Profiling Prominent Guyanese in Queens

In honor of Guyana’s 51st Independence Day, Queens Tribune is running a series of stories on Guyanese figures in the borough, from an NYU professor who founded an art and activism magazine to a store owner and importer.

The series includes a profile on Annetta Seecharran, the executive director of the South Asian advocacy organization Chhaya CDC.

Annetta Seecharran (Photo via Queens Tribune)

Frustrated with the lack of services for immigrants, especially those in the South Asian community, she first took on the role of executive director for South Asian Youth Action.

“There was no way we were going to be able to mobilize all the necessary resources,” she said. “Really, the only way that we were going to address the need was if we worked in the arena of public policy.”

So Seecharran grew SAYA from a small nonprofit into, at the time of her departure, the largest South Asian American organization—one that advocated for translation services in schools.

Read about Seecharran’s other personal and professional experiences that eventually led her to become the head of CChaya CDC in the full story at Queens Tribune.

In addition, the publication spoke to Guyanese activist and Community Board 9 member Richard David who recently announced his run against Council member Ruben Wills of Jamaica. David joined the Economic Development Corporation soon after graduating college in 2007 and left as VP.

Richard David (Photo via Queens Tribune)

David said that he took tremendous pride in being a person of color in an executive position with the agency.

“My voice became more valuable,” David said.

With the responsibility, David said that he tried his best to ensure that communities of color were not forgotten as the EDC channeled funds to nonprofits in the city. One of the first fights to which he committed himself was obtaining money for the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens. Growing up in less affluent areas of the borough gave him a unique perspective on how effectively city commitment to nonprofits and programs can change lives.

He also co-founded the Indo-Caribbean Alliance, which serves the Indo-Caribbean and South Asians communities in South Queens and “has grown into the largest Guyanese organization in New York,” he said.

Read more at Queens Tribune.

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