Now that the entertainment industry has fully regaled their most achieving talents by presenting film and music trophies during the Academy and Grammy Awards, distinguished Caribbean citizens are set to receive Pinnacle Pathfinder, Chancellor's, Luminary, Pelican and Legacy Awards.
Slated for Feb. 27, the 22nd annual and probably most anticipated Caribbean, black tie gala awards event closes out Black History and Reggae Month at the Pierre Hotel with honors and a principal purpose of boosting scholarship donations to worthy students seeking admission to the University of the West Indies.
Malcolm D. Lee
Dr. Hubert Alexander Minnis
American film director, writer and producer, Malcolm D. Lee; Dr. the Hon. Hubert Alexander Minnis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas; Hon. Sherice Cartwright Robinson, Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands; Jamaican Hotelier, Kevin Hendrickson and Banker Anya Schnoor, are the recipients of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) 2019 awards. The two heads of state are alumni of The UWI.
The awards will to be presented at the AFUWI 22nd Annual Legacy Awards Gala at the Pierre Hotel, New York on February 27, 2019, where Her Excellency Pennelope Beckles, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago to the United Nations and President of UN Women will receive the University of the West Indies Alumni Association (UWIAA) Pelican Award. This award is presented by the Association to graduates of The UWI who have excelled in their chosen fields and have made significant national, regional or international impact.
The AFUWI, a registered US Charity, annually hosts the Legacy Awards Gala and other events in New York, raising funds for scholarships to The UWI. Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles will present the five AFUWI awards.
Malcolm D. Lee will receive the Pinnacle Pathfinder Award. He has been making films since age 12 in animation, video and super-8 film formats. Since age 17, he has worked as a production assistant, apprentice film editor, casting associate assistant director and director's assistant.
A graduate of Georgetown University with a BA in English and Fine Arts minor, he completed a Fellowship in screen writing from Walt Disney Studios before honing his craft at New York University's Tisch School of Fine Arts.
He directed the action comedy UNDERCOVER BROTHER (with Eddie Griffin, Dave Chappelle and Neil Patrick Harris); WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS (with Martin Lawrence) and SOUL MEN (with Samuel L. Jackson & Bernie Mac); BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT (Ice-Cube, Cedric The Entertainer, Nicki Minaj); GIRLS TRIP (Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Tiffany Haddish).
In November of 2013 (a banner year for African American films) Lee released the sequel to his first film. The Best Man Holiday grossed $30.5 Million in its opening weekend alone pleasing audiences and shocking the industry with a game-changing debut. Another installment of The Best Man franchise is in the works.
In September of 2018, Lee teamed up with Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish for the comedy, NIGHT SCHOOL which grossed over $100M worldwide, and is now in the process of developing film and television projects for NBCUniversal and Universal Pictures.
Receiving one of two Legacy Awards will be Dr. the Hon. Hubert Alexander Minnis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas who obtained the MBBs degree in Medicine from The UWI in 1980 and in 1985 completed specialized studies in Jamaica in obstetrics and gynaecology. He is a member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. A former Minister of Health and Leader of the Opposition, he was elected Prime Minister of the Bahamas in 2017.
The Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, the other Legacy Award recipient, is the first female Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands. A graduate of The UWI with a LLb., she previously operated the law firm Cartwright and Co., and worked as a law tutor at the TCI Community College. She is the first female to have served her party as Vice Chairman, Secretary General, National Chairman, Deputy Leader and now Leader and she led her People's Democratic Movement to victory in the 2016 general elections, beating 52 other candidates for the premiership.
The AFUWI 2019 Chancellor's Award of Excellence in Business Leadership will be presented to Kevin Hendrickson who owns and operates several businesses in Jamaica. He is currently guiding a massive multibillion dollar redevelopment and integration of his hotel holdings on Knutsford Boulevard – the former Wyndham Hotel; the Courtleigh Hotel & Suites and the Jamaica Pegasus. He also owns and operates three bakeries- Dr. Lushus in Old Harbour; Yummy in Kingston and Holsum in Manchester and Kingston's Courtleigh Corporate Centre.
Receiving the Caribbean Luminary Award will be Anya Schnoor, Executive Vice President, Retail Products for Canadian Banking at Scotiabank since November 2017. In this role, she and her team are responsible for designing and delivering financial solutions that drive growth through Scotiabank's Canadian branch network call centres and digital. She previously served as Senior Vice President, Investment and Wealth, International Banking, based in Jamaica; Senior VP and Managing Director Trinidad & Tobago International Banking and Senior VP and Head Caribbean South & East, International Banking, with responsibility for the bank's business across 12 countries in the Caribbean.
