OUTSTANDING CARIBBEAN WOMEN – 3/2014

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 Lianne La Havas

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Lianne La Havas (born 23 August 1989 as Lianne Charlotte Barnes) is an English folk and soul singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She was nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2012 poll. Her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? was awarded the title of iTunes Album of The Year 2012.

La Havas was born in London, England to a Greek father and Jamaican mother. She was raised in Tooting and Streatham, spending the majority of her time with her grandparents following her parents’ separation as a child. La Havas began singing at seven and cites her parents’ diverse musical tastes as having the biggest influence on her music. Her mother played with Jill Scott and Mary J. Blige, and her father, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, taught her the basics of guitar and piano. Lianne wrote her first song at the age of 11, but did not learn to play the guitar until she was 18 years old. Lianne attended Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls in Croydon, where she studied art A-level, and planned to take an art foundation course; however, she left college to pursue a career in music full-time. Although born Lianne Barnes, her stage name is an adaptation derived from her Greek father, Henry Vlahavas’s, surname.

While attending sixth-form in Croydon, a friend of La Havas’, singer and songwriter Allan Rose, (who attended the Brit School) introduced her to other musicians who assisted La Havas in the recording of her first demos. Through that same friend, La Havas was also introduced to British singer, Paloma Faith; she later sang backing vocals on tour for Faith. La Havas was co-writer and performer in ‘The Paris Parade’ alongside Christian Pinchbeck (who designed the artwork for Lost & Found) and also is now part of the duo ‘Elephant’ (Memphis Industries). They had a short career but it began La Havas’ career in commercial music. In 2010, Lianne signed to Warner Bros. Records, spending two years developing her songwriting skills before releasing music publicly.

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Her first EP Lost & Found was released on 21 October 2011 on the Labor of Love label and featured Willy Mason on the opening track, “No Room For Doubt”. That same month, La Havas released a live EP, Live From LA, which was made available for free download on her website. La Havas made her television debut on 21 October 2011, broadcast of BBC Two’s Later… with Jools Holland, a programme that also featured Wisconsin folk bandBon Iver.  Following her appearance on Later… with Jools Holland, it was announced on 25 October 2011 that La Havas would be the supporting act for Bon Iver’s December 2011 North American tour. Her official debut single, “Lost & Found” was released in the UK on 30 April 2012, and her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough? was released on 9th July 2012 in the UK on Warner Brothers.  On 24 September 2012, September La Havas supported Alicia Keys at MTV ‘Crashes’ Manchester; the performance was live to 1,000 people in Manchester Cathedral and was broadcast in 164 countries.

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At the end of 2012, Is Your Love Big Enough? was named iTunes Album of the Year.

On 31st  December 2012, she appeared on BBC Two’s New Year’s Eve show Jools’ Annual Hootenanny singing Cow Cow Boogie.

On 9 June 2013, La Havas played at the RockNess music festival in Inverness, Scotland.

On 30 June 2013, La Havas performed at the Glastonbury Festival 2013

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ASHA BLAKE

Asha-BlakeMultiple Emmy Award Winning News Anchor / TV Journalist

Asha Blake was born on August 20, 1961 in Guyana. She is an Emmy award-winning journalist who anchored KTLA-TV News @ 1PM with Frank Buckley in Los Angeles. She previously was the anchor of the 9PM news on Denver’s CW affiliate, KWGN-TV before leaving KWGN in 2007 to return to Los Angeles. She is the daughter of an educator and a teacher. Asha grew up in Toronto, Canada and later in Minnesota, USA where she received a Bachelors Degree from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism.

A five-time Emmy award winner, Asha has served as a solo anchor for national network news programs, hosted syndicated daytime programming, and co-hosted a national talk show for NBC and ABC. Over the course of a successful 20-year career in television journalism, Asha conducted thousands of live interviews, covered numerous high-profile court cases, and served as a medical reporter early in her career.

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Asha co-hosted the NBC national news program Later Today and ABCs World News Now, World News this Morning, and Good Morning America Sunday, in addition to reporting for ABCs World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. Ashas coverage of breaking world events has put her in front of a number of world leaders, including Desmond Tutu, Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Rosa Parks, Al Gore, as well as celebrities such as Jay Leno, Jude Law and Denzel Washington.

