Month: August 2020

JWOF accepting applications for “Powerful Women…Next Generation” Scholarship

first_imgKeynote Paula Williams Madison at the recent JWOF conference Applications are now being accepted for the Jamaican Women of Florida (JWOF) “Powerful Women…Next Generation” scholarship. The scholarship, renewable annually, is awarded to a first or second generation, Jamaican-American female high school student attending college in Fall 2017.  Valued at $1,250 yearly, the scholarship will encourage the recipient to achieve her four-year educational goal at a tertiary institution. Must be South Florida residentsIn order to meet the criteria for the scholarship opportunity, the candidate must be a resident of South Florida, and have a high school graduating 3.5 GPA, which must be maintained throughout the tenure of the scholarship.  Application must be submitted by Thursday, February 15, 2018.Commitment to be a volunteerAs part of the qualifying criteria, the candidate is required to demonstrate commitment as a volunteer in community projects by performing a minimum of forty hours per semester. In addition, the candidate must compose an essay (not more than two (2) pages, double-spaced), explaining why she should be awarded this scholarship.  The applicant’s study program should also include credits in International Studies and/or Women’s studies, if available.  The application material should include the following: (1) the essay, (2) list of volunteer/community projects and (3) school transcript.  These must be accompanied by candidate’s contact information (name/address/telephone/email address).  The information can be emailed to Jamaican Women of Florida (JWOF) at info@jamaicanwomenofflorida.com or mailed to P.O. Box 551677, Davie, FL 33355. Application must be received by Thursday, February 15, 2018. The Scholarship will be awarded at the fifth anniversary celebration of the JWOF organization which takes place at the Women’s Empowerment Conference and Scholarship Luncheon to be held on Saturday, April 8,  at the Jungle Island, Miami Beach.  Further details regarding the scholarship and anniversary celebration is available online www.JamaicanWomenOfFlorida.comlast_img read more

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Remembering John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon and ‘American hero’

first_img“I told him that I stood on his shoulders,” Obama wrote in a statement marking Lewis’s death. “When I was elected President of the United States, I hugged him on the inauguration stand before I was sworn in and told him I was only there because of the sacrifices he made.” A son of Alabama sharecroppers, the young Lewis first preached moral righteousness to his family’s chickens. His place in the vanguard of the 1960s campaign for Black equality had its roots in that hardscrabble Alabama farm. King swiftly returned to the scene with a multitude, and the march to Montgomery was made whole before the end of the month. Lewis was born on Feb. 21, 1940, outside Troy, in Alabama’s Pike County. He attended segregated public schools and was denied a library card because of his race, but he read books and newspapers avidly, and could rattle off obscure historical facts even in his later years. Lewis, who died Friday at age 80, was the youngest and last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists who organized the 1963 March on Washington, and spoke shortly before the group’s leader, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., gave his “I Have a Dream” speech to a vast sea of people. Searing TV images of that brutality helped to galvanize national opposition to racial oppression and embolden leaders in Washington to pass the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act five months later. “The American public had already seen so much of this sort of thing, countless images of beatings and dogs and cursing and hoses,” Lewis wrote in his memoirs. “But something about that day in Selma touched a nerve deeper than anything that had come before.” That bridge became a touchstone in Lewis’ life. He returned there often during his decades in Congress representing the Atlanta area, bringing lawmakers from both parties to see where “Bloody Sunday” went down. Lewis earned bipartisan respect in Washington, where some called him the “conscience of Congress.” His humble manner contrasted with the puffed chests on Capitol Hill. But as a liberal on the losing side of many issues, he lacked the influence he’d summoned at the segregated lunch counters of his youth, or later, within the Democratic Party, as a steadfast voice for the poor and disenfranchised. Lewis’ wife of four decades, Lillian Miles, died in 2012. They had one son, John Miles Lewis. President Jimmy Carter appointed Lewis to lead ACTION, a federal volunteer agency, in 1977. In 1981, he was elected to the Atlanta City Council, and then won a seat in Congress in 1986. Lewis was a 23-year-old firebrand, a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, when he joined King and four other civil rights leaders at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York to plan and announce the Washington demonstration. The others were Whitney Young of the National Urban League; A. Philip Randolph of the Negro American Labor Council; James L. Farmer Jr., of the interracial Congress of Racial Equality; and Roy Wilkins of the NAACP. Lewis announced in late December 2019 that he had been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer. Trump ordered flags at half-staff at the White House and all federal public buildings and grounds, including embassies abroad and all military posts and naval stations, throughout the day Saturday. center_img – AP “Saddened to hear the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his family,” Trump said via Twitter. “The sight of them rolling over us like human tanks was something that had never been seen before. People just couldn’t believe this was happening, not in America,” Lewis wrote. He was a teenager when he first heard King, then a young minister from Atlanta, preach on the radio. They met after Lewis wrote him seeking support to become the first Black student at his local college. He ultimately attended the American Baptist Theological Seminary and Fisk University instead, in Nashville, Tennessee. He was a guiding voice for a young Illinois senator who became the first Black president. After months of training in nonviolent protest, demonstrators led by Lewis and the Rev. Hosea Williams began a march of more than 50 miles from Selma to Alabama’s capitol in Montgomery. They didn’t get far: On March 7, 1965, a phalanx of police blocked their exit from the Selma bridge. Authorities swung truncheons, fired tear gas and charged on horseback, sending many to the hospital. The nation was horrified. Soon, the young man King nicknamed “the boy from Troy” was organizing sit-ins at whites-only lunch counters and volunteering as a Freedom Rider, enduring beatings and arrests while challenging segregation around the South. Lewis helped form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to organize this effort, led the group from 1963 to 1966 and kept pursuing civil rights work and voter registration drives for years thereafter. People paid great heed to John Lewis for much of his life in the civil rights movement. But at the very beginning — when he was just a kid wanting to be a minister someday — his audience didn’t care much for what he had to say. The casket of Rep. John Lewis moves over the Edmund Pettus Bridge by horse-drawn carriage during a memorial service for Lewis, Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Selma, Ala. Lewis, who carried the struggle against racial discrimination from Southern battlegrounds of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, died Friday, July 17, 2020.(Brynn Anderson | AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) “I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now,” he said at the time. Lewis refused to attend Donald Trump’s inauguration, saying he didn’t consider him a “legitimate president” because Russians had conspired to get him elected. When Trump later complained about immigrants from “s—hole countries,” Lewis declared, “I think he is a racist … we have to try to stand up and speak up and not try to sweep it under the rug.” If that speech marked a turning point in the civil rights era — or at least the most famous moment — the struggle was far from over. Two more hard years passed before truncheon-wielding state troopers beat Lewis bloody and fractured his skull as he led 600 protesters over Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. last_img read more

