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.
Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles has said that the regional governments' funding to the institution should be viewed as an investment, not expenditure.
Addressing the Opening Session of the Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) for The UWI on March 6, 2018, at the University's Mona Campus Visitors' Lodge, Vice-Chancellor Beckles noted that The UWI which is this year celebrating its 70th anniversary, "has ticked every box possible to ensure we created a fine university."
Vice-Chancellor Beckles, addressing officials of the Ministries of Education and Finance across the region declared, "The UWI has its sleeves rolled up and is out there in the trenches pushing to get our national and regional economies up in the air." The number one priority for The UWI, he noted, "is to facilitate the process of economic growth, the attainment of which is frustrating our best efforts. Without at least 4% growth across CARICOM, and in Jamaica, our largest economy, sustaining social development will be a horrendous exercise."
To this end, he argued, governments must turn the corner in their policy thinking, "seeing the University as a site of investment that facilitates economic growth and not a place for oppressive expenditure. All the countries in the post-recession world that have achieved impressive rates of sustained economic growth," the Economic Historian said, "turned this corner and aligned their academic system with industry. This is where we are at the moment. We must succeed."
Noting that good leadership in government sectors and a supportive private sector across the region along with graduates who continue to distinguish themselves regionally and overseas, have contributed to The UWI's success, the Vice-Chancellor underscored that The UWI's Strategic Plan 2017-2022 focuses on a "Triple A" strategy of Access, Alignment and Agility and a more accessible and aligned UWI can lead the revitalization of Caribbean development.
The Meetings of the TACs in Jamaica reviewed the budgets for the biennium 2018-2020 for the four campuses, its Vice-Chancellery and the University Hospital of the West Indies, for recommendations to be made to the Grants Committees. The Grants Committees are then expected to review and approve the recommendations and advance them to the Annual Business Meeting of Council for final approval in April 2018.
The TACs Meetings are rotated annually across The UWI's 17 contributing countries. The Government of Jamaica last hosted the meeting in 2012.
Habte Selassie, host of Labbrish engages Ann-Marie Grant, executive director of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) on 21st Annual Awards Gala on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. The conversation aired live Saturday, February 17, 2018 on Pacifica Network Station WBAI, 99.5 FM, www.wbai.org #dproducerman
The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies has annually flaunted their commitment to helping the Caribbean institution of higher learning by hosting a gala fundraising affair.
This year, the effort comes of age with a stellar presentation slated for Feb. 22 at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan that in addition to soliciting donations to the University of the West Indies also honors half a dozen outstanding achievers.
Among the chosen is Grenada-born publicist Yvette Noel-Schure.
Now a Jersey girl, the Spice Island native is slated to receive the Caribbean Luminary Award.
According to the organizers, the honor is bestowed on an individual of extraordinary merit and acclaim.
The words exemplary, excellent and leadership also exemplify a luminary. It is the summation that best describes outstanding achievement.has maintained a synergy with Beyonce that continues and has diversified to include BeyGood, the initiative founded by the pop icon in 2013 to create a program with partners to positively affect people all over the globe including a project in Haiti.
Perhaps, it is the reason Noel Schure will be presented with AFUWI's prestigious honor.
A worthy cultural ambassador from the island, she is founder and executive vice president of Schure Media Group, a company which represents Beyonce, Tina Knowles Lawson, LeAnn Rimes, Jussie Smollett and late night television host Robin Thede and others.
The self-starter realized her niche soon after graduating from the City College of New York. Confident in her pursuit to work in media she first honed her skills as a journalist working for a newspaper wire service. At warp speed, she branched out to report, write and edit Black Beat Magazine, a publication at the time revered for its cutting edge biographical features spotlighting new and upcoming entertainment talent.
A must-have fanzine for teens and tweens, the publication won acclaim for presenting candid and personal articles on hip-hop and rhythm and blues recorders.
Alluring as the position seemed, Noel-Schure was whisked away from her editorial hamlet when Columbia Records enticed her with a directorial position in their publicity division. The young, ambitious, immigrant leaped at the offer and as her very, first project she was tasked with launching the career of Mariah Carey.
