Engel Receives Pinnacle Award From Family Unification and Resettlement Initiative (FURI)

Engel Receives Pinnacle Award From Family Unification and Resettlement Initiative (FURI)

NEW YORK— Congressman Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and author of the U.S.-Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act (P.L. 114-291) which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2016, accepted the Family Unification and Resettlement Initiative (FURI) Pinnacle Award on October 28th. FURI is a non-profit organization which helps deported Caribbean nationals improve their own lives and contribute to the development of their home countries.

At the award ceremony, Engel thanked FURI for their work and discussed some of the difficulties facing organizations that aid deportees. “Working with deportees is not an easy task,” Engel said. “There is an unfair stigma attached to these individuals, a stigma that has only worsened during President Trump’s tenure in the White House. That’s why I’m pleased that FURI acknowledges that all people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and recognized for their enormous potential. I hope tonight can be the beginning of a long-term dialogue between my office and FURI about what specifically the U.S. government can do to support deportees in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean.”

Rep. Engel’s U.S. – Caribbean Strategic Engagement Act mandated a new strategy from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development which was released by the State Department in June. The so-called “Caribbean 2020” strategy focuses on six main areas: security, diplomacy, prosperity, energy, education and health. At the FURI award ceremony, Rep. Engel emphasized the importance of tapping into the expertise of the Caribbean-American diaspora community in implementing the new strategy.


Congressman Engel (center) was joined at the FURI 15th Anniversary Gala by (from left) fellow honoree Inspector Ruel Stephenson of the 47th Precinct in the Bronx; Greer Ellis, daughter of honoree Eddie Ellis; FURI founderCarmeta Albarus; Arlene Bennett, Deputy Consul General; honoree Constance Malcolm, Mother of Ramarley Graham; honoree Dr. Baz Dreisinger; and FURI members Marlene Clarke and Sephron Mair of the planning committee.