Ambassador Gonsalves will visit the annual New Jersey Folk Festival and speak from the Skylands Stage on Douglass Campus at 12:20 p.m. A media avail will follow the address on the steps of the Wood Lawn Mansion.
This year’s New Jersey Folk Festival will feature the music and culture of the Garifuna people of Central America. The Garifuna, who are descendants of Carib, Arawak and West African people, were exiled by the British from SVG to Central America. Today, Garifuna people live in Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras. UNESCO proclaimed Garifuna culture a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage in 2001.
Ambassador Gonsalves became SVG’s permanent representative to the UN in November 2007. Prior to his UN post, he worked as a corporate litigation attorney, was Senior Crown Counsel for the SVG government, and represented his country in various capacities in Cuba, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Korea, Lybia and throughout the CARICOM region. Ambassador Gonsalves has a B.A. in journalism from Temple University, a J.D. from George Washington University, and an M.S. in global affairs from New York University.
“We are particularly pleased that Ambassador Gonsalves will speak at the Folk Festival this year,” said Angus Kress Gillespie, professor of American studies and founder and executive director of the New Jersey Folk Festival. “St. Vincent is the ancestral homeland of the Garifuna people and it is a tribute to their resiliency that, even after more than 200 years of exile, they have managed to hold on to their language and traditions.”
Rutgers Day, Rutgers University’s annual welcome and show-and-tell for the citizens of New Jersey, will be Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year’s festivities will offer nearly 500 free performances, tours, exhibits and hands-on activities on the university’s flagship campus in New Brunswick and Piscataway. Last year, 75,000 New Jerseyans of all ages explored the university’s research and service firsthand.
Media Contact: Amber E. Hopkins-Jenkins
(732) 932-7084, ext. 601