American Foundation for The University of the West Indies to Honour US Film Director, Malcolm Lee, Caribbean Heads of State, Entrepreneurs Kingston, Jamaica, February 6th, 2019


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.

UWI and SUNY students volunteer to rebuild Dominican Pre-school The UWI Vice-Chancellery, Jamaica, W.I. Wednesday, 09 January 2019

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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.

Statement from the Vice-Chancellor Regional Headquarters, Kingston, Jamaica, November 26, 2018 – The following statement is issued by the Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.
The UWI has no agreement with the University of Glasgow for reparation payments.


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:

Kofi Annan: Philosopher Prine Regional Headquarters, Kingston, Jamaica, Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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.

The UFI Top Ranking Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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 officially appointed to serve as next Principal of The UWI Mona Campus The UWI Vice-Chancellery, Jamaica, W.I. Friday, May 11, 2018

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.

See Funds to The UWI as investment not expenditure says UWI Vice-Chancellor News Release - March 16th, 2018

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 engages Ann-Marie Grant on AFUWI's 21st Annual Awards Gala By Dennis Kabatto

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, #dproducerman


AFUWI 2018 Honoree Patrick Hylton, CD, President & Group CEO of the NCB Financial Group receives the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Business Leadership.
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Grenadian Named AFUWI's Luminary Honoree February 14th 2018, By Vinette K. Pryce

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."

The University of the West Indies News Release - January 2018

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.

CCH Pounder
CCH Pounder

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.

Marlon James
Marlon James

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: [email protected]

Angela Yee


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.

AFUWI Mandate

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.

About The UWI

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.)


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