STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — In a collaborative effort between ROZA Promotions and Black Health, both community based non-for-profit organizations, the African Community Alliance of Staten Island (ACASI) and the Vanderbilt Avenue Moravian Church, an Afro-Caribbean Culture and Health Fair was staged at the Stapleton church.
The goal of the fair was to bring together the African and Caribbean communities to showcase the richness of both cultures through music, food native to the countries, fashionable clothing and religion.
Participants benefited from health education booths, prize giveaways, and information from MetroPlus and Black Health and from Staten Island University Hospital.
Vendor Zainab Adama Bangura displayed African ensembles and other items for sale and Edwina Manley-Tarr was on hand to grill barbecued specials.
The Vanderbilt Avenue Moravian Church prepared Caribbean dishes for 200 community members.
“The Afro-Caribbean Fair provided us with another opportunity to share and enjoy the similarities between both cultures,” noted Rufus Arkoi, executive director of ROZA Promotions.
Dawn Benjamin, who modeled contemporary fashions, said: “The fair hosted by Vanderbilt Avenue Moravian Church, Roza Promotions and Black Health under the leadership of Rufus Arkoi was phenomenal. Not only did we bring the needed resources and services to our community but the collaborative engagement showcased our local and talented musical artist such as Sprocka, health insurance and treatment services compliments of SIUH, and MetroPlus, as well as our authentic Caribbean and African dishes and specialties.”
“At the end of the evening, we proudly showed off our traditional African dress as models ranging in ages from 40 to 80 years-old adorned their various pieces and strutted their stuff to the sounds of Afro Caribbean beats. It was very timely to say the least since we have been unable to gather in this fashion due to the pandemic. More importantly, it was a memorable event filled with good food, fellowship and socialization in support of our various organizations on Staten Island.”