A CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – “Photographers”

Caribbean Style & Culture Awards and Fashion Showcase 2018

Karib Nation Inc. is sending out a call for submissions from Caribbean photographers to be part of the 2018 Caribbean Style & Culture (CSC) Awards and Fashion Showcase scheduled to be hosted on June 30, 2018 in Washington DC.##CSC Submissions Photographers 10 x 6

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For the first time in its existence, we will honor the work of photographers who capture and help to beautifully tell the stories of fashion designers and models across the Caribbean.

Submissions are open to photographers who are seeking to expand their network internationally and who are interested in runway and print photography. These persons will be given a chance to showcase their work before a large Caribbean Diaspora at various events which will be hosted as part of the Caribbean-American Heritage Month festivities.

Successful photographers will also be eligible to receive the Award of Excellence- Fashion Photography” as a show of appreciation for their hard work and dedication.

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Other benefits for participants in the CSC Awards:

Apart from the chance to receive Awards for their work, participants will also benefit from cash, and other prizes.

Photographers will have exclusive access to photograph the event which can be added to their portfolio.

Photographers will also be given the chance to showcase and sell their work at various events throughout the week including the Heritage Festival, the Pre-Show at the Guyana Embassy and at the CSC Award show itself.

Interested candidates must submit their entries by November 30, 2017

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Candidates must send a full portfolio of their work to contactus@karibnation.org

<<<<What should the entry contain>>>>

Each portfolio must include

  • Personal details: the candidate’s full name, name of line e-mail address and telephone number and website url if available
  • Full, updated Bio of your work
  • A brief note presenting the artist’s approach (inspiration, themes etc.)
  • High quality head-shot
  • A selection of up to 10 professional photographs of work (editorial/print/runway)
  • Candidate must have a US Visa and must be able to fund their own transportation to Washington DC. Karib Nation, Inc. will provide accommodation in Washington, DC (seeking sponsorship from businesses and other entities to help fund transportation and meals is highly encouraged. Karib Nation Inc. is willing to provide relevant recommendation letters – for the US embassy and to businesses for sponsorship- in this regard.)

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About CSC 

The Caribbean Style & Culture Awards is a Showcase of fashion, music and art held annually in the month of June to commemorate and celebrate Caribbean American Heritage Month in the United States.

It is exciting, dynamic, constantly changing, and full of new styles and color combinations designed to amaze the world and highlight the talent of the Caribbean.

Over the past eight years, we have awarded some of the Caribbean’s best models and designers in an aim to provide them with an international platform and to aid in expanding their network.

http://caribbeanstyleandculture.com

www.karibnation.org

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FAMOUS & INFLUENTIAL CARIBBEAN WOMEN – 10/16

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ANITA JOHNSON-PATTY

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“A love of country,” prompted Anita Johnson-Patty to accept a position with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism . Today, she serves her country as the ministry’s general manager of communications for the U.S. In this role, she oversees media relations, serves as a spokesperson, and coordinates strategic partnerships for the U.S. market. She is also responsible for communications for both the general and special-interest consumer U.S. markets. Johnson-Patty has worked with top-tier media outlets, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Miami Herald, to increase tourism to the Islands of The Bahamas.

Johnson-Patty became interested in international relations soon after moving to Washington, D.C., from the Bahamas. Her father, the late Livingstone Johnson, was the first ambassador for the newly independent Bahamas to the United Nations and the United States. His career and guidance instilled in his daughter a love of travel and an appreciation of different cultures. After graduating from Simmons College with a dual bachelor’s degree in communications and French, Johnson-Patty began her career with a CBS-affiliated television station in Boston as a production assistant. She later became a news assistant before transitioning into public relations. She lists among her many achievements her partnership with her sister, Deanne Johnson-Anderson, to co-publish their father’s memoir: The Past Remembered a Bahamian’s Long Journey Home in Pursuit of Knowledge. The former ambassador passed away before finishing the memoir. “This was truly an honor because we were able to fulfill our father’s dream,” Johnson-Patty remarks.

Her accolades include her selection as one of the 25 Most Influential and Prominent Black Women of 2009 in South Florida, and being awarded the 2010 APEX Awards for distinguished service in the travel industry. Johnson-Patty, who speaks fluent French, studied the language at the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris, France.

JUSTICE YONETTE CUMMINGS-EDWARDS

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The Hon. Justice of Appeal Yonette Cummings-Edwards was appointed by Guyana’s President David Granger to perform the functions of the Office of the Chief Justice in Georgetown, Guyana.

The Hon. Madame Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards is an Appeal Court Judge in the Supreme Court of Judicature, Guyana. Justice Cummings-Edwards started her legal career in the Chambers of the Director of Public prosecution (DPP) as State Counsel/State Prosecutor. While at the DPP’s office she was elevated to various positions including: Senior State Counsel, Assistant Director of Public Prosecution, Deputy Director of Public Prosecution and Acting Director of Public Prosecution. Justice Cummings-Edwards also served as a High Court Judge. She lectured and advised Prosecutors in the Guyana Police Force, Customs and Excise Department and other law enforcement Agencies.

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Justice Cummings- Edwards is a member in Expert Group meetings on narcotics prosecution, money laundering and preparation of manual for prosecution of sexual offences. She has been both a presenter and participant in seminars, colloquial, workshop on Human Rights, Domestic Violence, Gender Equality, Alternative Dispute Resolution. Justice Cummings-Edwards is a holder of MaYonsters of Laws degree with specialization in Family Law, graduating with merit from the University of London, a Bachelor of Laws Degree graduating with Upper Second Class Honor from the University of the West Indies and a certificate of Legal Education from the Hugh Wooding Law School.

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SHAKARA LEDARD

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Chances are, you know model Shakara Ledard. Whether you’re flipping through the pages of your latest Victoria’s Secret catalog, or flipping channels between MTV and BET where you can catch her dancing alongside Justin Timberlake in his “It’s Like I Love You” video or Usher’s “U Remind Me,” she’s the stunning beauty staring back at you. Featured in ad campaigns from L’Oreal to Levis, honored to be the very first black model to grace the pages of Singapore’s Harpers Bazaar, the passionate Ledard may be best-known for striking sexy poses in Sports Illustrated’s famed Swimsuit Issue for multiple years in a row.

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She was born in Nassau Bahamas, her father, Dennis Ledard, is of French Normandy descent, and her mother, Maddie, is a Bahamian of West African descent.

Shakara Ledard grew up in Nassau, Bahamas and spent her childhood making the most of what the island had to offer a young girl.
Born to a Bahamian mother and a French father, who owned several upscale clothing boutiques, the 5’9 ½” beauty was always exposed to fashion. Even as a child, Shakara was intrigued with modeling and would often pose like a diva for the camera.

When Shakara was nine, she met supermodel Linda Evangelista and tagged along with her on a Vogue shoot. After being encouraged by Linda that she too could be a model, the deal was sealed. At age fourteen, Shakara left her island paradise and set out for America to continue her formal education.

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Her first modeling opportunity came soon after when she posed for a JC Penney catalog shoot. One year later, she signed with a Miami Beach Modeling Agency.

While modeling part-time, Shakara attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and graduated with Honors and an Associate of Arts Degree in Fashion Design. Armed with her degree, Shakara moved to Chicago where she had several modeling contracts with catalogs, magazines and billboard ads all over the country.

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 Shakara appeared in the 2000, 2001 & 2005 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.She appeared in the movies ‘After the sunset’, ‘Raising Helen’, ‘Prey rock & Roll’ and ‘Behind the Smile’.

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 NITARA CARLYNN “NIA” LONG

attends The Cinema Society and Target screening of "Good Hair" at the IFC Center on October 5, 2009 in New York City.

Nitara CarlynnNiaLong (born October 30, 1970) is an American actress. She is best known for her roles in the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air andThird Watch, and the films In Too Deep, Boyz n the Hood, Are We There Yet?, Friday, Boiler Room, Soul Food, Love Jones, The Best Man, Big Momma’s House, and the sequels to the latter two films.

Long was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Talita (nee Gillman), a teacher and print-maker, and Doughtry “Doc” Long, a high school teacher and poet.Her family is of Trinidadian, Grenadian, and Bajan descent. Her name, Nia, is one of the seven days of Kwanzaa, which means purpose in Swahili. She has an older half-sister, the actress and comedian known as Sommore.

Long was two years old when her parents divorced. She accompanied her mother when she moved to Iowa City, Iowa, to study fine arts. Her mother moved to South Los Angeles when Long was seven years old, as she planned to marry there. She and her fiance called off the wedding, but Talita chose to stay in Los Angeles. Long’s father resides in Trenton, New Jersey.

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Long attended the Roman Catholic school St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, California. In addition to her academic classes, she studied ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, guitar, and acting. She graduated from Westchester High School in Los Angeles in 1989.

Long’s acting coach was Betty Bridges, better known as the mother of Diff’rent Strokes star Todd Bridges. Her earliest role was in the Disney television movie, The B.R.A.T Patrol alongside Sean Astin, Tim Thomerson and Brian Keith.
Her first notable role on television was a three-year contract role as Kathryn “Kat” Speakes on the soap opera Guiding Light. Long portrayed Kat from 1991 to 1994.
From 1994 – 1995, she played Will Smith’s girlfriend and fiancée Beulah “Lisa” Wilkes on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Jada Pinkett-Smith was originally supposed to play Lisa, but was too short for the role (opposite a 6’2″ Will Smith), thus leaving Nia to take the part.
In 2003, she joined the cast of the drama Third Watch, where she played NYPD Officer Sasha Monroe, continuing until the series finale in 2005.
In 2005 and 2006, Long appeared on Everwood, and appeared on Boston Legal during its 2006-2007 season. Long also starred in Big Shots from 2007-2008 alongside Michael Vartan and Dylan McDermott.

Long appeared in supporting roles in a number of movies such as Boyz n the Hood, Friday, and Made in America. Long played a leading role, or a member of the primary ensemble, in several films, including Soul Food, Love Jones, Boiler Room, Big Momma’s House, Are We There Yet?, and The Best Man.
Ice Cube has starred with her in four films, while (fellow Westchester High alum) Regina King has starred with her in two. Long starred alongside Michael Beach in Soul Food and in the TV series Third Watch.

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Long appears in the video for Kanye West’s “Touch The Sky”. She directed Yolanda Adams’s music video for “This Too Shall Pass”. She won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series in 2004 for her performance on Third Watch.

