A call for democracy and progress in Valley Boys

Dear Editor,

“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” Sydney J. Harris

I am a proud Valley Boy! A former member of the back line, a builder, a marshal, former member of the management team and one who firmly believes in the mantra, “In pursuit of excellence”.

There is no mutiny in the Valley. We do not want and are not advocating for a split.

We must remain unified and respectful of each other and our right to see things differently.

We are respectful and appreciative of our long-serving chairman, Brian Adderley.

We appreciate how challenging it is to manage the oldest, most “winningest” Junkanoo organization on this planet.

We are thankful for his service, but, like everything, many of us believe the season of change has arrived and should not be delayed any further.

In an ideal world and scenario, Mr. Adderley would say, “I have served in this capacity for more than two decades and have done my best. It is time I pass the mantle on and continue to serve our great organization in an advisory role – emeritus.”

The majority of the members of the Valley Boys are calling for the introduction of our new constitution we were to introduce four years ago and there is a call for elections by the entire group; not just the management team appointed by the chairman over the decades.

We are the zenith of Junkanoo organizations. We should go through the democratic process and if Mr. Adderley chooses to run again, and he wins, then all Valley Boys ought to rally behind him as we have over these decades and do all that we can to pursue excellence.

We are an exceptionally talented group in all spheres with a deep cast of skilled, intelligent individuals, both male and female, who can lead our organizations forward at a very high level. We hear the various names being called.

Once we finally introduce the new constitution and have full and fair elections, I only ask that whoever emerges as the new chairman of our august body ensures that we have greater transparency and accountability to our members, sponsors, and supporters; that we employ effective teams not just in the building of costumes, but in the administration and management of our group, expanding our connectivity to the communities.

After observing the past few Junkanoo parades, but especially the last two after a two-year hiatus, it should be abundantly clear that Junkanoo needs a vibrant, dynamic, forward-thinking and innovative Valley Boys to drive the dynamism of Junkanoo.

We in Junkanoo have had many “Junkanoo talks” over the decades, but it is time that we focus on greater things and the greater good for Junkanoo.

The petty tribalism inter and intra various Junkanoo organizations is not advancing our heritage and craft where it ought to be at the pace it should. I believe the Valley ought to be the vanguard of the transformation and progress of our country’s ultimate cultural expression.

It may just mean that we in the Valley Boys need to make a change at the helm to see us to that promised land, where far more Junkanooers can earn a living and our heritage has a greater impact on our GDP and social development.

Perhaps a new visionary chairman who builds relationships with fellow groups and Junkanooers will be the new calling card of the Valley Boys.

A rising tide floats all boats.

A rising Valley lifts the standards of Junkanoo, as we elevate and diversify our craft.

Who are we? In pursuit of excellence! The Valley Boys.

Collin “RawBass” Ingraham

Proud Junkanooer and proud Valley Boy

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