Along with that daunting prospect, Noel-Schure found herself immersed in the publicity campaigns for Johnny Mathis, Nancy Wilson, reggae talents Super Cat, Diana King, Tony Rebel, Wailing Souls and "Cool Runnings," the soundtrack to the movie about the first Jamaican men's bobsled team to qualify for the winter Olympics.
Soon after, her roster expanded to encompass all the genre of artists signed to the record label — pop, gospel and jazz among them.
By the time the company evolved from being the recording arm of the Columbia Broadcasting Service (CBS) to ownership by SONY Music, Noel-Schure's position had been upped to vice president of publicity.
In that position, The Fugees, Kenny Lattimore, John Legend and Destinys Child became priorities to promote and command her media attention. Working with newspaper and magazine editors she honed formidable relationships and alliances that did not go unnoticed by her superiors.
Before long, her title changed to senior VP of media at Columbia Records / Sony Music and for 17 years she played a major role in the careers of an illustrious roster of diverse artists.
After those many years, the Grenadian media mover stepped away from her corporate coziness to venture independently launching Schure Media Group with her husband David.
Her principal account was SONY's dream trio, Destinys Child.
She added "Britain's Got Talent's" singing sensation Susan Boyle to her stable and was acknowledged by Billboard Magazine as one of the music industry's "Six Topline Publicists."
Throughout her storied career, Noel-Schure has maintained a synergy with Beyonce that continues and has diversified to include BeyGood, the initiative founded by the pop icon in 2013 to create a program with partners to positively affect people all over the globe including a project in Haiti.
Recently returned from visiting Grenada and New Zealand, the celebrity publicist is part of a team working closely with UNICEF to aid the water crisis in Burundi, East Africa and has sponsored students attending the T.A. Marryshow Community College in Grenada.
Five other accomplished individuals will also be lauded during the 21st annual gala. Recipients of awards will include — Patrick Hylton, the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Business Leadership; CCH Pounder, Guyanese American actress, will receive the distinguished Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley Award; Marlon James, will receive "The Pinnacle Literary Award and — The Pelican Award" reserved for UWI alumni; Angela Yee — the Vice Chancellor's Achievement Award and June Ambrose will be presented with the "Women in Business Award."
American Foundation for the University of the West Indies 2018 Awards for Patrick Hylton, CCH Pounder, Marlon James, Angela Yee, June Ambrose and Yvette Noel-Schure.
Kingston, Jamaica, January 29, 2018: Six accomplished professionals all with Caribbean roots, are to receive awards from the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) at the 21st Annual Awards Gala in New York on Thursday, February 22, 2018.
The event, an annual "must do" for captains of the diaspora and their counterparts and colleagues in North America and the Caribbean, which will be held at the prestigious Pierre Hotel in Manhattan, will also feature a special tribute to the Late Dr. Lowell Hawthorne, CD, LLD, (UWI) former President & CEO, Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill and former Chairman, AFUWI Board of Directors.
Among the 2018 AFUWI awardees will be Patrick Hylton, CD, President & Group CEO of the NCB Financial Group which under his leadership has become the largest and most profitable financial institution in Jamaica and the seventh most profitable in the English and Spanish speaking Caribbean. Mr. Hylton will receive the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Business Leadership.
CCH Pounder, Guyanese American actress, will receive the distinguished Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley Award. Previous awardees include Danny Glover and Judith Jamison. Ms. Pounder has appeared in numerous TV series including ER, The Shield, Warehouse 13, Sons of Anarchy and in such films as Avatar and her breakout role in Bagdad Café. She currently portrays medical examiner "Dr. Loretta Wade" on the series, NCIS: New Orleans. Ms. Pounder has been nominated for a Grammy® Award and four Emmy® awards. An advocate for the arts, Ms. Pounder also serves on the Board of the African Millennium Foundation and was a founding member of Artists for a New South Africa.