Long co-directed and appeared in Ashanti’s music video, “Baby”. She also made a guest appearance on the successful sitcom Living Single during its first season. She then got in contact with Gina Wilson because she wanted to become an actress also.

Long and her former long-time boyfriend and fellow actor Massai Z. Dorsey have a son, Massai Zhivago Dorsey II, born on November 26, 2000. Dorsey and Long were engaged to be married, but the pair have since ended their relationship.

 

SADE BULLY

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Sade Bully is a West Indian native, born in the nature island of Dominica and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. She is daughter of Caribbean playwright, director and visual artist Dr. Alwin Bully, and remembers spending most of her childhood weekends watching her father draw or paint; or in the theater with him, watching and studying his plays, line by line.

Despite this significant artistic influence, and a passion for dance, Sade found herself attending Medical School at the University of the West Indies where she received a Bachelors of Medical Sciences and Surgery (MBBS). Promptly after, however, she left the practice in order to pursue a dance career in New York City before it was “too late”. She initially studied at “The Ailey School” in Manhattan, before auditioning for her dream company “Garth Fagan Dance”. Four years later she is currently a senior dancer with the company, growing into principal roles and gaining critical recognition for her work with the esteemed company.

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“So You See,” a stand-out work in the rich program presented by Garth Fagan Dance.

It wasn’t until sustaining a serious foot and ankle injury in 2013 that Sade picked up the pen and started drawing. With a lot more hours in the day free, she started experimenting with these drawings, being influenced strongly by her medical background and anatomical knowledge, as well as her emotional frustrations dealing with heart breaks in both her personal and professional life. Drawing was therapeutic, and gave her a creative outlet for expression during a time when she was unable to dance. With encouragement from friends and family, she continued to draw, and eventually started painting and posting her images on social media even after her transition back on to the dance floor.

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FAMOUS & OUTSTANDING CARIBBEAN WOMEN – 4/2014

MICHELE HENDERSON-DELSOL

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michele_creole-1When rhythm, melody and prose unite, there’s magic.  A song can soothe the angry heart, bring joy to the saddest of souls and inspire a generation to succeed.  The magicians who create these phenomena, are to be celebrated and loved. Singer, Songwriter and Performer extraordinaire, Michele Henderson has enjoyed a successful career as an artiste for over 20 years. Born in Grand Bay, Commonwealth of Dominica, Michele has thrilled audiences with her live performances in and outside the Region, with major performances at the World Creole Music Festival, Dominica; Grenada Spice Jazz Festival; St. Lucia Jazz Festival; Roskilde Festival in Denmark; Jazz Artists on the Green in Trinidad and Tobago; among several other performances in the USA, Europe, Martinique and Guadeloupe.   From the tender age of two she was already honing her craft, singing at church, where her father played the guitar.  Michele grew up in a musical family and was nurtured in the art of singing and song writing by her parents Marguerite-rose and Lambert Henderson.  She was enrolled at the Kairi School of music where she learned to play recorder and flute while landing leading roles in the school’s choir productions on account of her strong voice and remarkable stage presence.   Her music teacher, Ms Pearle Christian, described her as “a sprite of a girl” who at age nine showed signs of great promise.

Michele continued on to join the jazz band “impact!” at age 15 where she served as lead singer and flutist.  The band enjoyed a brief stint at the top of the local music scene, releasing one album before breaking up in 1997. During that time, Michele also became involved with the calypso scene, arranging and recording background vocals on several albums for local calypsonians.  She was also featured on an album of one of Dominica’s most famous bands, the WCK.  She went on to play a pivotal role in the release of three albums commemorating the annual World Creole Music Festival held in Dominica during its independence season.

Michele-Henderson (5  Michele rose to prominence as a singer songwriter in those years and began to seek new challenges.  Roland Delsol Jr, former bass player of “impact!” whom Michele later married, took on the task of producing her first solo album self titled, Michele Henderson.  The album received glowing reviews and earned Michele her first international live performances.  She was featured at the Grenada Spice Jazz Festival alongside Nestor Torres and Third World and the St. Lucia Jazz Festival.  From then on, the calls came in from around the region and Europe for Michele to perform live at various festivals.  She continued to record albums and make videos which gained her popularity in the French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique and had a number one hit on the Zouk charts in France.  She has shared the billing with international stars like Green Day and The Foo Fighters at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark, headlined the Jazz Artists on the Green and Jazz on the Hill festivals in Trinidad and Virgin Gorda respectively and contributed to charity worldwide by performing at fund raising events in London, New York and Hollywood.  Michele has recorded 6 albums and one DVD to date with the latest project, “Home”, being published by extended release.  She has shared the stage with a wide range of artists the likes of Taylor  Dayne, Chick Corea and Doug E. Fresh.

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With so much international experience under her belt, she has become a seasoned artist whose live performances leave audiences astounded at her level of talent and prowess.  Michele also writes successfully for other artists some of whom have participated in and won local talent competitions.

michele henderson  e  bio1In all of this, Michele has found time to have a family and engage in local activities on her island.  She is the mother of two, director of two local businesses, board member of Crime stoppers Dominica, spokesperson for the Home at Heart Foundation and an officially appointed Goodwill Ambassador to Dominica.  She continues to record and perform getting better with time.  Michele is of the opinion that “the best is yet to come” in her career.  For her, there is still more magic to be made!!!

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CYNTHIA A. “Mother” PRATT

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Hon. Cynthia A. “Mother” Pratt (born 1945) is the former Deputy Prime Minister of the Bahamas. She attained the office when the Progressive Liberal Party came to power in the national elections of 2002.

Appointed Acting Prime Minister when the incumbent suffered a minor stroke and stepped aside from his duties, but she has acted on a number of occasions before, when he was abroad. She is also known as “Mother” Pratt. As Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security 2002-07 she was  in charge of the Defense Force and Police. She was Opposition Whip Circa 1992-2000 and from circa 2000 Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Progressive Liberal Democratic Part. A former nurse, she is mother of 6 children.

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In April 2011 Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt, was honored  in North Carolina when she was inducted into the Sister Delany Honor Society by St Augustine’s College in Raleigh.

The award is given by the University to salute the excellence of alumnae who have made significant contributions to the College and within their local communities. Each inductee was awarded the Delany cup and saucer.

Mrs Pratt received her Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in health and education with a minor in sociology from St Augustine’s in 1983. In February, 1995, she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University.

cynthia pratt. 1Mrs. Pratt is a Protestant minister.

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DEBORAH ANDOLLO

debora 3 Deborah Andollo (born in Havana in 1967) is a Cuban free-diving athlete who held several world records in different disciplines. Her nicknames “Neptune’s Girlfriend”, “Queen of the Caribbean” or “Mermaid of the Deep” associate her with the sea and her passion for the environment, as well as a sustainable relationship between man and nature

She is more mermaid than woman: in addition to her handsome figure and charming face, she has award-winning diving abilities and talent. At 45, Andollo is one of the most distinguished athletes on the island, despite the fact that she has devoted a large part of her career to a discipline that is not part of the Olympic Games and that is not very well known internationally: apnea diving, or breath hold diving.

She holds 16 world records in four different divisions of apnea diving; she also won the 1996 Marine Oscar and was voted World’s Best Diver in 1997.

This modest blonde woman began swimming at the age of 4. When she was 11, she got started in synchronized swimming, which she practiced for more than a decade.

A year after captaining the national synchronized swim team that won a bronze medal in the 1991 Pan-American Games in Havana, Andollo decided to leave that discipline and became an underwater photography model. However, the woman also known as the “Mermaid of the Deep” was not satisfied; she began diving deeper, and eventually reached the heights of fame.

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She threw herself completely into deep diving, a very risky activity that only a few hundred very select people in the world are capable of practicing successfully.

Andollo, who is also known as “Neptune’s Bride,” says she feels a very close connection to the ocean — it seduces her.

“I was born to live with the ocean and its deepest secrets. I’m Cuban, and like any good Cuban, I have spent the best moments of my life in the ocean. The fact that I’m from Havana brings me even closer. From a very young age, I was immensely attracted to that world fully of mystery and goodness.”

In a little over a decade, she became the woman who could dive into the depths using with nothing but a deep breath; her exceptional lung capacity of six liters (!) allowed her to hold her breath for more than four minutes at a time, and she set an absolute record (for women and men). In addition, she practiced yoga, which gave her the mental endurance needed for remaining calm at the bottom of the ocean.

Andollo, who was born in the Cuban capital on May 9, 1967, says that practicing deep diving/apnea was the only way to be in the ocean every day, learning about the different species that inhabit it and the wonderful phenomena that characterize it.

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“My first immersions had a big impact on me. I was fascinated by so many fish, so much silence, tranquility and majesty. The perfection of the ocean makes us feel small and vulnerable,” she explains.

In May 1992, she began the long road down to the depths, diving 50 meters in the modality of free diving, in which the descent and ascent is carried out purely with the apnea diver’s muscular strength and a strong dose of courage.

“Apnea is an activity that cannot be accompanied by fear. I’m not afraid of sharks; I respect them. They are adorable animals, very important for the ecosystem and marine biodiversity, although it is very wise to respect them. But there are tons of dangers in the ocean besides sharks; for example, there are the currents, the depths, darkness, loneliness.”

In 2001, Deborah decided to enter the world of scuba diving, and she did so spectacularly: she dove deeper than anybody ever had without a mask or fins: 74 meters, in the modality known as free diving. Not even the most famous male divers had reached that depth.

Andollo, who is also nicknamed “Queen of the Caribbean,” is president of the Cuban Federation of Subaquatic Activities (FCAS), and she passionately defends the environment and the sustainable coexistence of human beings and nature.

“For me, commitment to the ocean is important. I am always fighting to protect it and to raise awareness about protecting it from human voracity. In that sense, I think that there is still a lot to be done in Cuba regarding marine parks and protected areas, even though there is a great deal of political will.”

Andollo has two children — a 13-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl — and says she has always pursued happiness without limits. “Cuba is my land and my sea.”

Proudly, she says that her oldest child, Ernesto, has become a wonderful apnea diver, and can now dive 13 meters deep.

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Currently, Andollo lives in Isla Cozumel, Mexico, but that does not stop her from feeling very passionately about the island where she was born and achieved her great triumphs.