In 2010, Asha launched her powerhouse media company, Goldenheart Media, Headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Asha has hosted two nationally syndicated shows: “Smart Gardening” on PBS and “Life Moments”, the nationally syndicated daytime women’s reality program that celebrated great and unbelievable moments in the lives of every kind of women. Asha has also been actively involved with many charity organizations, including serving as a celebrity ambassador for UNICEF, volunteering for Make A Wish, and supporting Race For A Cure and Meals on Wheels. Following the 9/11 Attacks, Asha created and launched a public service website providing a free planning guide to help organize pertinent personal information in the event of an emergency.

In 2010, Asha launched her powerhouse media company, Goldenheart Media. Headquartered in Asha’s hometown of Los Angeles, California, Goldenheart Media is a multimedia powerhouse company specializing in media relations, branding, corporate communications, and messaging and entertainment program development.  Asha is married to former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Mark Dusbabek and has a daughter, Sasha.

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KELLY HARRY

Kelly_Harry_333x500_02Kelly Harry is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Economics. She graduated from Kingsborough Community College where she majored in Broadcast Media, Technology and Management with her Associates in Applied Science. She is currently a member of the New York Youth Leadership Council, the Geology Society, and the Brooklyn College Dream Team and is the Public Relations Manager of the Brooklyn College Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants. Kelly is also a recipient of the Lorraine Foner Memorial Scholarship for Women 2013-2014, of the Rising Stars Conference Certificate of Completion 2013 and won first place in the Pricewaterhouse Cooper’s 2012 xTAX Case Competition.

Kelly_Harry_333 Kelly_Harry_3334After winning first place in Pricewaterhouse Coopers 2012 stock market game for my business communication class, she decided to integrate business economics into her journalism career. Thus leading to my internship position at CNN money unit and NBC. Made accolades with the Founding Financial Editor of CNN Myron Kandel and  currently works alongside the Director of US Business news, Caleb Silver.

As an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago Immigration issues are close to Kelly’s heart. She actively fights for the reform of immigration laws. Kelly believes that current laws leave undocumented immigrants feeling “non-existent.” She has been inspired to fight for reforms that will allow undocumented students to achieve their goals. This fight has led Kelly to the Supreme Court in DC, and the County Supreme Court in Albany where alongside the New York State Leadership Council, she was blessed with the opportunity to speak in support of undocumented students with Assemblymen and State Senators.

KellyKelly has a passion for Journalism and has written and corresponded for various magazines and networks including Giant Magazine, Fuzion Magazine, NV Magazine and News 12. She hopes to make a significant difference in the world by utilizing her passion for journalism with her knowledge in finance to educate people about personal finance.

Kelly has always been a strong believer in fighting for people’s rights, and hopes to make a significant difference in the world through her work. When she is not caught up with her studies, or interning, you can find her in Albany or Washington D.C on Lobby day, expressing the importance of Immigration equality to Legislative Officials.
IRIE GRILL
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Congresswoman FREDERICA WILSON

Frederica_Wilson_official_House_portraitCongresswoman Wilson earned a BS in elementary education from Fisk University in 1963 and a Masters from the University of Miami in 1972.  After graduating, she served as a teacher and as assistant educational coordinator for Head Start in Miami and later, as Assistant Principal and Principal of Skyway Elementary School. As a member of the Miami-Dade County School Board, she acted to positively intervene in the lives of at-risk male youth. In 1993, she founded the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. Since its inception, 5000 Role Models has awarded more than $5 million in scholarships to minority boys and helped thousands of young men.

Frederica-Wilson1In 1998, Congresswoman Wilson successfully ran for the 104th District in the Florida House of Representatives, where she served as Minority Whip until 2002. While serving in the Florida legislature, she succeeded in working with Republican Governor Jeb Bush to remove the Confederate flag from the State Capitol; mandating HIV/AIDS testing for newly-released prisoners; opposing high-stakes standardized testing; pushing for a ban of the term “illegal alien” in state public records; and partnering with Republican Governor Charlie Crist to restore voting rights for ex-felons.