Jamaica-born Prof. Marlon James who in 2015 won the Man Booker Prize – the first Jamaican author to win the United Kingdom's most prestigious literary award - will receive "The Pinnacle Literary Award and – The Pelican Award" reserved for UWI alumni. The holder of a degree in language and literature from The UWI and a Masters in creative writing from Wilkes University, Pennsylvania, USA, he teaches English and creative writing at Macalester University and continues to amass literary awards.
Designer and Celebrity Stylist, June Ambrose who was born in Antigua & Barbuda, will receive the AFUWI "Women in Business Award". Credited with creating the iconic images in hip hop for notables like Missy Elliott, P. Diddy ,Mase, and Jay Z, Ambrose's client list also includes Zoe Saldana, Mariah Carey, Kerry Washington, Ciara, Kelly Ripa, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys and many others. She has worked with Selima Optique on two lines of sunglasses and launched a signature line of footwear for HSN. She has also appeared on XFactor USA as a style expert, and on the VH1 Reality Show, "Styled by June".
Stepping up to receive the Vice Chancellor's Achievement Award will be Brooklyn-born Angela Yee, Actress and Host of the award-winning nationally syndicated radio programme "The Breakfast Club" on Power 105.1. A recipient of several awards including a WEEN Mission Award and the "Shirley Chisolm Woman of Distinction" award, Yee donates a significant amount of her time to philanthropic efforts including "Coats for Kids" and "Dress for Success", the "Makeover Your MS Foundation" and "Children Making Strides Against Pediatric Cancer".
She created "Angela Yee's Book Club" in conjunction with Atria Books/Simon and Schuster to encourage her followers to read more and support authors with a story to tell. She appeared as herself in two episodes of "Empire" and hosted the limited run of State Farm's Color Full Lives" podcast.
The "Caribbean Luminary Award" will be presented at the AFUWI Gala to Yvette Noel- Schure, Founder and Executive Vice President, Schure Media Group. The Grenadian-born celebrity publicist is at the helm of the company which represents top acts like Beyonce, Tina Knowles Lawson, LeAnn Rimes, Jussie Smollett and late night host Robin Thede , among others.
A former Senior VP of media at Columbia Records/Sony Music for 17 years, she played a major role in the careers of a roster of diverse acts and was honoured by Billboard Magazine as one of the music industry's "Six Topline Publicists".
Ms. Noel-Schure works closely with BeyGood, the initiative founded by Beyonce in 2013 to create programmes with partners to positively affect people all over the globe including a project in Haiti. She is part of a team working closely with UNICEF to aid the water crisis in Burundi, East Africa and has sponsored students attending the T.A. Marryshow Community College in her native Grenada.
Now in its 21st year, the AFUWI Gala traditionally provides an average of 50 scholarships annually for students across The UWI's four campuses. It continues to attract the support and attention of a diverse range of American and Caribbean entities and organisations as well as influential persons who have graciously served on the Honorary Committee.
The Black Tie Gala begins with a reception at 6:00 pm, followed by the dinner programme and a dessert party from 7:00 pm and an after party at 9:30 pm hosted by Gala Chair, Doug E Fresh. Individual tickets start at $500 USD and must be reserved by/before February 18, 2018. Tickets for the After Party only are for $100 per person and offers a 2 hour full international open bar.
For further information, please contact Marcia Erskine via telephone at Tel: (876) 960-3170 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
A 501(c) (3) charitable organisation, the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) was established in 1956 to develop an endowment fund in the United States for The University of the West Indies (UWI). Today, its mission is to source and administer private donations, maximise philanthropic efforts, and develop strategic alliances with American corporations, foundations, alumni and other organisations, primarily to provide scholarships, support academic programmes and facilitate development projects at The UWI. The Foundation has more recently intensified its focus on supporting the University's scholarship programme 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 promote the well-being and strengthening of the West Indian society through community service, research programmes and public service endeavours for the preservation/creation of a robust cultural and social legacy
Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 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. Website: www.uwi.edu
(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the "The", hence The UWI.)
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