The popular, Brooklyn-based Everybody’s magazine, has named Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell as Person of the Year for 2022 and New York City Mayor Eric Adams as Person of the Year for 2021.
Herman Hall, the Grenadian-born publisher of the 45-year-old Everybody’s magazine, said the announcement was made at an event at City Hall in lower Manhattan in honoring Adams as the 2021 Person of the Year.
Hall said Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix, the Barbadian-born, New York City Corporation Counsel, presented the award to Adams.
“We know it is not an easy task to lead the greatest city on earth and to have the second most demanding job in America (after US President Joe Biden),” Hall told Adams before the presentation. “During your almost 12 months in office, you have addressed the most burning and controversial issues in our city and nation with great alacrity.
“This magazine, primarily an immigrant one, applauds you for aiding migrants from the southern border and the dignity you have afforded them,” he added. “Yet, we know it is a tremendous strain on your budget.
“Mr. Mayor, on Feb. 6, 2020 (I may add Bob Marley’s birthday), as (Brooklyn) Borough President, you recognized the 46th Anniversary of Grenada’s Independence. At the ceremony, and, perhaps the last time we may have seen him, our friend Roy Hastick, founder of CACCI (Brooklyn-based Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry), warned guests that they would have to cross the bridge into Manhattan if they wished to see you, effective Jan. 1, 2022,” Hall continued.
He said the late Hastick had “boldly proclaimed” that Adams would be New York City’s next mayor.
“We embedded the photo of you and Roy at the flag-raising event in your Person of the Year plaque in memory of Roy’s foresight,” said Hall, disclosing that even before Adams was elected mayor, on Nov. 2, 2021, many of Everybody’s readers were nominating him as “their Person of the Year.”
As America celebrates Martin Luther King Day holiday in January, Black History in February and Women’s History in March, Hall said Adams’s Person of the Year Award is in tribute to “The Father of Black Journalism,” John B. Russwurm.
“As a pathbreaker like you and Mayor David Dinkins (New York City’s first Black Mayor – Adams is the second), Russwurm founded America’s first Black newspaper, Freedom Journal, on Mar., 16, 1827, which catapulted more African American voices into the public debate, setting the stage for the ongoing struggle for equity and social justice for all,” Hall said.
Justice Hinds-Radix said Hall and the Everybody’s team “got it right” in selecting Adams as Person of the Year 2021.
“This is truly a historic moment to have the last photo of the mayor and the late Roy Hastick at a public event,” she said. “I am privileged to present this award to you, my mayor, our mayor.”
As the city’s Corporation Counsel, Adams said Justice Hinds-Radix “watches over us.
“She holds one of the top jobs in the city, and I believe she is the highest-ranking Caribbean-American in my administration,” he said, adding that the award is “of great magnitude.”
“I am enriched by this award specially to see the photo engraved on it includes Dr. Hastick,” Adams continued. “I will mount it in my office. My congratulations to Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell and to the people of Grenada.”
Though Hall did not state the reason for the selection of Mitchell as Person of the Year 2022, the 44-year-old lawyer, who only in October 2021 took over the leadership of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), steered the party to an upset victory in general elections in Grenada on Jun. 23, dethroning the New National Party (NNP) of incumbent Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, which had swept all 15 seats in Parliament in the last two polls.
Dickon Mitchell’s NDC won nine of the 15 seats, with the NNP winning the rest.
The ousted prime minister had called general elections ahead of the constitutional March 2023 deadline.
“We are overwhelmed with gratitude and stand humbled before the Lord our God and you, the people of Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique,” said the NDC in a message. “This victory is not ours but yours.”
The new prime minister, who was born on Oct. 8, 1978, in the parish of St. David, began his service to Grenada in 1996, when he took a teaching position at his alma mater, Presentation Brothers College, loopnews said.
It said Mitchell is a graduate of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus in Barbados and the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago, where he earned a Bachelor of Laws Degree (with Honors) and a Legal Education Certificate, respectively.
In 2002, he started his legal career at the law firm Grant, Joseph & Co as an Associate Attorney at Law and started his own practice in 2017, when he established the law firm Mitchell & Co, loopnews said.
The NNP first gained power in Grenada in December 1984, when it won 14 of the 15 seats in Parliament.
But, in March 1990, it lost to the NDC and the National Party 9-15.
From June 1995 to July 2008, the NNP returned to power, winning 8-15 in 1995, all 15 seats in January 1999 and 8-15 in November 2003.
But after losing to the NDC, 11-15, in the July 2008 elections, the NNP regained power in February 2013, sweeping all seats in the 15-seat Legislature and repeating the feat in the March 2018 polls.
In his maiden official visit to Brooklyn in September since his shocking election victory on Jun. 23, New Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell – no relation with the former leader – was enthusiastically received by nationals.
Mitchell was the honored guest at a Dinner and Ball at Glen Terrace, on Avenue N in Brooklyn, organized by the New York Chapter of the incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Then, the next day, he was the featured speaker, at a town hall meeting, at the Claire Tow Theater at Brooklyn, also organized by the NDC affiliate.
At that meeting, over 500 Grenadians and friends of Grenada greeted the young prime minister with standing ovations at the beginning and end of his speech, and rendered applauses throughout his presentation.
Mitchell – whose delegation comprised, among others, Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Sen. David Andrew and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Export Development Joseph Andall – told nationals that his administration is focused on transforming Grenada, particularly in education.
“If we are to transform Grenada, we have to transform the education system,” he said in his 35-minute address, echoing remarks made earlier by Andrew.
“From 1982, our education system has been stagnant,” he added before taking questions from the audience in the Question-and-Answer segment. “There’s no reference in our education system to the sea, to the fish, to the preservation of fish.
“It is not that difficult to transform Grenada,” the prime minister continued. “For the past 30-35 years, there was no leadership to do so. But that stopped on the 23rd of June (applause).
“A man who makes his money practicing law is not superior to the man who fished,” Mitchell said. “So, when you come back home to spend that money, it does not matter where the money came from – but that you worked hard for it.”