The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and the State University of New York (SUNY) recently joined hands and hearts in a charitable initiative to rebuild a pre-school in hurricane ravaged Dominica. The project is being spearheaded by the SUNY UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development. It is the first initiative of this type undertaken by the Centre, reflecting the work which so closely aligns with its goal of facilitating student advocacy toward sustainable development in the region.
Fourteen students; seven from The UWI and seven from SUNY – New Paltz and a faculty member from each institution recently travelled to the island of Dominica to begin work, rebuilding the Morne Prosper Pre-School and restoring the attached Primary School from January 07 through 19. The rebuilding work is being managed by the non-profit organisation, All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response which provides immediate and long-term assistance to communities affected by natural disasters. At the center of the NGO's approach to rebuilding are notably sustainable 'build back better' techniques which ensure homes, schools and other community infrastructure are resistant against future hurricanes and earthquakes and can also serve as evacuation shelters in emergencies. Funding for the project, including the students' travel was supported by a donation of US $3,000.00 from the New York Chapter of the Jamaica Ex-Soldiers Association through the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) as well as from a number of corporate entities in Trinidad and Tobago.
Commenting on the project Dr Luz Longsworth, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Open Campus and Co-Chair of the SUNY UWI Centre for Leadership and Sustainable Development said "When we launched the SUNY UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development in 2016, one of our stated goals was to encourage and facilitate student advocacy. We were so pleased to see the buy-in from our students; they paid their own way to and from Dominica in an economic climate that is very challenging. At The UWI this says to us 'service to the region' is not just rhetoric but is a living, breathing aspect of our culture that is permeating one of our largest stakeholder groups – our students. We are also positive that the choice to partner with All Hands and Hearts was definitely the right one given their sustainable approach to disaster relief which is in keeping with our values at the Center."
Other project leaders, Ms Sally Crimmins Villela – Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs, SUNY and Dr Robert Balkin – Director of Latin America and Caribbean Collaboration, SUNY have also expressed satisfaction with the level of student participation from the students.
The SUNY UWI Center for Leadership and Development was formally established in September 2016 with the aim of contributing to the pool of innovative solutions to specific problems that constrain the achievement of the United Nation's sustainable development goals. One year later in September 2017, the island of Dominica was devastated by Hurricane Maria which damaged 90% of its structures. This presented an opportunity for The SUNY UWI Center to deliver the kind of support it was set up to provide.
The headline of the story published in the Jamaica Gleaner Newspaper dated November 25, 2018 addressing the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow's admission that 200 pounds in fees, endowment and grants were received from Caribbean slave-owners, and attributing reference to an "agreement" with the Vice-Chancellor of The UWI to repay the said sum was inaccurate.
While the quoted content of the story is correct the headline that suggests an agreement to pay 200 pounds to The UWI is not. The universities are working through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) built upon the principle of "reparatory justice", but there is no "agreement" about the repayment of 200 pounds to The UWI.
In good faith the two universities, ever since the Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow indicated that his university seeks to be excellent and ethical, have had excellent conversations about how Glasgow can contribute to cleaning up the colonial legacies of slavery that are holding back the region, and have a working team on the project.
About Professor Sir Hilary Beckles:
Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, an Economic Historian, was installed as the 8th Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) on May 30, 2015. Before assuming the office of Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Sir Hilary was Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University's Cave Hill Campus in Barbados for 13 years (2002-2015). Sir Hilary is a distinguished university administrator, and transformational leader in higher education. For his complete biography, visit: http://www.uwi.edu/VCBiography.asp.
The following editorial on the passing of Kofi Annan—Ghanaian diplomat and seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations—is issued by the Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. Mr. Annan was conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by The UWI, Mona in 1998.
Africa's long tradition of producing a timely philosopher prince remained in place despite Europe's modern global holocaust against its people. The capacity to reason as if above the canopy of chaos, while feet remained rooted in the turbulent turf has remained a legacy. A mantle of Mandela's humanist mission fell onto the gifted Ghanaian son, Kofi [born on a Friday], who rose to become the continent's first black Prince of the United Nations in 1997 before returning to ancestors on Saturday, August 18, 2018.
The UWI, an academy he respected, conferred on him an honorary doctorate in special convocation in 1998, two days before his 60th birthday. Claiming and naming him a UWI man, Professor Baugh, the Mona's campus orator of excellence, framed him as the Asante from Kumasi who crossed the Atlantic with an African agenda to address its middle passage, evil deeds and to heal the world's deepest wound.
