Guyanese American Sherif Barker, newly appointed committee member of the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) is excited about the return of the massive in-person Caribbean Carnival, put on pause for two-years, and is committed to contributing towards the 55-year festival that starts on Sept. 1.
Barker, former president of the Guyana Unity Movement (GUM), and who is actively involved in charities to enhance communities at home and abroad, told Caribbean Life at the Kings Theatre carnival launch last Thursday, that as a new member she hopes for a bigger and better presentation, and is observing, adding that after this year’s season, she and members will start planning, and restructuring for 2023 to move the carnival forward.
Barker, who joins Chairperson, Michelle Gibbs, another Guyanese-born, said, “I am looking forward to the carnival season,” and shared that she was appointed to the board because of her wealth of knowledge, community engagement, and interaction with elected officials, since that’s already part of “my jurisdiction, and responsibilities working with elected officials to bring resources to the community.”
As Community Board 17 District Manager, for many years Barker said she understood the bye-laws and things of that nature and sees her appointment being vital to bridging the community and WIADCA. She added that she was appointed just six weeks ago, and will be observing, along with other members who joined at the same time as her.
“I am very excited about that, and as I said before, I bring great knowledge to the organization. I have also participated in WIADCA meetings over the years, and attended many of the carnival festivities, so again, I’m excited to be here.”
“I will be working with the team to plan the breakfast morning, which is one of the highlights of the carnival, and I will be there to celebrate with not just the community but the world at large, because people from all over the globe usually gather on the Parkway,” she said.
Barker, who has received several accolades, and was one of 50 Guyanese to be honored by then Mayor Bill DeBlasio at Gracie Mansion in observance of Guyana’s Jubilee, is not quite sure if she will join the parade but looks forward to working with committee members for a safe, enjoyable, and successful carnival 2022.
“I’m excited, I’m thankful that they chose me to be a member of the committee,” said Barker.