and Inclusion as a Lever for Excellence.” From 2018-2020, Dr. Dunkley served as the lead consultant on the New York State Integration project for a school district and a collaborator on Phi Delta Kappa’s Community of Learning Practice project focused on achieving equity and social justice in education.

Dr. Dunkley is the proud recipient of the prestigious Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, recognizing her as one of Philadelphia’s best principals. She is also the Tuskegee University Education Advocacy Award recipient, the Omega Psi Phi Educational Achievement Award, the OIC Impact Award, and the Team Jamaica Bickle Distinguished Achievement and Contribution to Education Award. 



Dr. Dunkley holds a doctorate in Urban Education with a concentration in Organization and Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, Master’s degrees in Political Science and Education Leadership from St. John’s University and Columbia University, respectively, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Education from St. John’s University. Dr. Dunkley is a certified intercultural competency development practitioner and a graduate of the Columbia Coaching Certification Program. She is the founder, principal, and CEO of KND Consulting, LLC, an organizational leadership and development company specializing in advancing individuals’ and corporations’ capacities and competencies to ensure equity, access, diversity, inclusion, and excellence aligned with core strategic goals.

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