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Mia Mottley Praises Owen Arthur as a Stalwart for Regional Integration

first_imgIn the 2008 general election, his party was defeated by the Democratic Labour Party .Arthur stepped down as party leader, but remained the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Saint Peter. He subsequently returned to lead the BLP in 2010, but he was replaced as party leader after the BLP lost the 2013 general election. BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Barbados government on Monday praised former prime minister Owen Arthur for his significant and meaningful contributions to the political as well as the socio-economic development of the island as well as the wider Caribbean Community (CARICOM). “I was with Owen in Jamaica when he signed in 2006 with tremendous pride the instruments that brought the CARICOM Single Market into existence. He was brimming with pride,” she said, recalling also how the former prime minister had ‘set out to and did master the art of politics. “His work will continue as we continue those preparations and will be built upon,”, Mottley said, adding that the coronavirus (COVID019) had severely affected his last assignment as the chair of the board of directors of the financially-strapped regional airline LIAT. “Indeed it was on this platform where duty met politics and policy in the national interest that he and I, we would anchor our most recent relationship and I thank him for meeting me here in the last 18 months. Barbados is observing three days of national mourning in his honour. CMC Arthur lead the ruling Barbados Labour Party (BLP) to victory in the 1994 general election and won general elections again in 1999 and 2003. “Despite being associated with party politics, in the last two years he freely offered advice and direction across the political divide,” the party added. He served as prime minister on three occasions between September 1994 to January 2008. He was Leader of the Opposition in Barbados from 1 August 1993 to 6 September 1994; and from 23 October 2010 to 21 February 2013. The main opposition Democratic Labour Party (DLP) in extending condolences, noted “as the longest-serving leader, who presided over a period of expansion for Barbados, he deserves his place rightfully alongside other noted nation-builders.center_img “I asked him to serve in a number of key areas including in a jobs and advisory council, this came in the last year after he helped this government in the forging of a new industrial policy and in a review of the international trade options small island developing states as we prepared ourselves to be the smallest country to host an UNCTAD Assembly. “It was with a heavy heart that he and his board recommended the liquidation of LIAT (1974) Limited. Owen was conscious that he made the decision to increase Barbados’s participation with LIAT at the turn of the century…but that the scale of the impact of COVID and the state of the company as it is today would make that task virtually out of our reach and certainly as Barbadians given all that we now had to face with COVID.” She said he worked assiduously “to make this the new standard for political mobilisation and representation for all and we all followed”. Arthur, an economist, had been hospitalised earlier this month after suffering heart related complications. She told the nation that the late prime minister had discharged his duty “with distinction,” adding “he shall remain in that pantheon of Caribbean leaders and on behalf of the government and people of Barbados, we say thank you to Owen Seymour Arthur and to his family for service to a grateful nation and to a proud people”. In an address to the nation, marking the death of Arthur at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Mottley said her late colleague’s passion for the development of the region “coincided with his responsibility as the lead prime minister in CARICOM for the single market and single economy. “But he never in so doing compromised his economic training and his commitment at all times to sound policy. It was his hallmark. Owen from the earl 1990s moulded a new class of politicians in this country, and changed in many ways how those representatives would serve to better meet the changing needs…as they served their constituencies”. Mottley said Arthur was indeed the “man for all times” who never lost the thirst for public policy and that his counsel, especially on the Barbados economy “was rendered to all governments. Mottley said Barbados, and indeed the Caribbean is poorer for Arthur’s death, adding “his intellect was larger than life, his love of country as constant as the Northern Star,” she said.last_img read more