“Cuba is where my parents and my best, true friends live, and where the ocean is more tranquil than anyplace else. It is a meeting point for the most intense encounters of affection. It’s where I was born and where my children were born, so, it will always be where we are from. Thank you, Cuba!”

In Mexico, she is making one of her dearest dreams come true: the Academia Blue Yemayá, an academy that teaches free diving. Andollo and her husband, Eric Testi of France, are its co-presidents and administrators.

“We work in the diving area of the marine park on the island of Cozumel, which has the second largest coral reef in the world.”

Deborah is a modest, unassuming woman who is familiar with the positive and negative aspects of fame.

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Twice included on the list of the country’s top 10 athletes (1996 and 1997) and chosen as one of the 100 Best Cuban Athletes of the 20th Century, Andollo received the Platinum Pro5000 Diver Award in November 2011, a prize that is granted to outstanding divers who have completed more than 5,000 dives.

Deborah, fascinated by the ocean and gifted with supernatural talents, says there are many things she would still like to do, and that free diving is a fascinating activity, a passion that she enjoys sharing with others.

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SIMONE OVIDE DUVALIER

Dr. and Mrs. Francois Duvalier WaitingSimone Duvalier (c. 1913 – 1997) was the wife of Haitian dictator François “Papa Doc” Duvalier (1907–1971).

She was born Simone Ovide in about 1913 near the Haitian town of Léogâne, the daughter of a mulatto merchant and writer, Jules Faine, and Célie Ovide, one of the maids in his household. At an early age her mother gave her up, and she spent much of her childhood in an orphanage in Pétionville, an exclusive suburb in the hills above Port-au-Prince. The orphans were encouraged to acquire vocational skills and Simone Ovide was trained as a nurse’s aide. While working as a nurse she met a young doctor named François Duvalier. The couple was married on December 27, 1939, and had four children: Marie Denise, Nicole, Simone, and Jean-Claude, their only son.

After their marriage, François Duvalier became minister of public health and labor in 1949 and won election to the presidency in 1957. Throughout his 14 years in office, his wife guarded access to her husband and developed and promoted her own palace favorites.

Because of her acquired status and her imperious bearing, Haitians referred to her as “Mama Doc”. She was, like her husband, reported to be a Vodou expert. She cultivated the image of a benefactor; dispensing charity to inhabitants of “Cite Simone”, a planned settlement named for her that is known today as Cité Soleil, one of the most miserable slums in Latin America.

Jean-Claude Duvalier with His Mother

Madame Duvalier’s influence reached its peak after the death of her husband in 1971, when her nineteen-year-old son Jean-Claude Duvalier succeeded his father as Haiti’s “president for life”. She relished the title of first lady and the power it conferred, and was said by associates to deeply resent having to relinquish that role after Jean-Claude Duvalier married in 1980 and she was demoted to “Guardian of the Duvalierist Revolution”.

When her son was ousted from power in February 1986, Simone Duvalier joined him and his wife, Michèle Bennett, in exile in France. She was rarely seen in public. After her son’s bitter divorce from his wife, Madame Duvalier lived with her son in relative poverty in the suburbs of Paris.   She died in 1997.

BEAUTIFUL & OUTSTANDING CARIBBEAN WOMEN

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PAULETTE ADDERLEY ZONICLE

BAHAMAS CONSUL GENERAL

Paulette ZoniclePaulette Adderley Zonicle is the first female Consul General to be appointed (April 2013) to Washington, DC by the Bahamas Government. As Consul General she is responsible for diaspora of Bahamian people in her jurisdiction which consists of twenty-five states. She is also responsible for the consular activities of the Government of The Bahamas which includes, but is not limited to, the issuance of visas for visitors to the Bahamas, passports for Bahamians, document authentication and investment matters.

Zonicle was educated in The Bahamas at the College of the Bahamas and later at Lambuth University in Jackson, TN. where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and Political Science.

She returned to the Bahamas and began her career in radio and television broadcasting working her way up to television anchor and director of the news department.  Ms. Zonicle has hosted many shows that took her all over the Bahamas and the world.

In her political life, Ms. Zonicle was a Senator in the now ruling party of the Bahamas for five years and was also a part of the Caribbean Parliamentary Association in Bangladesh.  Ms. Zonicle is the founding member of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in the Bahamas and was also an insurance executive for two of the major insurance companies on the Bahamas.  She was also president of Ardyss in the Bahamas, the largest multi-level marketing company in the world.

Ms. Zonicle has one daughter and in her spare time, she’s an avid reader and loves to cook and travel.

Zonicle-bConsul General Paulette Adderley Zonicle receives her instruments of appoint from His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes.

Bahamas Consul General - WashingtonConsul General Paulette Adderley Zonicle and President and CEO Immerse Bahamas during a recent visit to the Consul General’s office in Washing ton, DC

She returned to the Bahamas and began her career in radio and television broadcasting working her way up to television anchor and director of the news department.  Ms. Zonicle has hosted many shows that took her all over the Bahamas and the world.

In her political life, Ms. Zonicle was a Senator in the now ruling party of the Bahamas for five years and was also a part of the Caribbean Parliamentary Association in Bangladesh.  Ms. Zonicle is the founding member of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation in the Bahamas and was also an insurance executive for two of the major insurance companies on the Bahamas.  She was also president of Ardyss in the Bahamas, the largest multi-level marketing company in the world.

Ms. Zonicle has one daughter and in her spare time, she’s an avid reader and loves to cook and travel.

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ASHANNA ARTHUR

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Ashanna Arthur was born in Trinidad and Tobago and attended the University of the West Indies where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. During her years at University she started to pursue her modelling interests. After completing a modelling course at the House of Jacqui Modelling School in her final year at University, she started doing fashion shows and photo shoots at her University and at various events in Trinidad. She then went on to pursue her pageant dreams. In 2009, she succeeded in copping the title of Miss World Trinidad and Tobago and represented Trinidad and Tobago at the 2009 Miss World pageant in South Africa.

ASHANNA 7 ASHANNA 6Ashanna 5She obtained a certificate in Radio broadcasting in 2011 and a Certificate in Fashion Styling at FIT in 2012. Since her foray into the creative world of modelling, Ashanna has worn many hats, from event hosting, to photo shoot and television production, to fashion journalism. At the moment, she is based in Trinidad and Tobago. She is involved in various creative projects but currently her two main endeavors are modelling and hosting a local television entertainment program on Flow called “Local Addicts”.

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 EUNICE PINEDA RODRIQUEZ

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Eunice 2Eunice008Eunice-7108Dominican Republic born 5’10” model Eunice Pineda Rodriquez

Eunice ELLE MagDominican Republic born 5’10” model Eunice Pineda Rodriquez – in Elle Magazine Editorial

Eunice Pineda - Elle Magazine EditorialEunice Pineda - Elle Magazine Editorial mThe Gorgeous Eunice Pineda Rodriguez on the cover  and editorial for Jones Magazine

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MELODIE MONROSE

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Melodie Monrose (Martinique): At the age of 18, Monrose was discovered by Your Angels Models in her native Martinique. Soon she began working with Wilhelmina in New York and Silent models in Paris. Debuting during the S/S 2011 collections in New York, Monrose has since walked the runway for top designers.

melodie monrose Melodie-Monrose-2012-4Melodie Monrose graces in Benjamin Lennox‘ portraits for the 2012 Summer edition of Spanish V magazine, styled by Romy Soleimani.

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Melodie-Monrose-Patrick-Demarchelier-05Model Melodie Monrose stuns in a LUCKY Magazine session by the legendary fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier who teamed up with the iconic VOGUE fashion editor Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele. Makeup courtesy of makeup artist Serge Hodonou at Frankreps.

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NAOMIE  MELANIE HARRIS

naomie-harrisBritish actress Naomie Harris is the only child of television scriptwriter Lisselle Kayla. She showed an interest in acting from an early age and attended the prestigious Anna Scher Theater School. From here, Harris won roles in various projects, such as Simon and the Witch (1987) and The Tomorrow People (1992). She went on to study social and political sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge University, an experience Harris did not enjoy.

Naomie.jpgmAfter graduating from University, Harris trained at Bristol Old Vic Theater School. Acting success soon followed and her breakthrough film role came in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later… (2002). Other notable projects include Miami Vice (2006) and Small Island (2009) (for which she was named best female actor by the Royal Television Society). Harris also won fans for her role as Tia Dalma in the blockbusting “Pirates of the Caribbean” films and further international attention came her way when she was cast as Field Agent Eve in the twenty third James Bond film, Skyfall (2012).

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Her mother is Lisselle Kayla, (scriptwriter) who came to England from Jamaica at the age of five. Her father is from Trinidad. She is the first black actress to play Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond series. Harris’s interpretation of Moneypenny is also significantly expanded from the character’s secretarial roots; in Skyfall (2012) she is introduced as a full-fledged MI6 field agent and an agile sidekick to Bond. She replaced Lupita Nyong’o in the role of Angela Rivera in Southpaw after Nyong’o backed out of the project.

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.

INFLUENTIAL CARIBBEAN WOMEN – 1/14

Her Excellency Dr. GENEIVE BROWN-METZGER

Style: "Porcelain vivid"Geneive Brown Metzger is a nationally recognized diaspora strategist and Caribbean-U.S. Business Analyst serving U.S.- and Caribbean-based public and private sector organizations.

After building a career in public relations for almost thirty years, Dr. Brown Metzger’s path turned to diplomacy when she was asked by the Prime Minister of Jamaica to serve as the eighth Consul General (2008-2012) heading up the largest mission in Jamaica’s foreign service.  She represented Jamaican nationals in thirty-three states, Puerto Rico and Bermuda and brought a business perspective to the position—driving investment and trade, leading delegations in mining, housing and waste management to Jamaica, and spearheading investment fora, including at Bloomberg.  She secured over US$1M of cash and in-kind contributions from foreign investors to charities in Jamaica.

She served on the USAID/Migration Policy Institute (MPI) Think Tank in 2010-2011 leading up to the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton inaugural Global Diaspora Forum in Washington in 2011.  She contributed to the Forum’s Toolkit and to its publication, “Diasporas: New Partners in Global Diaspora Strategy”, published by USAID/MPI.  She challenges the notion of “brain drain” in a transnational world; a subject she writes about, and promotes volunteerism among professional diasporans as a means of repatriating vital skills and knowledge to home countries.  She is currently developing a propriety volunteer program with the assistance of USAID Diaspora Alliance partners, CUSO and Accenture.

