In commenting on his passing, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey P. Marks said his departure marked “without question, the closing of a distinctive era and chapter in the Jamaican American community, and in the Caribbean American community as well.”
“Leo most certainly etched a defining imprint onto the trajectory of the Jamaican and Caribbean community in the Washington metro area and much further afield, ”Ambassador Marks pointed out.
In her tribute Marks conveyed her “very deep, heartfelt sympathies to Carmen, Leo’s wife and ever-present co-laborer in the cause of Caribbean American affairs; to son Hugh and the rest of the Edwards family, and likewise to the many friends and fellow laborers now mourning.”
“This has to be a truly difficult a time, especially in the present circumstances restricting us from being able to pay respects in person,” she added.
Eric Leopold Edwards was born in Jamaica and arrived in Washington, D.C. in September 1948 to study at Howard University. The trail he blazed during his more than 70 years of advocacy played a key role in winning recognition and respect for the Jamaican and Caribbean communities in the Washington, D.C., Baltimore metropolitan area, said Ambassador Marks, who went on to noted that the late Mr. Edwards leaves a legacy that includes “his service as an early president of the Caribbean Students Association at Howard University, from 1949 to 1955 and later in the Caribbean-American Intercultural Organization (CAIO) and the National Coalition on Caribbean Affairs (NCOCA).”
Leo Edwards’ numerous other trail-blazing activism and notable contributions included being a founding patron of the Washington-based Caribbean American Political Action Committee (C-PAC), and founding president of the Council of Caribbean Organizations, Inc.; a founding member and secretary of the Jamaica Nationals Development Foundation; and chairman of TransAfrica D.C. Metropolitan Chapter’s board of directors.
Meanwhile, the Jamaican Ambassador lamented that “this has to be a truly difficult a time,” especially in the present circumstances restricting us from being able to pay respects in person. “Nevertheless, I join with numerous Jamaicans, Caribbean people, and countless others whose lives the great E. Leopold Edwards touched in immeasurable ways, trying to help bear the burden of the loss in this moment of utmost grief.”
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