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Goodbye Garifuna Activism and Advocacy, Hello Entrepreneurship!

The purpose of the is message is to reiterate the decision I made last year to retire Garifuna Activism and Advocacy after thirty years, beginning on February 5, 1989. The decision included relinquishing responsibility for organizing Garifuna-American Heritage Month activities. Instead I chose to pursue my deferred dream of Entrepreneurship!

The global population is living longer, and as a result, individuals have a wider range of retirement options than ever before. Retirement is no longer a transition into old age but an opportunity for new adventures and lifestyle freedom. Understanding this, was what led me to form Garifuna Afro-Latino Entertainment, LLC in 2013, after receiving a severance package from my employer Thomson Reuters, after 30 years of employment.

The blessing of early retirement, having been a participant in the leading edge of technology, along with the confidence and wisdom gained from prior work and personal experiences, provided the financial strength, personal stability and self-awareness to persevere in my pursuit.

Last year I made the decision to conquer what has been labeled the 21st century frontier for Blacks in business, the tech industry, by transforming GALENT into a digital media publisher, creative agency, and entertainment company.

According to Robert Smith, founder and CEO of U.S. private-equity firm Vista Equity Partners, “Intellectual capital has become the new currency of business and finance and the promise of brainpower to move people from poverty to prosperity has never been more possible. This is the first time in history you can create wealth and not have access to capital. You just need intellectual property. Technology is creating a whole new set of on ramps to the 21st century economy.”

I’ve always known and understood the power of intellectual capital and had combined it with cultural capital to achieve social mobility in a stratified society. Therfore, during my self-reflection after losing my mother at 90 in 2018, I decided to take the opportunity for new adventures and lifestyle freedom. It is that self-reflection, that led to the closure of the Activism and Advocacy chapter of my life story and continue to write a new chapter in Entrepreneurship!

José Francisco Ávila López

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