While it has been said that he ruled 'best for the West', it cannot be claimed that he did not remain embedded within the intellectual power of the African cosmology and sensibility that captured the global imagination, dedicated as it was to the peace and reconciliation that sought to uproot the rue as recognised and reasoned by Bishop Tutu.
To this end, he took the United Nations in 2001 to Durban, South Africa, for a global reasoning in the form of a conference on race, xenophobia and other related intolerances. With Thabo Mbeki in the presidency and Nelson Mandela in diplomatic retreat, Kofi fought to convince the world that this was its moment to rise, as if from a baptismal cleansing. He believed it to be the 'Mandela moment', and that the international community could be convinced to embrace a new, even if surreal, appetite for tolerance with justice.
The dapper diplomat went to work knowing full well that the test of his talent would be on display. Blood was running in Rwanda and the West was preparing to end traditional leadership in Libya. He stood as a lonely man, seeking to save the world from itself, to extract the toxins of colonial legacies, and to bring an imagined biblical peace to the Middle East. Every land with an angst that wished for relief from pain and grief called for Annan. Peace was his passion. But he knew the limits of the letter and positioned his person at the centre of the stage to be settled. This was the signature of his commitment. Where he did not succeed he had tried hardest.
The Durban discourse was dying at the outset. The USA pulled out citing the need to protect Israel from unfounded allegations. Yasser Arafat was unmoved. The EU threatened to pull out feeling shame and guilt for its committed crimes against humanity within colonial empires. There was to be neither dialogue nor diplomacy on reparations.
Kofi stepped in. Compromises were struck. The conference proceeded. Delegates proceeded to give the world what it needed. The approved resolution stated that slavery, slave trading, and colonialism were crimes against humanity. Annan secured for Africa's global diasporas what was long pursued. From then it has been said that reparatory justice for these crimes will constitute the greatest global political movement of the 21st century.
Diplomacy, the master craftsman once said, "is the art of enabling the other side to celebrate your victory as their own". The subtlety of success is today rarely celebrated. We will now be living in the post Annan diplomatic world that in many places, rejects the decency of diplomatic dialogue. Annan was the 'light as a feather' African sage, a universal peace soldier, and a UWI, Caribbean supporter. And so, as we hear the distant drum, we say unto him, rest, rise, turn and come again.
After two years of intense effort and strategic interventions, on July 18, 2018, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) received news from The Times Higher Education (THE) that the University has been ranked 37th among the best 129 universities in its 2018 Times Higher Education Latin America University Rankings.
The UK-based company behind the world’s most influential university ranking judges world-class universities based riggorous criteria which include performance indicators grouped into five areas: teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation); citations (research influence); international outlook (staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer).
According to Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, “The UWI has been preparing itself for its first official hemispheric ranking since launching its current Triple A Strategy (Strategic Plan 2017-2022), entitled Revitalizing Caribbean Development.” During a June 2018 interview with the Times Higher Education and THE World University Rankings in London, Vice-Chancellor, Sir Hilary Beckles discussed the sustainability of The UWI’s commitment to excellence, particularly with reference to the security of funding obligations expected of regional governments and the growing involvement of the regional private sector. The conversation followed high-level professional conceptual and technical preparatory work with the THE team conducted by The UWI Pro Vice-Chancellors Densil Williams [Planning and Strategy] and Richard Bernal [Global Affairs].
Commenting on the University’s performance in the ranking scheme, Vice-Chancellor Beckles noted, “Entering officially into the rankings for the first time required tremendous mobilisation of resolve and resources. While we are very pleased with our entry ranking, alongside the largest, wealthiest universities, private and public, in the biggest countries, we recognise that we cannot rest on our laurels, not even for ten minutes, until we have reached top ten status in the next ten years.” He added, “We know what we have to do and our team is getting on with it.”
This news of the regional ranking comes as The UWI celebrates its 70th anniversary and the University now has its sights set on the results of the global university ranking to be released in September 2018 in Singapore. “Radically enhancing the international reputation and status of The UWI is our ultimate target. To this end, we have embarked on an aggressive global strategy,” said Vice-Chancellor Beckles.
In recent years, The UWI has established centres in Suzhou [China], New York [USA], and Lagos [Nigeria] with others being discussed for Canada, the European Union, Latin America, and the UK. As a result the University is positioned as one of the most globally engaged universities, a development that positively influenced this top third ranking in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Professor Dale Webber, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Studies and Research at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has been appointed Campus Principal of the Mona Campus in Jamaica. Pursuant to Statute 10, the appointment was approved by Chancellor Robert Bermudez, on behalf of the University Council, following a recommendation from Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. Professor Webber will succeed Professor Archibald McDonald as Principal of The UWI Mona Campus and his appointment takes effect from October 1, 2018.
