Bronx, New York – The Board of Directors of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. a, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization is proud to announce that award winning Video artist, director, actor, writer Ezra J. Stanley addressed the “Lirahüñü Chatoyer” (Chatoyer’s Children) Garifuna Youth Leadership Development Program participants via Skype, as a kickoff of their BRONXNET Internship Program .
Ezra J. Stanley is a busy multitalented artist. He has won numerous awards and recognition for his cinematic commercials. On May 11, 2010 Ezra’s critically acclaimed Levi’s “True Love” ad was selected for the SHOOT 2010 New Directors showcase at the DGA Theater in New York. The commercial was an official selection and winner of “Best Commercial Award” at the 2010 Burbank International Film Festival.
Salter Entertainment Group (S.E.G.), based in New York, has recently signed Ezra J for exclusive commercial representation in U.S. “We are very excited to have Ezra J, Stanley as a new addition to our roster. Ezra is a skillful story teller with a beautiful talent for connecting with audiences of various genres. Said Erika Salter, S.E.G. founder and Executive Producer.
Ezra attributes his talent for connecting with various audiences to his multi ethnicity. A native of San Francisco, with parents from Belize, his father of Mayan descent, and mother of Garifuna (Black Carib) descent allow for his extraordinarily versatile onscreen portrayals.
He was selected as the first inductee to Dumurei Magazine’s Outstanding Youth Wall (click to read interview). When asked what it means to be Garifuna, Ezra responded “When I am back in Belize or listening to Garifuna music (Andy P., Aurelio Martinez, Chatuye) it gets into my system. The American drops, and I’m dancing Jankunu hard and easily and when I dance this tribal dance it makes me realize that my blood is strong and that our culture and race goes way back into a very interesting and violent struggle for freedom and people mixing and I know and feel how endangered we are. I believe the Garifuna are on UNESCO’s endangered languages and cultures list.
That’s nuts! We literally are disappearing! It forces me to think that I indeed need to make a film to tell the world who we are.”
About their participation in BRONXNET’s Internship Program, Ezra told the Garifuna youth, “There are things in life that we are not able to tell our friends and family because we don’t know how, but if we create something it says exactly what we want to say and better. So use the opportunity at the Bronxnet youth media internship to express yourself it’s a powerful tool to have.” He also provided some career advice, “allow yourself to find out what your passion is what you are great at and follow it. Do not let anything or anyone get in the way of that what you set your eyes on. And because you are so passionate the opportunities will come and the doors will open.”
“I loved speaking to Ezra Stanley, he was so down to earth and he really encouraged me to continue to follow my dreams as a writer and actor, “ said Ebony Palacios. “It was great to hear that even though he is a film director, he doesn’t deny nor is embarrassed to say that he is Garifuna,” said Jay Velazquez.
“Thank you so kindly for having me even if I was just digital. You’re all sooo beautiful! I’m absolutely honored to be a mentor and to kick off this wonderful program. Explore this life! Never give up! Stay ambitious! Seremein!” wrote Ezra on his Facebook page.
We are grateful to Ezra J. Stanley for taking time out of his busy schedule, to give back to our community and giving our Garifuna Youth Leadership Development Program participants valuable real life career advice, “said Sulma Arzu-Brown, Managing Director of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.
The “Lirahüñü Chatoyer” (the children of Chief Joseph Chatoyer) provides the fundamental principles and information that our youth need to succeed, including Personal Growth, Building Resiliency, Leadership Development, Academic Success, Career Awareness, Cultural Awareness (Garifunaduaü), the practice and maintenance of the customs, rites, and beliefs that promote identity.