She dedicates her time to promoting tertiary education and entrepreneurship in Jamaica, serving as Co-chair of the University of Technology, Jamaica West.  She is also North American Adviser to the University’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences/Sapna Initiative-Incubator for new technology entrepreneurs.  In this capacity, she fosters strategic relationships between UTech and organizations in the United States in science and technology.

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Dr. Brown Metzger has been featured in The New York Times, on FOX NY television, and on Black Entertainment Television (BET).  She is a founding member of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations U.S.—the largest Jamaican diaspora organization in north America.  She has won awards for marketing, including from the energy industry for an on-line curriculum sponsored by KeySpan, “Energy Choices: The Challenge”.  She received the WOW award from the Westchester Business Journal in 2010.

Up until her appointment as Consul General, Mrs. Brown Metzger ran a successful public relations and marketing communications firm, Geneive Brown Associates (GBA), which she founded in 1984.  The firm was merged with the worldwide public relations agency, Ruder Finn, in 1990, where she started the Emerging Markets Division.  There, she served clients in South Africa and the Caribbean, helping to build a practice in travel, tourism, academia, and economic development.  She launched and implemented the University of the West Indies’ capital campaign and established the university’s first U.S.-based foundation and board.  She is a founding member of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Geneive-Brown-MetzgerDr. Brown Metzger began her career in 1977 working for Jack Greenberg, Esq., then head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund who succeeded Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.  She was the administrator and editorial assistant of the twenty-fifth anniversary program commemorating the U.S. Supreme Court landmark case, Brown vs. Board of Education.  This was to be her glimpse into diplomacy and the U.S. State Department—a collaborator on the celebration that featured a summit on desegregation and brought leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Caribbean.  Subsequently, she was a research and policy analyst for the New York Civil Liberties Union (1978-81) and vice president, development at the National Council of Negro Women (1981-84).

A community leader, she has served on Governor Mario Cuomo’s Committee on Black Affairs (1993), NYC Chancellor’s Committee on Creole Students 1989-1991, and the Westchester Board of Governors (2005-2007); IFCA affordable housing board (2003-07).  She currently in on the boards of the St. George’s Society, the Morris Heights Health Centers, Friends of the Penn Relays/University of Pennsylvania; and mentors young Jamaican professionals and entrepreneurs.

caribbean-trade-councilSen. Dodd poses with (l to r) Consul General Geneive Brown Metzger, Consul General Harold Robertson and Sgt. Andrew Lawrence

An amateur violinist and devote of the arts, she is the founder of the Amadeus Circle at the Paramount Center for the Arts (NY) where she served as vice president (2002-07), and co-founder of Opera Ebony, the longest running black opera company in the U.S.  She has produced chamber music concerts in Jamaica. Geneive Brown Metzger resides with her husband in Westchester, New York.

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KERRY WASHINGTON

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Scandal” star Kerry Washington  was born in The Bronx, New York City, the daughter of Valerie, a professor and educational consultant, and Earl Washington, a real estate broker. Her father’s family is African American, from South Carolina and Brooklyn, and her mother’s family is Jamaican American, from Manhattan; Washington has said that her mother is from a “mixed-race background but from Jamaica, so she is partly English and Scottish and Native American, but also descended from African slaves in the Caribbean”.  She is related to former secretary of state Colin Powell through her mother.

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Washington performed with the TADA! Youth Theater teen group and attended the Spence School in Manhattan, graduating in 1994. She attended The George Washington University, graduating in 1998 Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in anthropology and sociology. She also studied at Michael Howard Studios in New York City.

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HANNAH LOWE

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In her debut book Chick, poet Hannah Lowe — born in the UK to an Afro-Jamaican father and white British mother — comes to terms with family history

Despite the swell of her belly, Hannah Lowe is perched, apparently comfortably, on a wide bench at the British Library in London. The child who is coming will bear her father’s name, she says. “It’s important for me not to lose the name, because the child won’t feel the connection to the Caribbean that I do.”

Chick, Lowe’s first collection of poetry — published in February 2013, and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection — is also named for her father. A mixed-race Chinese-black Jamaican immigrant to Britain, Chick was a professional gambler who was already in his fifties when Lowe and her brother were born. They grew up in Ilford, just outside London, where their white British mother was deputy head teacher at a primary school.

The complex legacy of her father’s life is at the heart of Lowe’s writing. Not only was he a gambler, he was also willing to stack the odds in his own favour. Lowe and her brother knew their father gambled for a living, but that he played dishonestly was something they saw only in glimpses. Her brother caught him ironing cellophane around a pack of cards, to make them appear new; in a hall cupboard there was a little guillotine for shaving the sides off of cards; there were pots of ink, penknives, and scalpels around the house, and a dentist’s drill her father used for loading dice. These objects inhabit her poems, but only past childhood did she make sense of them.

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“When I said to my mum later, ‘Where was Dad doing this?’ she said, ‘Oh, love, he’d be doing it wherever you weren’t.’ The way that that sort of shifts the memories of your childhood is quite incredible,” Lowe explains. “And then these little things start to make sense: I remember seeing him loading dice and not knowing what he was doing, and the door sort of being pushed shut in my face.”

All of this within the façade of white middle-class family life. Both children looked white. “We both really identified as being white, because we were both treated as white. We are white in one way, but I think there was always the sense of feeling very different as well,” Lowe says. More than just the presence of their black father, there was, for example, the fact that they ate Jamaican food. Their father spent nights out gambling, returning to the family home at dawn, then much of the day asleep, but he did all the cooking. “He was a house husband. But he wasn’t like a traditional man — he was happy to do all the cooking, make cakes and puddings. He loved all that.”

Lowe’s was a childhood full of contradictions. Her father both was, and was not, part of family life. They all went on family holidays together, but Lowe says he sometimes felt like a lodger. He ferried the children around, but Lowe was known to tell friends he was a taxi driver her mother had sent to collect her. “I was always having to explain him to other people,” she says, “but it wasn’t just the fact that he was black and I was white. It was the fact that he was so old. He looked like a grandfather, and often he’d just got out of bed because he’d been playing cards all night, so he was this old dishevelled man with his hair stood on end.” One of the difficulties about promoting Chick, she says, is getting across that it’s “not just about having a black dad,” but about all the things her father was.

Ralph Lowe (“Chick” was a gambling nickname) had a tragic upbringing. Born in Jamaica in 1925 to a Chinese immigrant shopkeeper and his black servant, he believed that his own father had “bought” him from his mother to use as a lackey in the shop. Lowe says her grandmother gave up all claim to her son and later refused to acknowledge him, and her father found a receipt which seemed to indicate money had changed hands. Ralph was brutalised by his father, and would often run to his mother’s house, begging her to let him stay, only to be sent back. Lowe says her father was haunted by the knowledge that his mother didn’t want him.

Much of what Lowe knows about her father’s early life is from notebooks and tapes he used to document his own story. Lowe was studying literature at university, “and I kept doing courses in black women’s writing and postcolonial literature, but I wasn’t putting it together. I just thought, Oh, I’m interested in this. I was just beginning to realise that perhaps I was interested in the story of his life, and in my identity and how race is constructed, all of those things — and then he died.”

Because of his age and lifestyle, her father had been ill for much of her childhood, but was diagnosed with cancer while she was at university. The cancer went away, but came back two or three years later, by which time Lowe had started a master’s degree in refugee studies. It was just three weeks between this new diagnosis and his eventual death. Her mother called her at university and told her to come home. “By the time I got there, he could hardly talk any more. It put me — without being overly dramatic — into a sort of psychic crisis. I realised that I needed to know his story, and he was going to die, and there was nothing I could do to bring him back. It was just too late.” When he lost consciousness, Lowe was completely grief-stricken. “But it was not just the grief of losing a father, it was a sort of cultural grief, really.”

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For “years and years and years after,” she would dream he was still alive. “In these dreams I go out into the street. I’d be looking for him, the road signs would be all wrong. They were sad dreams. I can laugh about them now, but I was always dreaming that I had the chance to talk to him again.” Long after his death, and after many years of academic writing, Lowe began writing poems about Ralph. She joined a creative writing class, and it became a running joke that every week she would bring in a new poem about her father. A decade on, with the publication of Chick, and having just found a publisher for a family memoir which intersperses chapters about her own childhood with fictionalised chapters about 1930s Jamaica based on her father’s notebooks, she may finally have gone as far as she needs to into her father’s life. Although her racial identity remains an open question.

At a recent history conference, Lowe witnessed an eminent white historian being challenged by a woman in the audience, who wanted to know when he felt the narrating of black history should be in the hands of black people, and what he was doing to facilitate this. Lowe seems personally affected by having witnessed the exchange. She says that after years and years of never making any claim on a black identity — “for all the reasons that I wouldn’t, because I have had all the privileges of a white upbringing, to the extent that I know those privileges still exist” — the experience of publishing Chick made her realise that hers is accepted as another black British voice. “But to hear that woman say that — I still can’t square it.” The only thing of which she is certain is that there are no absolutes. “Twenty or thirty years ago in Britain, when minority literature, black literature, started getting studied, things were said like, ‘These are voices from the margins that have unique insights,’ and I think things that I can say complicate that a bit, because I’m not a voice from the margins at all.”

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She wonders if the things that she can say might make people think about “passing” and ideas around it — “because, let’s face it, two hundred years ago, if I’d been born in Jamaica, I’d have been a slave. On the ‘one drop’ theory of racial purity, plantations in Jamaica had people working on them who looked like me . . . Does it make people think, actually, what is race, what does ‘black’ look like?” Lowe wants the child she is carrying to share the legacy of her father, although she’s still unsure how this will be communicated. Will it involve having to say something like, Oh, my dad was black? “For years and years and years I never said anything like that. It was in poetry that I got to make a claim.”

Source:(Caribbean Beat by Melissa Richards)

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Dr. AVIS GLAZE

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Jamaican born Dr. Avis Glaze is an international leader in the field of education. As one of Canada’s outstanding educators, she has been recognized for her work in leadership development, student achievement, school and system improvement, character development and equity of outcomes for all students. As Ontario’s first Chief Student Achievement Officer and founding CEO of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, she played a pivotal role in improving student achievement in Ontario schools. Her primary focus in education is on building capacity to ensure that all students achieve, regardless of background factors or personal circumstances. It is her core belief that educators play a fundamental role in sustaining democracy.