Professor Dale Webber has had a distinguished career in Coastal Ecology and Environmental Management and a strong and consistent record of teaching, graduate supervision, administration and research excellence which spans 30 years of service with The UWI.
He joined The UWI in 1989 as Warden of Taylor Hall (of residence) at the Mona Campus. In 1991, he moved to become Lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences, was promoted in 2003 to a Senior Lecturer and then to the rank of Professor in 2010. Between 2003 and 2007, Professor Webber served as Head of the Department of Life Sciences. From 1992 to 2001, he was the Assistant Director for the Centre for Marine Sciences at Mona, and returned as Director from 2005 to 2015, and held the Grace Kennedy's James Moss-Solomon Snr. Chair in Environmental Management from 2010 to 2015. In 2015, Professor Webber was appointed Pro Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies. His portfolio expanded to Graduate Studies and Research in 2016 when the Graduate Studies and Research portfolios merged.
As Pro Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Studies and Research, Professor Webber has mobilised staff and students across all four campuses to develop eight multi-campus research clusters. This has resulted in four successful international grant applications, as well as a US$25 million research monitoring Memorandum of Understanding between the University and the Government of Montserrat. He has also secured the establishment of posts of Directors of Graduate Studies and Research at the Cave Hill, Mona and St Augustine campuses.
Professor Webber has an excellent record of public service, currently serving as Chairman, Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ) Board of Directors, Convener of the CAPE Environmental Sciences Panel for the Caribbean Examination Council, Chairman of CL Environmental Company and Chairman, The Climate Change Advisory Board of Jamaica.
At the national level, his effective engagement with the private and public sector is well-known. Particularly, in the environmental private sector, Professor Webber led the transformation and operation of the EFJ, as the largest environmental grant/donor organisation in Jamaica, and as its Chairman, oversaw its successful merger with Forest Conservation Foundation (FCF).
As an academic and a researcher, Professor Webber has produced five book chapters and thirty-five publications in peer-reviewed journals. He has presented his research findings at conferences locally, regionally and internationally and has written over twenty technical reports for the governments of the Caribbean and attracted approximately US$2.5 million in research grants over the past 20 years. He has supervised 21 MSc, 27 MPhil and 14 PhD students to successful completion across a range of interests, from water quality and coastal ecology to oceanography, ecosystem modelling and the effectiveness of multilateral environmental agreements in environmental management.
The Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, University's executive management team and community extend congratulations to Campus Principal Designate, Professor Dale Webber on his appointment, and wish him every success in this new capacity of service to the regional institution.
The University also conveys its sincere gratitude to Professor Archibald McDonald for his distinguished leadership of the campus since 2013, and offers best wishes for his retirement.
AFUWI’s mission is to source and administer private donations, maximize philanthropic efforts and develop strategic alliances with American corporations, foundations, alumni and other organizations to develop programs and provide scholarships for needy students at UWI’s 4 campuses in 17 countries.
Equally impressive is the Foundation’s commitment to facilitating and implementing research-driven policy and activities; presenting public service programs and endeavours to promote the well-being of our citizens and ensuring The UWI is recognized for its unwavering commitment to furthering education around the globe and creating a legacy for future generations.
Without this Foundation many of our scholars would be forced to abandon their dreams of making an impact on their local communities. These extremely talented young men and women have spent most of their lives without a safety net. If often forced to choose between the harsh reality of meeting their most basic needs, and accessing higher education, survival will always take priority.
While we realize education is a pathway out of poverty, it is also one of the highest hurdles challenging the majority of our population. To narrow the educational achievement gap, AFUWI has embraced the agenda of the CARICOM leadership to ensure every household in the Caribbean has at least one person who has received higher education by the year 2030.
The Foundation has more recently intensified its focus on supporting the University's scholarship program because of the urgent and increasing demand for financial aid from many in the student population who are talented, ambitious and determined to break the cycle of poverty, but face severe economic hardships.
In addition, the Foundation also seeks to facilitate activities which will promote the wellbeing and strengthening of the West Indian society through community service, research programs and public service endeavors for the preservation/creation of a robust cultural and social legacy.
Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a fully-fledged, regional University with over 50,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with three physical campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus. The UWI serves 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, The British Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos.
The UWI’s faculty and students come from more than 40 countries and The University has collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation.
(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.) www.uwi.edu/index.asp
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