Congresswoman Wilson is an influential force in the South Florida community. More than 2,000 people attended her consecration ceremony at the Historic St. Agnes’ Episcopal Church in January 2011.

1479019_708494062534963_1192958036_nAmbassadors from the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM) round-table with the Congressional Black Caucus

1382902_708493115868391_1311125686_nFlorida PTA President Eileen Segal and members of the Florida Parent Teacher Association

Many organizations, like the Florida Association of Women Lawyers, the American Cancer Society, the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association, and the NAACP, have applauded Congresswoman Wilson on her longstanding public service career. In 2013, she received the Broward Black Elected Officials Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Community Service Award. She has personally contributed to the community through her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Congresswoman Wilson served as the Director of the South Atlantic Region for four years and as Director of AKA Connections, the political action arm of Alpha Kappa Alpha, for six years. Congresswoman Wilson is also a 25 year member of the prestigious LINKS, Inc.

Congresswoman Wilson is widowed and is the proud mother of three children, Nicole, Kesha, and Paul, and five beautiful grandchildren.

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CHRISTINA MILIAN

Milian-closeup-wallpaperCuba, with its famous cigar production has produced another fine product, entertainer Christina Milian. Christina combined background influences to stew her music into a fine blend of urban and pop.

Christina Milian, with her multi-talents, established herself as an actress, starring in films, television and theater, while also establishing herself as a singer, dancer and songwriter, painting Christina as a total entertainer in her early age. With singles like “AM To PM,” which topped the Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart in 2001, she has earned platinum status, written hit singles for other artists, hosted MTV’s “Wannabes”, enjoyed two Top 5 hits on the UK charts, recorded a hit that was #1 on RadioDisney for 12 weeks, was cast in several films, and brought a new blend of pop/R&B to the world.

CM Christina_Milian-003“I could have rushed to put an album out two years ago when I first had a hit single, but because I had to wait, it worked out for the best. Everything happened for a reason and it’s made me who I am. Which means that this album is a really reflection of me.” Christina Milian

Born as Tina Flores to Cuban parents in New Jersey on September 26, 1981, Christina was raised in Waldorf, Maryland.  Little Christina would often attempt to crawl inside the television while watching TV. At a very early age Christina wanted to be a star. Christina’s mother completely understood her beloved daughter’s dreams and aspirations. When she was 13 years of age, her mother took her to California in an attempt for Christina to pursue her acting career.

Milian_Armando_Gallo_Portraits_2005_26_122_658lo CMilianChristina’s career brilliantly illuminated at an early age. Her debut was as Annie Warbucks in a musical theater. Later in 1998, she became a junior journalist for Disney’s Channel Movie Surfers. Christina appeared on several TV shows such as Clueless, Sister Sister, The Steve Harvey Show and Charmed before she started her musical career. Christina also offered her voice for one of the characters in the animated film A Bug’s Life (1998). In 1999 she appeared in Get Real, The Wood and American Pie. Milian earned worldwide fame from her appearance in Ja Rule’s #1 single “Between Me and You” in 2000 and her stardom continued to rise.

Christina surprised audiences with her appearance as the opening act for *N Sync’s Stadium Tour. In October 2001, her debut album, Def Soul, was finally released and greeted with public enthusiasm. Christina’s energetic personality came across in her debut album with its down-to-earth tones and up-tempo beat.

Christina Milian is an entertainer of a total package: singer, dancer and songwriter. She blends choreographed dance into her performances that are often influenced by Madonna and Janet Jackson. Her writing talent was noticed by J-Lo, and soon she was co-writing Jennifer Lopez’s hit “Play.”

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christina_milian_pic25After securing a role opposite Ice Cube in Torque, she landed a lead role opposite Nick Cannon in the box-office flick Love Don’t Cost a Thing. In 2004, Christina starred in Cheer Up and Be Cool with John Travolta and Uma Thurman.

“I enjoy being happy every day, and hopefully you can hear my happiness in my music. Life is beautiful.” Christina Milian.

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