Avis completed two Master of Education programs – one in educational administration, a second in guidance and counselling, and a Doctorate in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. She also has training in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Advanced Facilitation, and the Assessment of Emotional Intelligence. She has taught at all levels of the education system, in rural and urban areas, in public and Catholic schools, and at the elementary, secondary, community college and university levels. Avis has been a superintendent of schools in several school districts, an Associate Director of Education with the York Region District School Board and Director of Education of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. At the university level, Avis has been an Adjunct Professor in counselor and teacher education in faculties of education in Ontario. She also served as an Education Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Education and as Research Coordinator with the Ontario Women’s Directorate of the Ministry of Labor.

In 1994, Avis served as a Commissioner on the Ontario Royal Commission on Learning and had the opportunity to influence the direction of education in Ontario through the recommendations of the Commission. She has extensive experience in international education and was chosen by the Canadian government to assist with educational reform in South Africa. She represented Canada at the UNESCO conference on Inclusive Education in Riga, Latvia. As well, she knows schools across the globe firsthand, having worked with educators in Australia, England, Finland, Singapore, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, the Caribbean and many parts of the United States.

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Within her community, she served as Chairperson of the Harry R. Gairey Scholarship Fund, helping outstanding black students to attend university. She has established the Avis Glaze Scholarships with the Markham African Caribbean Association for university or college education and has supported a scholarship for studies in education at the University of Ottawa.

Avis has received honorary doctorates from several Canadian universities and has won more than thirty awards for outstanding contribution to education, including Educator of the Year, The Distinguished Educator Award, the 2001 YWCA Women of Distinction Award, the Harry Jerome Award, the Sandford D. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award for Character Education offered by the Character Education Partnership in the United States, and The Order of Ontario, among others.

After serving as Ontario’s first CEO of The Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, Avis was later appointed as Ontario’s Education Commissioner and Senior Adviser to the Minister of Education. Her consulting company, Edu-quest International Inc., offers a wide range of services internationally. She continues to motivate and inspire educators through speaking engagements and consults with school districts, non-profit organizations and businesses to maximize talent and achieve results. She also served as Adviser to the Minister of Education in New Zealand on national standards.

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Avis continues to be the inveterate learner that she is, taking courses at every possible opportunity. She recently received designation as a Visible Learning Certified Trainer, in John Hattie’s work, offered through Corwin Press in Thousand Oaks, California.

Dr. Glaze is a consummate capacity builder in teaching, Improving student achievement, leadership development and school system improvement. She is skilled at motivating and inspiring teachers, principals, system leaders, policy makers politicians, parents and business leaders to realize their potential in improving their schools. She co-authored Breaking Barriers: Excellence and Equity for All (Glaze, Mattingley and Levin) on the high impact strategies to improve education systems in general, and schools in particular. Her most recent book, “High School Graduation: k-12 Strategies that Work,” (Glaze, Mattingley and Andrews), identifies the research-informed strategies to improve graduation rates for all students regardless of socio-economic or other social or demographic factors.

Avis’ international contributions to education was, once again, recently recognized when she received the Robert Owen Award, the first of its kind offered in Scotland, from Mr. Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.

Dr. Avis E. Glaze

Why do you do what you do? It is my belief that one’s fortunate position in life is often due to the combination of circumstances and the opportunity to utilize one’s talents. I have found that a good education empowers and provides the impetus to contribute to the well-being of others. As an educator, I have considered it my primary purpose to help students think critically, feel deeply, and act wisely and ethically. That is a privilege we enjoy and a responsibility we assume in our efforts to contribute to active and responsible citizenship. As it has been said, I believe that much is expected of those who have been given a lot in life. I care deeply about people and believe that I should give of my time, energy, talents and skills to help others. I love my adopted country, Canada. I believe strongly that I should play my role in nation building.

Education: ED.D., Ed. (1980); M.Ed., OISE/University of Toronto (1976, 1979); BA/Hons, University of the West Indies (1972).

OUTSTANDING CARIBBEAN WOMEN – PT. 12

Justice JUANITA WESTMORELAND-TRAORE, OQ.

JWT-portraitJuanita Westmoreland-Traoré, OQ (born March 10, 1942) is the first appointed black judge in the history of Quebec. She also holds the distinction of being the first black dean of a law school (the University of Windsor Faculty of Law) in Canada’s history.

Westmoreland-Traoré, was born in Verdun, now part of Montreal, Quebec, in 1942, the daughter of immigrants from Guyana. She studied at Marianopolis College, and subsequently obtained a law degree from the Université de Montréal (1966) and a doctorate from the University of Paris. She was called to the Quebec Bar in 1969, and began practicing law in 1970 with the law firm of Mergler, Melançon. She has also been a member of the Ontario Bar since 1997. During the 1970’s, Westmoreland-Traoré taught at the Université de Montréal, and from 1976 to 1991 at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Westmoreland-Traoré was a member of the Office de protection des consommateurs du Québec from 1979 to 1983. From 1983 to 1985, she was a Commissioner for the Canadian Human Rights Commission. In 1985, she became the first chair of Quebec’s Conseil des communautés culturelles et de l’immigration. From 1991 to 1995, she was Employment Equity Commissioner of Ontario. 

black_120499CIn 1991, she was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec. Westmoreland-Traoré has received other awards, including from Canadian Jewish Congress, the Montreal Association of Black Business Persons and Professionals, and the Canadian Bar Association. In 2008, she was awarded the Quebec Human Rights Commission’s Rights and Liberties Prize for her career-long fight against discrimination. 

In 2005 Judge Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré of the Court of Quebec was awarded the Touchstone Award.

The Touchstone Award celebrates the accomplishments of an individual who has excelled in promoting equality in the legal profession, the judiciary or the legal community in Canada. The award recognizes significant national initiatives to advance equality and/or contribution relating to race, disability, sexual orientation or other diversity issues in the community.

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Major SHAWNA ROCHELLE KIMBRELL

shawna-kimbrell-2013.jpg nShawna Rochelle Kimbrell is a major in the United States Air Force, and the First female African-American fighter pilot in the history of that service. She flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Kimbrell was born in Lafayette, Indiana, on April 20, 1976, to Guyanese parents. Her mother and father, who were naturalized U.S. citizens by the time she was born, moved to the U.S. for education and opportunities. Their hard work and dedication paid off in her father earning a degree from Howard University and a doctorate from Purdue University, which in turn earned him a job offer in Parker, Colo.

The Parker, Colo., native initially wanted to be an astronaut, but decided it would be more fun to fly a fighter jet.
“I fell in love with the idea of the freedom of flying and after my first flight lesson at age 14, I never looked back,” said Major Kimbrell, who is currently the flight commander of Aircrew Flight Equipment.

It was that determination which led Major Kimbrell to become the first female African-American fighter pilot in the Air Force.
“I am still amazed that in this day and age there is still so much room for firsts especially for females and for African-Americans,” Major Kimbrell said. “It is an important step for progression and although I am not fond of the spotlight I think it is important for people to know that this barrier has been breached. Especially for the African-American community and for women to know what types of opportunities are available to them.”

Up until only 15 years ago, piloting a multi-million dollar, multi-role F-16 combat aircraft was reserved solely for men. Then, in 1993, the secretary of defense permitted women to enter fighter pilot training. Although women have been entering pilot training since 1976, before 1993, government officials did not believe women had “what it took” for combat.

Major Kimbrell knew she “had what it took” and after graduating from the Air Force Academy in 1998 and went on to complete intense pilot training receiving her pilot wings in August, 1999.

“Pilot training was one of the best times in my life and I made some life-long friendships,” Major Kimbrell said. “For two years, every move you make is graded and scrutinized.”
Eager to make it as a fighter pilot in a field with a limited number of pilot slots Major Kimbrell pushed herself to constantly improve.

“I was in constant competition with myself, trying to do better, to make the grade,” she said. “There were times when I didn’t think that I was going to make it through. It was in those times I learned to be humble and realize there is a point in everyone’s struggle – no matter how strong they are — when they need help, and the key is to seek it out before it is too late.”
There are more than 14,000 pilots in the U.S. Air Force — about 3,700 of those are fighter pilots. But in that group, only 70 are women.

Pursuing a career in a male-dominated field was just one of several challenges Major Kimbrell had to overcome.
“I was never apprehensive about pursuing my dream, despite the challenges,” said Major Kimbrell. “I don’t think that I actually grasped how few of us there were. Honestly it was not something that I had time to concern myself with. There was the physical challenge of not having perfect eyesight, which at one point I was told would disqualify me from flying. There are continued challenges with flight gear, uniforms and equipment that are designed and optimized for men.”
shawna-kimbrell-2013Another challenge Major Kimbrell faced throughout her career and growing up was the struggle of being an African-American woman, who at times was viewed as being different than other people.

“There are still a lot of unresolved racial issues in the U.S. and they spill over into every walk of life and every workspace,” said Major Kimbrell, the only female pilot stationed at Aviano Air Base. “When I go somewhere new, people tend to look at me differently, mostly because of who I am and it is the subtle ways that people treat me differently that make it challenging. The unfortunate fact is that being a black woman is a constant struggle.”

Dealing with that bias, whether malicious or not, has caused Major Kimbrell to try even harder to succeed in life.

“I have made it to this point in my life by setting goals and being determined to meet them no matter how long it takes,” she said. “At the end of the day, if I have put forth the maximum effort, I can live with myself and that is one of the most important parts of this struggle.”

Throttling through those challenges became worthwhile when Major Kimbrell received her first operational assignment to Misawa Air Base, Japan.

“The turning point in my career was when I arrived at Misawa. It was like a whole new world of options opened up to me,” she said. “I flew my first combat sortie in 2001 in Operation Northern Watch. The sorties were actually anticlimactic until I recognized that people were actually shooting at us.”
The most recent and as yet unresolved challenge is how having a baby and raising a family fits in with her career progression.
“The real turning point in my life was when I gave birth to my son in August of 2006,” she said. “On that day my life took on an amazing new meaning.”

Making the decision to have a baby could have been career-ending for Major Kimbrell. For safety reasons, women pilots can no longer fly once they become pregnant. They are kept out of the cockpit for nine months, plus recovery time.

“When a pilot is out of the jet for that amount of time a significant amount of retraining is required and it normally takes place outside of the squadron, back at the school house,” said Major Kimbrell. “This has the potential to be detrimental to a woman’s progression and continues to be a challenge for myself and other women fighter pilots.”