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David Granger Willing to Accept Election Outcome Declared by GECOM

first_imgThe President in the past committed to accepting the national vote recount figures which show the PPP winning the elections by over 15,000 votes but agents of Granger have moved to the court to block GECOM from using the figures. Local and international stakeholders have collectively called for the recount results to be used as the basis for a declaration. The coalition is seeking to have the court approve the use of 10 regional declarations which handed it a victory based on fraudulent numbers. ”With respect, my statements on compliance with the declaration wasn’t conditional, I didn’t say if the rain is falling or the sun is shining, you know, if it comes by day or by night, I am obliged to observe the declaration of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.” Earlier this month, Guyana’s highest court – the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled that votes already counted during the national recount of votes are valid and should form the basis of a declaration of a winner. Speaking with reporters on Thursday, on the sidelines of the opening of a new COVID-19 hospital here, he pointed out that his acceptance of the declaration is not conditional on whether it goes in his favour or not. Granger’s APNU+AFC Coalition has used the courts to try to get GECOM to declare results other than the recount figures which show the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has won. Current President of Guyana, David Granger GEORGETOWN, Guyana – President David Granger on Thursday indicated he will accept the results of the March 2 election once they are declared by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). CMClast_img read more

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What’s The Real Jamaican Identity?

first_imgEven as the nation recently commemorated the 186th anniversary of emancipation from slavery on Emancipation Day, August 1, and celebrates its 58th independence anniversary on August 6, its people persist in displaying “mixed up moods and attitudes” symptomatic of a people still searching for their inherent identity. There’s rampant hypocrisy running through the Jamaican society that is clouding the real identity of its people. Many appear to support Africanism and the attributes of their African heritage, while simultaneously trying to distance themselves from the physical identifiers—foregoing their natural hair for relaxers, wigs and weaves and taking great effort to “bleach” or lighten or their skin tones. Interestingly, it’s reggae music, Rasta culture and the Jamaican dialect that have made Jamaica a cultural powerhouse around the world. It’s a pity that there are Jamaicans, still content with their colonial lot, who continue to oppose the things that make the island and its people unique. The school, like any other entity in Jamaica, has the right to set policies related to code of dress and conduct, but it’s alarming when these codes run counter to what seems like the current norms of the country. Increasingly, influenced by the Rastafari religion and movement, Jamaicans, whether believing in the religion or not, have worn their hair uncut, grown into long locks, commonly referred to as dreadlocks. The hairstyle is extremely popular among Jamaican entertainers. Late entertainers like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jacob Miller, and Dennis Brown were famous for flashing their locks as they performed on stage. Jamaican dialect or patois is assumed to be commonly associated with the Jamaican identity, but there are Jamaicans who strongly frown upon speaking patois, or having it spoken in their home. But the Court ruled otherwise. It is certainly hoped that the Jamaican government, as expressed by the prime minister, take immediate steps to avoid Jamaican students being marginalized for their hairstyle or any other cultural norms. But, in the meantime, it’s necessary to identify, acknowledge and embrace the Jamaican identity. Dreadlocks are not uncommon with Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans alike—in Jamaica and overseas, including here in the U.S. However, there is still a stigma attached to the hairstyle.It’s no secret there is a history of discrimination against practitioners of Rastafari and one of their identifiers—dreadlocks—entwined in the nation’s unfortunate class system. Dreadlocks are found to be more associated with the lower socio-economic class than the upper class. The few upper-class Jamaicans wearing dreadlocks do so basically as a fashion statement.center_img Unfortunately, there are remnants of this sentiment today. Many upper-class Jamaicans are still vehemently opposed to having their sons or daughters date or marry a person with dreadlocks—a sentiment described so eloquently in reggae artist Proteje’s song “Rasta Love” which features Kymani Marley. This is compounded, especially if they come from an economically depressed community or a rural town. Despite the phenomenal popularity of Bob Marley since his death in 1981, when he was performing in Jamaica in the 70s, he was described by the monied class as a “dutty Rasta bwoi.” People wearing dreadlocks were looked at scornfully and suspiciously and were not generally accepted. There is no singular, easy answer to that question. Jamaica is a nation of very diverse people, even though demographically, it’s predominantly people of African descent. As have been displayed repeatedly since the nation gained independence in 1962, it’s not only that Jamaicans are diverse in skin color and original ethnicity, but in attitude. So much so, no one could be blamed for changing the national motto from “Out of Many One People” to “Out of Many One Mixed-Up People.” This seeming lack of real identity came to fore ironically on Emancipation Day when it was reported that the Jamaican Supreme court handed down a ruling supporting a rural primary school banning a young girl from attending that school because she wears dreadlocks. Ironically, people follow and cheer entertainers and athletes who wear dreadlocks but will block people who wear them from attending some schools and workplaces. They sometimes even harshly criticize or try to deny them advancement in their professions, regardless of merit. The matter started from some two years ago when the school claimed dreadlocks were against the school’s policies. When the child’s parents resisted the ruling, local human rights group Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), rallied to their support and obtained an order prohibiting the school’s board from blocking the girl’s admission. The JFJ claimed the school’s decision violated the girl’s constitutional rights. To underscore this point, there’s currently in Jamaica, a politician representing the opposition party, a very bright and eloquent man, who is often described as the “Rasta bwoi.” There is little doubt that this moniker related to his hairstyle has cost him political advancement.last_img read more

