Nia Baird (2nd from right) receives scholarship award, fl anked by, from left:
Aletha St. Bernard Marshall, Dr. Carol Wilson-Smith and Joycelyn Alleyne.
Photo by Nelson A. King
Caribbean Life, Nov. 27-Dec. 3, 2020 3
By Tangerine Clarke
“Today is about putting the people
of Brooklyn first and moving toward
a new future with new leadership,”
said Khari Edwards, son of parents
from Trinidad and Guyana, who has
announced his run for Brooklyn Borough
The community leader, who grew up
in Crown Heights and has spent two
decades crafting a career dedicated to
community empowerment and political
action throughout the City and
State of New York, noted that, “Before
COVID, Brooklyn faced a lack of affordability,
a lack of true access to healthcare,
and many of our communities
“This inequality was amplified by
the pandemic. Now we are looking
at the future with uncertainty with
many of the same characters playing
the same roles.” I have called Brooklyn
home since the moment I was born. I
have seen the borough’s highs and its
lows, and I know that Brooklyn needs a
hands-on leader who believes in sitting
down face-to-face with people to get to
the bottom of the overwhelming challenges
we face,” said Edwards.
Married to his wife Jahmila Edwards
in 2018 and has three children; Ethan
17, Niah 16, and Myles 12, Edwards said,
“I am running to represent Brooklynites
from Brownsville to Bay Ridge
and beyond. From my stoop, to the G
train platform, to the corner store, I
hope you’ll take this journey with me as
I fight for a better future for Brooklyn.”
The up and coming politician who
has worked with elected officials, nonprofit
organizations and city agencies,
developing a deep understanding of
what Brooklyn families need, and how
to strengthen and connect its communities,
most recently served as vice president
of External Affairs at the Brookdale
Hospital Medical Center of the One
Brooklyn Health System, where he was
the first vice president of color.
By Nelson A. King
The Brooklyn-based Trinidad Tobago
Alliance of North America, Inc. on
Saturday presented US$1,500 in scholarships
to three college students in the
New York metropolitan area.
The presentations were made during
the group’s recording of its virtual
Scholarship Awards Luncheon at
Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica
Avenue in Brooklyn.
The awardees were: Akeila Murphy-
Bruce, Nia Baird and Cardisha Hartford
In 2017, Murphy-Bruce, from among
the various colleges to which she had
the option of attending, chose Brooklyn’s
Medger Evers because “it is a
place where students feel welcome and
an institution where the faculty and
staff are truly enthusiastic about helping
Murphy-Bruce, who was not physically
present at the ceremony but
performed virtually in song, aspires
to receive a Bachelor’s degree in her
career choice of social work with an
emphasis in gerontology.
On graduation, she plans to return
to her native Trinidad and Tobago,
where she will be the only gerontologist
on the island of Tobago.
Murphy-Bruce said she is very active
in the community, volunteering in
numerous functions, nursing homes
and churches, bringing comfort and
joy to residents and congregations
Maintaining a grade point average
of 3.8, Murphy-Bruce, an honor student,
is expected to be inducted into
the National Society of Leadership and
Success in December.
Her message to students is “be
strong, persistent and courageous.
Enjoy your journey, learn as much
as you can and built many relationships.”
Born in Brooklyn, New York but
raised in Old Bridge, NJ, Baird said
culture, especially her Trinidadian
side, has always been part of her life.
She said she has been immersed
from an early age and continues to
learn about her roots from her grandparents.
A current student at Rutgers University
in New Jersey, Nia, after completing
her first year of college, said she
had several realizations about where
her future was heading.
However, her passion led her to
pursue her Bachelor of Arts degree,
majoring in neuroscience and cognition
with a minor in Spanish.
On graduation in May 2022, Nia
intends to enter graduate school,
where she will focus on psychology.
She said her final phase of her
college studies will be in a doctoral
program in which she said she plans
to focus much of her research on the
development and behavior of children.
Harford, a sophomore at the State
University at Albany, is pursuing a
major in psychology and a minor in
After graduation she plans to earn
her Master’s degree in clinical psychology
then enter the medical field
in the same discipline.
She credited her mother for supporting
her “during her short 19 years
of life”, as she toggled through dozens
of ideas as to what direction she would
take, being a doctor or a singer.
She has finally determined that
she wants to be a mental health professional,
especially for Black and
Brown communities, where she can
offer therapy to families, children and
Harford said she would also like to
work in a hospital, where she could
deal with emergency psychiatry
“We congratulate all recipients, and
we ask that you carry the torch to the
next generation of scholarship recipients,”
said Dr. Carol Wilson-Smith,
president of the Trinidad and Tobago
Alliance, in her address.
“I congratulate you on your solid
work for which we recognize you
today,” she added. “It takes work, it
takes effort, but it doesn’t end here.
“We expect you to pay it forward
by, in turn, nurturing our community
and sowing seeds for deep roots to
grow so that we carve out our space
in these United States of America and
also reach back to assist the development
of the motherland,” Dr. Wilson-
Khari O. Edwards.
Three receive T&T Alliance scholarships
Cardisha Harford (2nd from right) receives scholarship award, fl anked by
from left: Aletha St. Bernard Marshall, Dr. Carol Wilson-Smith and Joycelyn
Alleyne. Photo by Nelson A. King