Finding that balance between career and family is something Major Kimbrell strives for, and she credits the lessons she’s learned from both aspects as defining who she is.

25k5rna“While being a fighter pilot is exhilarating, I would not say that it defines me, I would say that is has refined me. I continue to learn and improve and it has really taught me to strive for perfection in everything that I do. It has taught me that sometimes you fall short of your goals but there is never a time to give up.”

Female fighter pilots in the military have recently created a Web site to help bring together and strengthen the camaraderie of women pilots. The “Chick Fighter Pilot Association, www.fighterchicks.com, has three goals: Encourage and strengthen mutual support in our unique environment, help each other succeed and provide a professional and social network for women in fighter roles.

“It is very important that we have an open line of communication among the women of this community because there are certain daily challenges that we face that should not have to be tackled by each of us separately,” said Major Kimbrell.

Major Kimbrell has flown the F-16, T-38, T-37 and T-3 and has logged more than 945 flying hours in the F-16, including 176 combat hours. Her military decorations include the Air Medal with one device, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with one device, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Korean Defense Service Medal.

 Major Kimbrell is married with 2 children.

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SANYA RICHARDS-ROSS

800px-Sanya_Richards_2010Sanya Richards-Ross (born February 26, 1985 in Kingston, Jamaica) is a Jamaican American track and field athlete who competes internationally for the United States. Richards-Ross won the Olympic gold medal in the 4×400 meters relay at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China and in the London 2012 Olympics. She won the individual bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics for the 400m. The following year, Richards-Ross became World Champion, winning a gold medal in the 400 meter race at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. She won the gold medal in the 400m at the 2012 Olympics.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, on February 26, 1985, Sanya Richards-Ross moved to the United States with her family at the age of 12. They lived in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a place her parents would better suit their aspiring track star’s career. Richards-Ross demonstrated her talents early on, scoring a silver medal in the 400-meter event and a bronze medal in the 200-meter event at the 2002 World Junior Championships. That same year, she was named the Gatorade National High School Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

While a student at the University of Texas, Richards-Ross became the 2003 NCAA 400-meter champion. That same year, she won the NCAA Indoor Championship in the 200-meter event. Competing at the 2004 Summer Olympics, Richards-Ross helped bring home gold in the 400-meter relay. As a freshman, Sanya won the NCAA national championship in the 400 meters with a time of 50.58. After her sophomore year in 2004, she turned pro.

800 sanya_richards_ross_bpAt the Athens Olympics in 2004, Richards was part of the US team which finished first in the 4×400 meters relay. She has won a silver medal in the 400 meters at 2005 World Championships in Athletics. In 2006, together with Jeremy Wariner (400 m) and Asafa Powell (100 m) she won her sixth out of six IAAF Golden League events in the same season, which earned her a total of $250,000. She broke Valerie Brisco-Hooks’ US record of 48.83 with a 48.70 at the end of the 2006 season and was named IAAF 2006 Female World Athlete of the Year.[2] After failing to qualify for the 400 m at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka due to illness which caused her to finish fourth in the US trials, Richards-Ross was the favourite to win gold in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and qualified fastest for the final, but went out of the blocks too quickly and was overtaken in the finishing straight by Christine Ohuruogu of Great Britain and Shericka Williams of Jamaica, consigning her to the bronze medal.

During the 2009 season, Sanya took the 400 m national title in 50.05 seconds, finishing over half a second faster than the second placed Debbie Dunn. Although she expected faster times, she stated that winning the 2009 World Championships in Berlin was her number one goal. A win in 49.46 s at the Golden Gala in Rome broke Marita Koch’s record for most sub-50 second runs, bringing Richards’ career total to 36. Coming up to the World Championships, Sanya won her fourth Golden League race in the 400 m with the time of 49.34 seconds and won her first global championship in the 400 m at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Berlin with a world leading time of 49.00 seconds. Sanya also anchored team USA to a gold medal in the women’s 4 x 400 m relay in the sixth fastest time in history of 3.17.83 minutes, Richards-Ross split time in the relay was unofficially 48.43 seconds. After a career defining World Championships, Richards-Ross went on to win her final two Golden League races with a new world leading times of 48.94 seconds (Zurich) and 48.83 seconds (Brussels) to share in the $1M dollar jackpot with men’s 3000 m/5000 m winner Kenenisa Bekele and women’s pole vault winner Yelena Isinbayeva, each receiving US$333,333; this was the third time Richards had won the Golden League Jackpot. Sanya Richards-Ross ended her massive season on a high by winning silver in the 200 m at the IAAF World Athletics Final behind world champion Allyson Felix with a time of 22.29 seconds, and by winning gold in the 400m with a time of 49.95 seconds; achieving her 41st sub-50 second 400m run.

After an injury that prematurely ended her 2010 season, Sanya bounced back in 2011 to run a 49.66 just prior to the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. She wound up seventh, however, in the final. Sanya later returned to top form in the 4×400 m relay, this time running the lead-off leg in 49.1, setting the team up for victory. It was her record fifth gold medal from the World Championships.

800 sanya-richards-ross1At the 2012 London Olympics on August 5, 2012, Sanya finished the women’s 400m in 49.55 to win the gold medal for the US. Richards-Ross also ran the anchor leg of the gold medal-winning US women’s 4x400m relay team. Following the Olympics, Richards-Ross won the remaining Diamond League meetings over 400m in Stockholm (49.89) and Zurich (50.21. The win in Stockholm improved her career total of sub-50 second races to an unchallenged 46.

Sanya Richards-Ross’ sponsorship deals include Nike, Inc, BP, BMW and Citibank. In August 2007, Sanya was signed as a global brand spokesperson for Nutrilite, the world’s leading brand of vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements.

Ms. Richards-Ross is married to her college boyfriend, Aaron Ross, a professional football player. He played with the New York Giants from 2007 to 2011, and is now a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Outside of competition, Richards-Ross runs the Sanya Richards Fast Track Program to help children in her native nation, Jamaica.

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KAMALA D. HARRIS

ag-kamala-harris-officialOn January 3, 2011, Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as the 32nd Attorney General of the State of California.  She is the first woman, the first African American to hold the office in the history of California.

As chief law enforcement officer for the state, Attorney General Harris has focused on combating transnational gangs that are trafficking guns, drugs, and human beings throughout California.  She has worked to increase the adoption of technology and data-driven policing to assist law enforcement in the efficient investigation and prosecution of crime, and has traveled to every region of California to expand partnerships with local law enforcement.

She is the daughter of an Indian mother, Dr. Shyamala Gopalan—a breast cancer specialist who emigrated from Chennai, India, to the United States in 1960, and a Jamaican American father, Stanford University economics professor Donald Harris.

Harris grew up in a household that combined Hindu and Baptist teachings. She was raised in Berkeley, Oakland, and Montreal, where her mother took a position doing research at the Jewish General Hospital and teaching at McGill University.

Harris attended Howard University in Washington, D.C.,  where she was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1989.  She was admitted to the California bar in 1990.

adAreaImg3Harris served as a Deputy District Attorney in Alameda County, California, from 1990 to 1998.  After 1998, she became Managing Attorney of the Career Criminal Unit in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. In 2000, San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne recruited Harris to join her office, where she was Chief of the Community and Neighborhood Division, which oversees civil code enforcement matters. Recognized by The Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the top 100 lawyers in California, Harris serves on the board of the California District Attorney’s Association and is Vice President of the National District Attorneys Association.

In 2003 Harris was elected District Attorney of San Francisco by defeating two term incumbent Terence Hallinan and was reelected when she ran unopposed in 2007.

She was called a front-runner in her campaign being nominated to be California Attorney General in 2010, and on June 8, 2010, she received the Democratic nomination for California Attorney General.

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In 2009, Harris wrote Smart on Crime: A Career Prosecutor’s Plan to Make Us Safer. Harris looks at criminal justice from an economic perspective, attempting to reduce temptation and access for criminals. The book goes through a series of “myths” surrounding the criminal justice system, and presents proposals to reduce and prevent crime.

She has been outspoken on the need for innovation in public safety, particularly with respect to reducing the recidivism rate in San Francisco. One such program, “Back on Track” was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a model program for the state. Initially, there were issues with removing illegal immigrants from the program, including an incident involving Alexander Izaguirre, who was later arrested for assault. However, before the program was named a state model by Governor Schwarzenegger, it was revised to address this concern.

US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION-CORRECTIONIn 2012, she sent a letter to 100 mobile app developers asking them to comply with California law with respect to privacy issues. If any developer of an application that could be used by a Californian doesn’t display a privacy policy statement when their application is installed they are breaking California law and could be fined $2,500 for every download. This law affects any developer anywhere in the world if their app is used by a Californian.

Harris has been mentioned as a possible nominee for a seat on the United States Supreme Court, should a seat on that court become vacant during the second Obama administration.

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Her Excellency MARGARITA CEDENO de FERNANDEZ

Her_Excellency_Ms._Margarita_Cedeño_de_Fernández,_Vice-President_of_the_Dominican_Republic_(8957848699)

Margarita Cedeño de Fernández is the current Vice-President and former First Lady of the Dominican Republic. She is the wife of former President Leonel Fernández. When she was the First Lady, she and her staff coordinate social policies for her husband’s administration, generating programs of health and education for children, young people, single mothers and the family, in general, as a key element in society.

She has experience in the private sector where she was part of prestigious law firms in the Dominican Republic, among which the law firm of Doctor Abel Rodríguez del Orbe and Fernández y Asociados, where she is an associate member. During the years 1996-2000, she assisted as legal counselor to the President nominated as Sub-secretary of State. Besides being ad honorem counselor and director of the Legal and Investment Environment Management of the Office for the Promotion of Foreign Investment of the Dominican Republic.

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She has a Doctorate in Law from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo and a Masters in Economic Legislation from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra. She also has participated in courses and seminars at Georgetown and Harvard University in the United States and Geneva University in Switzerland.

She was elected Vice President alongside the next President, Danilo Medina on 20 May 2012. She would be the second woman to serve as Vice-President, after Milagros Ortiz Bosch was elected with former President, Hipolito Mejia in 2000-2004.