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Trinidad Prepares to Vote for a New Government on Monday

first_imgIn the end, political parties have had to be innovative, using virtual meetings to spread their messages, and spending excessive funds on radio and television advertisements and buying air time. In addition, the closures of the borders have presented yet another problem, with opposition parties claiming that the government has used the closures to prevent nationals from returning home to vote. The election is not the only one in the Caribbean where the pandemic has played a major role in limiting the campaigns, following upon similar polls in Anguilla, Suriname, Guyana, and St. Kitts-Nevis. But Rowley has urged the population to follow the protocols being outlined by the EBC urging them to take the threat of COVID-19 seriously. “Keith Rowley is again trying to divide the population by purposefully using the word ‘black’ instead of ‘blank’ with the hopes of stirring a racial argument to distract the population from his failed tenure,” she said, adding that the term ‘blank’ was in reference to Rowley’s “complete lack of ideas, vision or plan”. The 77-year-old, who served as a government minister under Persad Bissessar, when she led the People’s Partnership government between 2010-15, is confident of winning the Lopinot/Bon Air West seat, along the east west corridor, now held by the PNM. The main opposition, United national Congress (UNC), as it has done in previous elections, are not fielding candidates in the sister isle of Tobago, but its leader, Persad Bissessar, is confident of returning to the corridors of power after she was ousted by Rowley’s PNM in the 2015 general election. “If we fail in our duty to the stark realities before us, we risk putting masses of people in danger. We in the Progressive Empowerment Party take the step here of appealing your response and your decision and urge you to reconsider,” he wrote. For its part, the UNC is promising to create 50,000 new jobs, work with the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Statistical Office to determine the true condition of the state of the economy, the country’s public finances and capital projects. CMC/pr/ir/2020 Caribbean countries have been forced to implement measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus that has killed 719,000 people and infected 19.3 million others worldwide. Among the measures are limiting the number of people allowed to congregate in any one place to between 10 and 25, adhering to social distancing, wearing masks and curtailing movement through the implementation of curfews, mainly in the evenings when political rallies are usually held. “There are people who believe that they must put their finger in the wound to believe that there could be pain,” Rowley said in a statement, adding “If there are people who decide that this is a joke then they must be made to understand that this is not a joke and it is not a dare and double dare and it is not machismo, it is common sense”. But the UNC has said that the EBC has no authority by law to tell voters they must wear masks to vote. It is also promising to recommence operations of the refinery at the state-owned PETROTRIN that the Rowley government closed after indicating that it had been a major drain on the economy of the country, with losses totalling billions of dollars (One TT dollar-US$-16 cents) annually. “They could just look at you and say you are UNC and say you are exhibiting COVID symptoms…you can’t vote. What madness is this? Again…designed to kill us and steal the elections – politically kill us,” she said, warning that the UNC would pursue the matter of stopping voters without masks, in court if necessary. “I know what the yellow bananas mean. It is moneys they give bananas. All over the world footballers walk off the field when they start to make monkey chants, but in the UNC advertisement, black people hungry in Trinidad and Tobago and you feed the monkeys bananas,” Rowley said. The small opposition People’s Empowerment Party (PEP), which is fielding 28 candidates in the elections, wrote to President Paula Mae Weeks on two occasions urging her to postpone the August 10 poll because of the virus. At the start of the pandemic in March, Trinidad and Tobago had been able to limit the number of positive cases to a low number, recording also eight deaths. The Keith Rowley government had been praised for its approach to dealing with the situation brought on by the virus, but in recent days, the number of people testing positive has skyrocketed to more than 200, even though there are no new deaths. Among the candidates facing the electorate on Monday is the disgraced former vice president of the International football Federation (FIFA) Austin “Jack” Warner, who apart from battling extradition to the United States to face charges of racketeering and conspiracy as part of a global graft probe into world football’s governing body, is his Independent Liberal Party (ILP) lone candidate. The race bogey raised its head a few days before the polls open, when Rowley called on the UNC to immediately withdraw a political advertisement showing that a black person being handed a bunch of bananas after complaining about the performance of the government. The CEO, who played a role in observing the disputed elections in Guyana in March, said she understood what international observers bring in terms of the credibility and “the stamp of approval they can put on your elections. We are a little saddened that things did not work out. “I want to say the EBC cannot legally disenfranchise anyone for not having a mask. I am not saying don’t wear masks, I’m saying it should be optional,” said Persad Bissessar, adding “the EBC does not have the power in law. Remember your powers. You want to tell us you don’t have a mask don’t come to vote. The EBC does not have that power. The wearing of the mask should be optional”. “…but nonetheless