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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