Margarita-Cedeño-de-Fernández.On 16 October 2009, Margarita Cedeño de Fernández was named Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

KARIB BEAT – “Caribbean Fashion Hits Higher Gear”

FASHION FORWARD

A World of Classical Designs with inspiring innovation – HOUSE OF BYFIELDS/CARMICHEAL BYFIELD  

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Carmichael FF3Carmichael FF1Carmichael FFAn unmistakable style that expresses the unconventional luxury which season after season innovates the fashion fraternity internationally.

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GAVIN DOUGLAS

……..believes it is his objective, as a couturier to both enhance and celebrate the feminine form.

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GavinGAVIN DOUGLAS is an elite women’s wear fashion label that within a short period of time, has achieved incredible success and recognition. Douglas’ ultra chic designs have been worn by A list celebrities and have been seen regularly on the pages of the world’s most influential fashion and lifestyle publications, including Harper’s Bazaar, Tatler and Vogue.

Born in Birmingham in the United Kingdom of Jamaican descent, Douglas excelled in creative design from a young age and on leaving high school, actively pursued fashion as a career option. On graduating from university, Douglas set up his fashion label and quickly became recognized as an innovative fashion designer. He went on to be awarded The Avant-Garde Designer of the Year, The Fashion Fringe Award, Smirn-Off Originator Award and the Caribbean Master Designer Award.

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VEVE COLLECTION by PHELICIA DELL

“A Synergy of Art and Soul”

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Phelicia Dell was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Daughter of a dressmaker and a former, over ten years, textile factory supervisor. Phelicia’s artistic skills were easily recognized by her mom and acquaintances from an early age. At the age of fifteen, she was gifted her first sewing machine purchased by her mother at a thrift store in Miami where she and her family lived.

Phelicia made her first outfit for a girlfriend at the age of 16. Excited, she decided to start taking sewing lessons. She took extra credits during the summer. That was the perfect way she introduced herself to the world of fashion and developed her knowledge of design. Later, she worked as a window dresser in an exclusive gift store while simultaneously freelancing for a couturier doing small alterations.

“I can remember in High School how I always wanted to paint and draw things. My art classes used to be an escape, better yet, a refuge. I drew pictures, lots of them; I liked to draw them based on colors, textures and themes. I was inspired by everything that I came in contact with. My favorite place was the fabric store located five minutes from my house. The art galleries, the craft stores, the fine boutiques and fabric showrooms were, and remain my main attractions to visit, no matter where I go.”

Phelicia sharpened her knowledge of marketing and fashion merchandising from the sales associate positions she held at major department stores. Then, she decided to open her own boutique while pursuing a career in fashion. She later closed the boutique and went to Haiti to freelance as an interior decorator for an architect who will later become her husband and the father of their only child. Extremely gifted and bright, Phelicia gathered experience designing for a number of individuals for many years. While living in Haiti, she gained a creative global meaningful inspiration that will later become her VeVe signature style and trademark. Her designs have a legacy, artisan style, which makes her work timeless and beautiful. Exclusive and graceful characteristics are key trends in Phelicia’s clothes and assortment of accessories. Haiti’s music and dance, especially the sacred rhythms, and the VeVe diagrams have always been an inspiration that influenced Phelicia Dell’s artistic vein and creative collections throughout her career.

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In 2006 she launched her VeVe Collections line with 25 beaded cocktail dresses. Phelicia Dell is one of a few Haitian born designers to own her workshop. There, is where dresses and accessories are made from prototypes. Today, a large amount of her designs are made to order for celebrities who make up her clientele list.

VeVe Collections, (or its namesake) is owned by the VeVe Collections Company. It is now mostly known for its bags and accessories division designed by Phelicia Dell; but at the same time, the couture division is expanding. All VeVe Collections products and ready-to-wear articles are produced under license agreements with Phelicia Dell.

Her style is instantly recognizable with structured elegance and accentuated details. Phelicia went from piecing together a beaded flag to creating a very identifiable and stylish piece of art. She designed a new feminine silhouette bag where shapes, curves and pockets are highlighted by the exactness of their cuts.

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JENNY POLANCO

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Jenny Polanco is a Dominican fashion designer with over 30 years experience in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Paris and New York. Her “Pret a Porter” (ready to wear) and Couture designs are most popular for being sophisticated yet simple, classic and easy to wear – enhanced by typically Dominican “touches”, such as buttons crafted from amber, horn, larimar, mother of pearl and coral.

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For 10 years now she has been designing and creating jewelry and complements inspired in the tones and transparency of the amber stone combined with pearls, leather and semi-precious stones. Her product is non globalized and primarily of hand crafted artistic characteristics, always emphasizing femininity and Caribbean elegance.

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RACQUEL SMITH

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Meet RACQUEL SMITH….Described as a fierce, feisty and flirty Jamaican, The straight-talking Racquel is also a comedienne, of sorts. She delights in making other people happy with her pleasant personality. But, she is also quick to point out that she does not mince words when she is cross.

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In 10 years, Racquel hopes to have achieved major success in fashion as well as open her own cosmetology store. “Fashion is my life but cosmetology will always be my first love. I want to use the money I make from modelling to start my own business.”

Racquel Smith

Racquel is in the top 12 contestants of UK’s “The FACE” The leggy Smith, who hails from Portmore, St Catherine, is currently based in London. She is a product of the Caribbean Model Search organised by Jamaica’s fashion agency Pulse.

Smith has not only made the show’s final cut, but is paired with iconic British supermodel Naomi Campbell who will mentor and coach her through the show.

OUTSTANDING CARIBBEAN WOMEN – TM

 

Help us honor the strength and innovation of Caribbean Women! Discover their stories that inspire….

CAMILLE WARDROP ALLEYNE 

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Camille Wardrop Alleyne is a brilliant aerospace engineer whose accomplishments in that field have been extraordinary. In the highly technical fields of science and engineering where women are in the minority, she has achieved against all odds, being one of a few women of color and the only woman of Caribbean descent in a senior management position at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The recipient of several recognition awards from NASA, she has played a lead role in the design and development of space vehicles, among them the state-of-the-art Orion crew exploration vehicle. She has also received commendations from the US Department of Defense for her work on its ballistic missile defense system.

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Based at the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, USA, Ms Alleyne is the Assistant Program Scientist for the International Space Station (ISS), which is NASA’s only human space flight program since the closing of the Space Shuttle program. She is responsible for communicating the scientific and technological accomplishments of the ISS and the benefits to life on Earth to the top leadership at NASA, the US Congress, the general public, and scientific, research and educational communities. She also leads an international education task group, which identifies ISS educational activities that can inspire students and attract them to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

Prior to this, Ms Alleyne worked on the Orion project with a team of engineers designing and building the next generation of crew exploration vehicles to replace the current fleet. This new vehicle will have the capability to transport astronauts to destinations beyond Low Earth Orbit such as the moon, asteroids and potentially, Mars. As Manager, Test and Verification, she was responsible for ensuring that the Orion crew and service modules were tested and certified to meet their functional and performance requirements. She was also part of the team that worked on design issues for the crew exploration vehicle cockpit and the integration of the crew module system and subsystems.

Ms Alleyne started her career at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida, where she operated and tested the equipment responsible for ensuring ideal environmental conditions for astronauts and cargo in the Space Shuttle. She then took on a lead role in the Constellation Program, managing its architecture requirements and leading the integration of its various engineering systems.

Before joining NASA, she was an aerospace systems engineer with the US Missile Defense Agency and the Department of Defense, where she led analysis and integration of several ballistic missile defense projects. They included the Ground-Based Mid-course Interceptor and Aegis Weapon System. She also co-led the planning and execution of the US Navy’s test that marked the first time an AEGIS ship or any mobile platform tracked a boosting Intercontinental Ballistic Missile into outer space.

Camille Wardrop Alleyne

Camille Wardrop Alleyne was born on 12th October, 1966 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. She grew up with an innate curiosity about the wonders of space and the workings of airplanes. Her parents nurtured these interests by encouraging her to take things apart and reassemble them. As a child, she would sit on the trunk of her dad’s car, star-gazing and thinking about outer space and how she could get there. Camille attended Mucurapo Girls’ RC School in Trinidad, St. Francois Girls’ College, Trinidad, Howard University, BSc in Mechanical Engineering, Florida A&M University, MSc in Mechanical Engineering (Specialization in Composite Materials), University of Maryland, MSc in Aerospace Engineering (Specialization in Hyper-sonic Aerodynamics and Propulsion).

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Dr. FRANCES LOUISE CHANDLER, OBE.

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Senator Dr Frances Louise Chandler is Barbados’ first female agronomist, and the first agronomist to serve as Independent Senator. She chose to become an agronomist because she recognized the importance of improving food production and increasing food security in her country.

Dr. Frances attended the Codrington High School and Queen’s college and studied for a degree in Agriculture at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad.  She later completed a PHD in Crop Science.

She was born on 16th December, 1946 in St Phillip, Barbados. Her father started as a welder in a sugar factory before he was promoted to sugar factory manager. She lived in an area surrounded by cane fields and attended a small primary school in the countryside. For her Advanced Level examinations, she and another student undertook a detailed study of the cultivation of a sugar cane field, recording all operations from planting through to harvesting. It looked at the growth of the crop as well as the weed flora, and her overall examination results won her a national scholarship.

Dr Chandler worked at the Ministry of Agriculture and also the Caribbean Agricultural, Research and Development Institute (CARDI) for almost three decades. She did extensive research on onions to expand the growing season, by selecting a high yielding, disease-tolerant variety with a long shelf life. She also did considerable work on various root, fruit and vegetable crops like yams, melons, lettuce, ochroes and sweet peppers.

frances chandlerSenator Dr Frances Chandler, honored for service to agriculture was presented with the Order Of The British Empire (OBE) insignia.

Dr. Chandler is known for her work on the production, handling and packaging of fresh produce in Barbados for international markets.
In 1997, she started her own consulting business, Horticultural Business Solutions Inc. She uses her extensive experience to increase the efficiency of individual growers and companies involved in food production, marketing and distribution.

She credits her parents’ good examples of discipline, industry and a good work ethic for her success. She assures students that pursuing careers in science and technology is rewarding. It inculcates discipline, practicality and logical thinking, which are useful in every facet of life.

Dr. Chandler was awarded the Queen’s College Association Award in 1985 and a gold medal from the Food and Agricultural Association (FAO) in 1984.  She also received the Barbados Agriculture Society Award in 1984 and was the first woman to be awarded the Inter American Agricultural Award for Young professionals for the Antilles.