we are ready to deliver and I look back to the feedback from the public, the media and the political parties as to how they thought we had performed,” she added. Rowley said he had extended invitations to the Commonwealth and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to observe the elections. But both indicated that it would have been an expensive venture given that their members would have had to arrive here at least two weeks ahead of the polls. There are an estimated 146 candidates representing 19 political parties and four independents contesting the 41 seats in Monday’s election, with the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM), the only party fielding candidates in all constituencies.center_img Prime Minister Rowley believes that the future also lies in the digital economy and according to the manifesto, a new PNM administration would establish a Ministry of Technology and Digital Records as well as remove taxes from computer purchases. But Persad Bissessar insisted that she used the word ‘blank’ to describe Rowley and not ‘black’. Trinidad and Tobago, where 1, 134, 136 people are eligible to cast ballots at the estimated 2, 200 polliing stations, is no exception. Political observers say the election is a straight fight between the Afro-Trinidadian backed PNM and the Indo-Trinidadian supported UNC and that the electorate remains deeply divided along racial lines. But the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) said it has been working with the Ministry of Health putting in place protocols to govern election day activities, including the wearing of masks inside the polling station. In a message posted on his Facebook page, Rowley wrote, “Finally!!! Caught in her frequent disgusting race baiting she is reduced to repeating inane rubbish to try and lie her way out. “You could go to hell with that. We are better than that in Trinidad and Tobago. If the PNM has one legacy that we are going to defend to the death is that we have encouraged inter-racial solidarity in this country and we will not allow Kamla Persad Bissessar and her minnows to threaten it. I demand that those ads be removed,” Rowley said. The elections are not being observed by regional and international observers after the government said it wanted all observers to observe the protocols governing COVID-19 and ensure that they are here in order to observe the 14 days quarantine period. The issue of race surfaced during the campaign, when Persad Bissessar, addressing party supporters, insisted that she had not referred to Prime Minister Rowley as the “black man on the other side”. She argued that the election guidelines can be used to debar UNC voters and “steal the elections. Chief Elections Officer, (CEO), Mrs Fern Narcis-Scope, said that while the EBC is disappointed at the situation, the absence of observers places the EBC more under the spotlight, insisting nonetheless “‘we are ready to deliver. “We will repeal the property tax legislation. We will prepare a divestment plan and debt workout strategy for non-strategic, loss-making state enterprises,” the UNC is also promising. ‘We want to go away from paper files in a drawer, under a desk. If you have to do business with the State you have to line up for days, all of those things we are putting behind us, out of this COVID will come a modernised Trinidad and Tobago,” Rowley said. The PNM said it would encourage economic diversification away from oil and gas, especially in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, tourism, non-oil industry, arts and culture, the digital age, financial services, medical services and ICT. “Your Excellency, in your response to our request for a postponement of the general elections currently underway, where we stated clearly that the elections will put our people’s lives at risk, you suggested that nothing much has changed since the proclamation of Legal Notice 34, but Your Excellency, today’s startling news alone should prompt you to again reconsider,” the PEP leader Phillip Alexander, wrote late last month. “To achieve the desired outcome, the PNM Government will engage community influencers, especially our tech-savvy youth, appoint digital community liaisons, and create digital community portals.” The two main parties have released manifestos outlining their plans for the next five years, if they receive the support of the electorate. In addition, it is also proposing the establishment of an Economic Strategy Council in the Office of the Prime Minister, which will implement and manage flagship projects/programmes which are considered ‘transformational’ and instrumental to achieving key targets and deliverables of its economic masterplan. Health authorities have said, nonetheless, that the country is not facing a “second wave: or an outbreak of the pandemic as has been in the case in several countries worldwide. They have described the recent cases as a “sporadic cluster spread” with people here blaming the new cases on the illegal trafficking of migrants from Venezuela. “Is it going to be the presiding officer who says, you are exhibiting symptoms, you can’t vote? You will put a doctor in every station? What will you do, import them from Cuba?,” UNC leader Kamla Persad Bissessar told supporters as she questioned the criteria to be used by the EBC in turning voters away from polling stations for exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Voters in Trinidad and Tobago go to the polls on Monday to elect a new government following allegations of corruption and racism in a campaign severely hampered by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “Anyone surprised? She didn’t call me an Oreo. What she said was ‘Ohio’! or ‘Oh hello’,” he added, making reference to a public statement made by Persad Bissessar in September 2018 when she described him as an “Oreo” owned by the “one per cent” of the population, a term used to describe the Syrian/Lebanese community here.last_img read more

