The official signing ceremony of the Plainfield African Caribbean Commission (PACC) took place last night in the City Hall Library. Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, Councilwomen Rivers and Greaves, and Assemblyman Jerry Green joined Commission founder Charles Eke to celebrate this occasion.
Overall there are nine commissioners total, six of whom hail from Nigeria, one from Sierra Leone, one from Uganda, and one from Guyana. Nigerians definitely comprised a near majority of all attendees, too, prompting a guest speaker from the Guyanese consulate to encourage more people of Caribbean ancestry to join in these efforts.
The PACC mission statement is as follows:
To create public awareness of the rich history of Africa and the Caribbean through the facilitation of cultural exchange in the areas of Education, Art, and Commerce; also to ensure that services such as Health, Education, Employment, Legal, Economic Opportunity and Development are available to the African and Caribbean community.
Mayor Robinson-Briggs called this signing a “historic moment.” The theme from most speakers was for those of the African Diaspora to work together for a common good. Dosso Kassimou, President of the Newark African Commission and soon-to-be Newark City Council candidate, called the PACC “a beautiful thing” and expressed the desire to work with African-Americans and Caribbeans as well so that they “feel good, be proud, and feel comfortable in their skin.” He emphasized, though, that the work isn’t only cultural and that economic development is important in bringing Africa together.