 

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DAME OLGA LOPES-SEALEDame Olga Seale

Dame Olga Lopes Seale, affectionately known as ‘Auntie Olga’ was a radio broadcaster who used her profession to help children in Guyana and Barbados.

Born in Guyana in December, 1918, she married a Barbadian, Dick Seale in 1939, and came to Barbados with her then young family in 1963.

She was the first woman broadcaster in Guyana where she worked for ‘Radio Demerara’ and it was there that her charity worked began.  She founded the ‘Needy Children’s Fund first’ in Guyana and acquired the nick name “Auntie Olga”.

After settling in Barbados, Lope-Seale would join the then Barbados Rediffusion Services Limited  now known as Starcom  Network and she continued with helping children through her profession and community work.

She started the Needy Children’s Fund in Barbados and has helped thousands of children throughout the island and this resulted in her being awarded the ‘Member of the Order of the British Empire’ (MBE) in 1981 by the Government of Barbados and in 2005, she was made a ‘Dame of St. Andrew’.

Olga Seale

Perhaps the most notable part of Auntie Olga’s charitable work was the attention she gave to each child.  She visited children in their home environment, assessing their needs and the ways she could help improve their lives and she delivered hampers, food vouchers and clothing vouchers to them.

 Lopes-Seale also focused on the education of children making it possible for many to attend school and she also tried to make them feel special and important as individuals.  She held a Christmas party for the children every year and gave birthday gifts to many.

She garnered support from companies to donate funds and she got local organisations to collaborate on projects and communities to get behind her immensely successful fundraising events.

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Lopes-Seale Dame Olga "Auntie "

 Over time the Fund in Barbados developed to enfold not only needy children, but also mentally and physically disabled kids and the elderly.  It raised money for expensive medical operations and equipment that would help children to lead more normal lives. Her work with the elderly involved visiting them in their homes, supplying spectacles and again, wheelchairs, clothing and gifts. She wanted everyone to feel equal and included – testament to a big heart and a tremendous will to fight for others.

Lopes-Seale died in Barbados in 2011 at the age of 92.

 

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 Dr. SHIRIN HAQUE

DR. HAQUE

“I will never forget flying in a helicopter over the volcano in Montserrat, filming for a documentary with the stench of sulfurous gases stinging our nostrils! Nor can I forget being told that I would never get any grants for Astronomy in the Caribbean, or be able to get a job here in this area. Not getting into Engineering as an undergraduate was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have always seen failure as navigating a person to the future they really belong to and where their major contributions are likely to be. At the University of Virginia, working toward my PhD in Astronomy, I realized that there were thousands in the developed world doing what I could do. In the Caribbean, I could make a difference. Ten years later, this has turned out to be true.”  Dr. Shirin Haque

 Dr Shirin Haque is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and she has a passion for learning and teaching and this led her to taking up the post as head of the Department of Physics at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine and she is the first woman to do so.

Born on 1st December, 1964 in Patna, India, she came to Trinidad with her parents at age 7 when her father, a plant virologist, was offered a position at UWI.   She attended the St Joseph TML School and the St. Augustine Girls’ High School in Trinidad before studying for a Bachelor of Science in Physics at the University of the West Indies.

​Her love for physics led her to completing a Mphil in Physics (Astronomy and a PhD in Physics (Astronomy) in association with the University of Virginia.

 Dr. Haque’s  distinguish academic achievements earned her the UWI Guardian Life Premium Teaching Award in 2002, the Distinguished Teacher Award from the Association of Atlantic Universities in 2004 and the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005.

 She is the co-founder of the Caribbean Institute of Astronomy (CARINA) and the Society for Physics Advancement Research and Collaboration (SPARC). She started an observational astronomy program at St Augustine, in collaboration with the University of Turku in Finland, and its success brought international attention to UWI.

 A strong believer in the importance of education, Dr Haque has distinguished herself as a dynamic student-centred instructor and an outstanding role model, especially to young women. She was the first in the department to make her courses available online, and has introduced a new course in astronomy for non-science majors. She also conducts astronomy workshops for teachers, provides career guidance to secondary students, and gives public lectures in astronomy. She was the co-chair of the International School for Young Astronomers (ISYA) held in Trinidad in 2009, with participants from 17 countries.

 She is also working with universities in the USA, Canada and Finland on an astro biology study of the Pitch Lake and mud volcanoes in Trinidad. Astrobiology is the interdisciplinary study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe. It encompasses the search for habitable environments. The local sites under study by Dr Haque’s team have an extreme environment for harboring life since, at the subsurface, there is no light or nutrition as we know it. The findings can provide insights into how life began and whether it can exist on planets with similar conditions. The study has generated much interest and has been featured by the BBC and Discovery Channel.

 Science popularization is Dr. Haque’s forte with over 40 public lectures and numerous local and foreign popular science articles and television appearances. SUNY, Stony Brook dedicated a web page to her demo in Physics.

Dr Haque speaks and writes in the media on topics in astronomy, and has produced two science documentaries for television, “Adventures in Discovery” and “All is Number”, with a third underway entitled, “Losing Paradise”.

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 She also completed a MPhil in psychology, using wave technology and mathematical concepts to model psychological phenomena, e.g. how the impact of life events decays with time.

​Dr Haque enjoys popular science writing, photography, long drives with music, and quilt making. She collects Kelly dolls, and loves cooking and spending time with her two daughters.

 She fondly remembers as a young child looking at the moon with a pair of binoculars and being blown away by its beauty and today she advises young students to keep their  childlike curiosity.  “There is so much in the natural world just waiting to be discovered. Never lose your childlike curiosity and fascination with things.”

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HER EXCELLENCY Dr. MARION WILLIAMS, PhD.

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Dr. Marion Williams served as Governor of the Central Bank of Barbados from 1999 to 2009. She has worked in the area of economics and finance for most of her working life.  She holds a PhD. from the University of Surrey and a Masters Degree in Economics from the University of the West Indies.  She is a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers (FCIB) of the U.K., and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).  Dr. Williams was the first President and a founding member of the Barbados Institute of Banking and Finance.  She is a former Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC) and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Center for Monetary Studies (CCMS).  In 2006 Dr. Williams was the recipient of the Award of Honorary Fellow of the Caribbean Association of Banking and Financial Institutes (CABFI).  She received a national honor of Gold Crown of Merit by the Government of Barbados in 2006.

She has represented the Bank at several meetings and conferences, both regionally and internationally; has published articles in local, regional and international journals, and has served on many advisory boards and committees.  She is the author of three books “Liberalizing a Regulated Banking System: The Caribbean Case”, published by Avebury, “Managing Public Finances in a Small Developing Economy – The Case of Barbados”, published by Praeger, and “Strategic Re-positioning   A Caribbean Perspective on Economic Policy Making”, published by the Central Bank of Barbados.

Dr. Williams is currently the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Barbados at Geneva.

Ambassador WilliamsAmbassador Williams and husband Mr. Clyde Williams

SENATOR, KERRYANN IFILL

SENATOR KERRYANN

“Full of firsts”: Senator Kerryann Ifill has created history in Barbados by becoming the first woman, first disabled person and the youngest person at the age of 38 to be elected to this role.

A graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and postgraduate student of Durham Business School, Senator Ifill began losing her sight at the age of four. This exceptional lady was the first blind person to complete her course of study and within three years, to honor a promise she made to herself.

She has never let blindness affect her life.  “I look at life this way – you do what you are supposed to do and you do it the best way you can. If you happen to be blind, well, just find a way to do it. With being blind, I do not waste time complaining over my being blind… Blindness is a part of me. That is like saying, today I won’t be a woman. You are a woman all of the time. Yes, we have challenges to overcome as women but that does not mean that we have to stop being who we are. We are women, I am blind. That is part of it, so I do what I have to do,” is her pragmatic perspective.

Her life has been one of determination and dedication to excellence. She has pursued her career goals while working full time at the Barbados Council for the Disabled. Senator Ifill would like to see the Ratification of the Convention of the Rights for Persons with Disabilities come to fruition in Barbados. According to Kerryann – as she likes to be called –  there must be more employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  “People with disabilities are citizens, we are entitled to the rights like all citizens; one of those rights is the right to work and the right to contribute. We don’t have to be service recipients. We can be service providers as well. 

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NAOMIE MELANIE HARRIS

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Naomie Melanie Harris (born 6 September 1976) is a British-born actress. She is best known for her starring role as Selena in 28 Days Later, her supporting turn as Tia Dalma/Calypsoian the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films, and as Eve Moneypenny in the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall.

Harris was born and brought up in London, and educated there at St Marylebone School. Her mother, Lisselle Kayla, is originally from Jamaica, and her father Winston is from Trinidad. They separated when she was a child, and she was raised by her mother. Her mother worked as a screenwriter on EastEnders. After graduating in 1998 from Pembroke College,Cambridge, with a degree in Social and Political Sciences, Harris trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Harris has appeared in television and film since she was nine, including a stint on the remake of the science fiction series The Tomorrow People. She became internationally well known in 2002 with her lead performance in Danny Boyle’s post-apocalyptic film 28 Days Later, opposite Cillian Murphy, In the same year, she starred in the television adaptation of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth.

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Since then, Harris has been cast in supporting roles in big budget films, such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s ChestPirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Michael Mann’s Miami Vice. She also did a comic turn in Michael Winterbottom’s well-regarded indie ensemble piece, A Cock and Bull Story, and appeared with Josh Hartnett in the 2008 release of August. She starred in Channel 4’s adaptation of the novel Poppy Shakespeare, which was first shown on 31 March 2008. She also appeared in BBC’s historical drama Small Island in December 2009.

She played Elizabeth Lavenza in Danny Boyle’s stage production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for the National Theatre from 22 February to 2 May 2011. She plays the lead role in The First Grader, directed by Justin Chadwick, which premiered on 18 May 2011 in the Seattle International Film Festival.

Harris co-starred in the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, playing Eve Moneypenny. She is the first black actress to play Moneypenny. In 2012, Harris was the voiceover for the Boss Nuit Pour Femme advert starring actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

Harris will portray Winnie Mandela in the upcoming biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, based on the book of the same name, opposite actor Idris Elba. The film will be released on 29 November 2013.

Naomie+Harris+Skyfall+Madrid+Photocall+uYY4UFlpfyAxNAOMIE MELANIE HARRIS

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