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PAHO Trains Community Health Workers in Haiti for COVID-19 Response

first_imgPAHO said Haiti has 50 investigation teams and 299 contact tracing teams in operation throughout the country, with call centers and data analysis teams active in each department. So far, 1,830 health care workers have been trained on infection prevention and control measures, including the appropriate use of PPE, and 642 medical staff have been trained in providing oxygen therapy. In addition, PAHO said it conducted meetings with community leaders, including voodoo priests, catholic priests, pastors and traditional birth attendants “to provide them with accurate information and communication messages about COVID-19, such as protective measures, treatment centers and mostly the continuity of essential services in health care institutions.” To ensure continuity of care in non-COVID hospitals and health centers, PAHO has provided support for the set-up of early detection measures (triage and an isolation space for patients awaiting transfer to a COVID center) to 143 institutions, and provided equipment, including thermometers, oximeters, oxygen concentrators and PPE. “This outreach in Haiti is crucial because it helps touch the hard-to-reach communities and those who believe in traditional medicine,” said PAHO, stating that training and equipment are part of its extensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Haiti, “which focuses on surveillance, laboratory improvements, case management, and risk communication to engage with communities and provide information about the disease.” According to PAHO, innovative initiatives developed during the country’s fight against cholera have been repurposed to tackle COVID-19. COVID-19 is not the first epidemic to have hit Haiti in recent years. To manage the safe care of those with COVID-19, PAHO has provided support with training on infection prevention and control to staff (medical staff and support staff) from both COVID and non-COVID health centers, and on oxygen therapy to medical staff. WASHINGTON – The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says that it has trained more than 2,800 community health workers in Haiti, including 2,700 community health agents (ASCP) and 162 community health nurses and auxiliary nurses as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, PAHO said field nurses from the Labomoto programme, a testing initiative designed to ensure the sampling and transportation of suspected cholera cases to laboratories for testing, have been deployed to help carry out sampling of COVID-19 suspected cases in hard-to-reach areas and transport to the labs for PCR testing. According to a report from the PAHO office in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, community health workers trained were equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) and communication support, such as megaphones and batteries, 221 megaphones, gloves, facial masques and hand sanitizers were also distributed.center_img As of August 11, PAHO said Haiti has reported 7,649 cases of COVID-19, with 183 deaths, and 4,982 people who have recovered. “Essential health services have not been forgotten in the response, including training of 107 health care providers of prenatal, infant and postnatal case on infection prevention and control measures during the pandemic,” the report said. PAHO said that capacity is under expansion to eight regional laboratories in Haiti. The health organisation has also supported training for the National Ambulance Center and for private ambulance companies on safe transport of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases, which included provision of protective equipment. It said five of them can now test for the virus themselves through the Gen-Xpert platform, “thus decentralizing testing and ensuring quicker turnaround.” PAHO said it, in coordination with International Organization of Migration (IOM), has also supported the local authorities to set up the COVID-19 border surveillance, “assuring detection and testing of symptomatic suspected cases, and quarantine facilities for suspected cases at the ports of entry on the border with the Dominican Republic, training their staff and providing medical supplies and protective equipment.” The Washington-based PAHO said the training provided “much-needed” support to Haiti’s Ministry of Health and the French-speaking Caribbean country’s Multisectoral Pandemic Management Commission of COVID-19. In February, PAHO said Haiti’s National Laboratory received training and equipment from PAHO to set up diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with kits to collect samples and reagents for 9,000 PCR tests. CMClast_img read more

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Trinidad Records Another COVID-19 Related Death

first_imgCMC On Sunday, the Ministry of Health said that the third death in recent days, is an adult male who had pre-existing medical conditions. Active cases of the virus now stand at 36, with 22 new positive cases reported, bringing the number of confirmed numbers of the virus in the twin island republic to 519. In a clinical update, the Ministry of Health said of the 22 new infections reported, 14 tested positive at a private lab, six are pending epidemiological investigation, and two are contacts of recently positive COVID-19 patients.center_img PORT OF SPAIN – Trinidad and Tobago has recorded an additional death related to COVID-19 bringing the number of related deaths to 11. The Ministry assured that all established protocols have been implemented and said that one more patient has recovered from the coronavirus, bringing the tally of people discharged to 140.last_img read more

