January 19, 2022

CASWA celebrates cultural wellness

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The Caribbean-American Social Workers Association (CASWA), under the theme: Cultural Wellness — Celebrating Caribbean Food, Music and dance, last Saturday, hosted its 15th Annual Fundraising Breakfast at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, Brooklyn, to continue improving the social status and functioning of people of Caribbean heritage.

Festively dressed patrons packed Adam’s Hall, to support CASWA — a group of social workers, social services providers, and community and social activists, founded in 2003, by Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Ismay Griffith, and Elaine E. Reid.

Live musical entertainment by Wrickford Dalgetty’s Tropical Rhythms, and a runway show by Marvelous Fun Fashions by Marva Whaul, was befitting the message that President, Shaun B. Henry said the Brooklyn-based organization’s event was focused on cultural awareness and wellness, to uplift the Caribbean community.

“Our fundraising breakfast is just part of our programs. This year, the theme is Cultural Awareness that addresses every area of wellness. Cultural wellness is sharing our culture with others, and using that as a vehicle for wellness.”

“We often times don’t recognize the importance of the foods we eat, the music that we listen to, and the company that we share. All of these things contribute to our wellness,” said Henry, adding that it is importance to also focus on community, during these times where segregation is being propagated.

He applauded the organization’s charitable work such as the annual September backpack drive, and the organization’s recent adoption of a Flatbush homeless shelter, noting that the organization collaborates with other organizations, such as the Caribbean Attorney’s Network (CAN) to move its agenda forward.

The proceeds of this year’s raffle and breakfast will benefit CASWA’s scholarship and community programming.

Dr. Sean T. Doorn, in his keynote message, encouraged nationals to make an effort to continue engaging the world.

The school psychologist and behavior intervention specialist used his experiences, to challenge citizens to reach out and help each other. His methodology of Optimistic Soul — Accepted past, embracing the present, and anticipating future, as “I turn boyhood fantasies into manhood realities,” has been a catalyst to his success.

“Words that don’t work are worthless, said Doorn, a young Guyanese-born adjunct, lecturer, and advocate, who spoke of his immigrant parents not having the means to put him through college but whose love sustained, and uplifted him to become the leader he is today.

The organization also honored Norma Fisher with a plaque, for her support over the years, while Past President Elsa Kum, received a Citation from Assembly Member Nick Perry, for her steadfast commitment to CASWA.

Melissa Alleyne was engaging as mistress of ceremonies, during the hours-long event where fellowship was evident.

CASWA’s upcoming events will include a Holiday Lime at Negril BK on Dec. 13, a Census 2020 Forum, a Social Work Month, and Cancer Awareness Forum. To learn more, go www.caswa.org, CASWA, instagram and LinkedIn.

Marva Whaul, designer of Marvelous Fun Fashions, center, surrounded by models wearing her creations.
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