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National Black Economic Virtual Conference This Friday and Saturday

first_img11:00AM – PANEL: Secure the Bag – Securities, Stocks, Bonds Moderator: Shaheewa Jarrett, General Counsel & Vice President of Compliance – Gelin Benefits Group, LLC Florida Power & Light (FPL)Valley National BankR.V.OwensFlorida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC)Broward County – Office of Economic & Small Business Development (OESBD)Palm Beach County Office of Equal Business Opportunity (OEBO)Discover the Palm Beaches Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB)Miami Media Group, LLCSouth Florida Times Ed Harris, Consultant Chef of Chef Life Consulting Robert M. Ballou, Officer of Economic Development & Diversity Compliance Department Broward School DistrictNicole Chaplin, Master Personal Trainer of The Fitness Rockstar™Adrian Carter, Founder of EmpowerMEN ConferenceRufus & Jenny Triplett, Marriage Life Experts of Surviving Marriage in the 21st Century Keynote Speaker:  2020 Sponsors: Thought Leaders: Adriana Clark, SE Region Director of Office of Small Business Southeast Region – U.S. Depart of TransportationRobert M. Ballou, Officer of Economic Development & Diversity Compliance Department Broward School DistrictFrank Hayden, Director of Office of Equal Opportunity – City of West Palm BeachDicky Sykes, Director of the Office of Diversity in Business Practices – School District of Palm Beach CountyBurnadette Norris-Weeks, Partner at Austin Pamies Norris Weeks Powell, PLLCSandy-Michael McDonald, Director of Broward County Office of Economic & Small Business Development Thought Leaders: Walter Bond, Motivational Speaker, Author of Swim – The Bond Group 11:00AM – PANEL: Buy the Block: Real Estate Development & Investments Moderator: Katia St. Fleur, Principal at KSF & Associates Moderator: LaToya Stirrup, Founder & President of Digital Glass Moderator: Jerome Hutchinson, Jr., Founder & Chief Servant Officer of International Career and Business Alliance, Inc. (ICABA) 9:30AM – Opening/Keynote Speaker Thought Leaders: Thought Leaders: Armando Pantoja, Co-Founder of Hire MatchAlan E. Bottorff, CEO of TeledactylFelicia Hatcher, Co-Founder of Tribe Cowork & Urban Innovation Lab, Code Fever, and Black Tech Week Saturday, August 22nd  Thought Leaders: Friday, August 21st This year is without exception as the conference features: world-renown and international speakers, panel discussions, keynote speakers, breakout sessions to showcase the growing global Black Business community. NBEC will also host the Written Black Experience, a premier book club featuring best-selling black authors from around the world. Leigh-Ann A. Buchanan, Esq., Founding Executive Director of Venture Café MiamiMelvin Coleman, President & CEO of Essential Wealth Management Group, LLC 2020 PANEL DISCUSSION THOUGHT LEADERS Thought Leaders: Inez Long, President/CEO of Black Business Investment FundThais R. Sullivan, First Vice President & Regional CRA Officer at Valley National BankKevin Cohee, Chairman & CEO of One United Bank Moderator: Grasford Smith, Commercial Litigation Partner Moderator: Sharna Barnes, CEO of Complete Contract Consulting LLC Thought Leaders: Moderator: Dexter Bridgeman, CEO of MIA Media Group Thought Leaders: 2:45PM – PANEL: The Impact of Media on the Black Economy 11:00AM – PANEL: Leading Growth Industries: Manufacturing, Healthcare, Retail, Construction, and Transportation Yvette Miley, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – NBCU News GroupBernadette Morris, President/CEO of Sonshine Communications & Black PR WireDexter Bridgeman, CEO of MIA Media Group 11:00AM – PANEL: Go Global: Caribbean & Africa Trade & Investments 11:00AM – PANEL: What’s Hot in Innovation & Technology Shauna Whittingham, Mentor, Connector & Influencer at Shauna Simone YogaSheila Zayas, Practitioner of Reiki – The Sanctuarycenter_img Thought Leaders: NBEC’s goal is to empower community members to take the necessary steps to grow and develop their enterprise, create wealth for their families, support black businesses throughout the US, and foster growth and sustainability while reducing unemployment and bridging the wealth gap in the US and beyond. Moderator: Kitty Lundon, Host & Creator of The People of Power Talk Show Dale Holness, Mayor of Broward CountyPaola Isaac Baraya, Economic Development Specialist-International Trade, Broward County’s Office of Economic and Small Business DevelopmentJoseph Bell, Regional Manager of International Trade Development – Enterprise FloridaH.E. Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah, Ambassador of Ghana – Embassy of Ghana Darren Brown, CEO of Advantage Business ConsultingAndre Kay, CEO & Founder of Sociallybuzz Moderator: Bryan Cunningham, Entrepreneurship Center Division Manager – Urban League of Broward County Urban League of Broward CountyBroward County Library/African American Research Library & Cultural CenterInternational Career & Business Alliance (ICABA) & ICABA World MarketplaceWalker’s LegacyPyramid Books Dr. Jeremy Earle, Assistant City Manager/CRA Executive Director for City of Hallandale BeachFabiola Fleuranvil, CEO of Blueprint Creative GroupMiguel Pilgram, Partner of The Pilgram GroupClarence Woods, Manager, Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency 11:00AM – PANEL: Health is Wealth – A comprehensive approach to our overall well-being Moderator: Chantél Siegrid Thompson, Interpretive Career Coach 1:15PM – PANEL: Green is the New Black: $10 Billion Cannabiz Beatrice Dixon, Founder of The Honey Pot CompanyConnie W. Kinnard, Vice President of Multicultural Tourism & Development – Greater Miami Convention & Visitors BureauGrant McGaugh, Owner & Managing Director of 5 STAR BDMPsyche Terry, Founder of UI Global BrandsAnn McNeill, Speaker, Author, & Coach – MCO Construction 1:15PM – PANEL: Equity through Home Ownership Thought Leaders: Thought Leaders: Written Black Meet the Author Experience Mark A. Parks, Jr., Chief Financial Officer for City of West Palm BeachGayle M. Waldon, Financial Advisor & Financial Planning Specialist – The Swinton Group at Morgan StanleyRobert Owens, Chief Financial Strategist for R.V.OWENS, Strategic Group 2020 Community Partners: Thought Leaders: Dasheeda Dawson, Founder & Bestselling Author of The WeedHead™ & CompanyRoz McCarthy, Founder/CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc.Scheril Murray Powell, Esq., Agricultural & Cannabis Attorney at Doumar, Allsworth, Laystrom, Voigt, Adair, and Dishowitz LLP 1:15PM – PANEL: Scale Your Business with Government Contracts 1:15PM – PANEL: Getting Those Digital Dollars: Influencer Takeover 9:30AM – Opening Session: Connecting your Mind, Body & Spirit  1:15PM – PANEL: Access to Capital for Businesses 2:45PM – PANEL: How Collaborative Communities are Driving Business Growth Cornell Crews Jr., Executive Director of Community Reinvestment Alliance of South FloridaDerrick Berry, Loan Originator for Buccaneer Mortgage/TheGoodPirates Home LoansAngelique Hibbert, Vice President of South Florida Board of Realist Women Council The 10th Annual National Black Economic Conference (NBEC) brought to you by The Mosaic Group and Black Business Loop, draws hundreds of attendees to the conference each year. With the move to a virtual setting in 2020, NBEC has innovated and grown to expand and improve the virtual experience. The 2-day virtual conference will take place on August 21-22, 2020. Moderator: Gordon Eric Knowles, President & CEO of Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce To learn more about the conference, keynotes, other speakers, and how to register visit www.nationalblackeconomicconference.com.  One day registration is $59.00 (Friday or Saturday); Two-day registration is $99.00. Both registrations include access to panel discussions, keynote speakers, breakout sessions and The Written Black Experience. Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are available. Moderator: Petula Burks, Civic Engagement Director, City of Miami Gardens Host: Donna M. Gray-Banks, Founder & Director of F.R.E.S.H. Book Festival Moderator: Clarence E. Anthony, CEO & Executive Director of National League of Cities (NLC) The theme for this year’s conference is “The Road to Generational Wealth”. A diverse group of subject matter experts will discuss the topics including “Secure the Bag – Securities, Stocks, Bonds”; “Equity through Homeownership”; “Thriving in a Global Crisis”; along with “What’s Hot in Innovation & Technology” and more. “The National Black Economic Conference is timely and more relevant than ever given the current COVID-19 pandemic that is devastating our local and global economies and the death of George Floyd sparking the debate of the many elements of systemic racism. When the nation faces an economic recession, our communities experience an economic depression. This is the time for us to focus on creating, investing, and building sustainable financial resources for ourselves families, and communities. We must strengthen the black economy to not only survive but thrive for generations to come”, said Ann Marie Sorrell, President/CEO of The Mosaic Group and Founder of NBEC. Thought Leaders:last_img read more

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St. Lucian Health Authorities Warn Against Outbreak of Dengue Fever

first_img“Four stereotypes of dengue exist. However, persons receive lifelong immunity against a serotype once infected with it. Only serotypes two and three have been recorded to date in St. Lucia, with the majority of the cases being children.” While it gave no figures, the Ministry said most of the reported cases are concentrated in the northern, central and eastern parts of the island. CMC It said persons with mild dengue may present with fever, accompanied by rash, nausea/vomiting, pain behind the eye, muscle and joint pain. In its more severe form, persons may progress to bleeding from the gums or nose, vomiting blood and passing blood in the stool. The Ministry of Health and Wellness said that dengue fever is one of the most common vector-borne viral illnesses affecting humans, transmitted through the bite of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, and to a lesser extent the Aedes albopictus. “Very often, what we find is one household doing all that it can by taking preventative measures, but two households away, nobody cares. Mosquitoes have a very long flight range, they can travel up to a mile depending on the wind direction and wind speed, so that means to establish a safe zone preventative measures need to be taken within a mile-wide perimeter of one’s household,” he said. Ragnanan said it is necessary for the community to work together to prevent local transmission of dengue fever and that persons should avoid the indiscriminate dumping of garbage, which also serves as breeding ground for the mosquito. The Ministry of Health and Wellness said dengue viral disease has an incubation period of four to 10 days after the bite from an infected mosquito. Chief Environmental Health Officer, Parker Ragnanan, said intervention measures being undertaken by the Environmental Health Division include lava siding and fogging and that householders and property owners are encouraged to inspect their properties at least twice a week in an effort to contain the Aedes aegypti mosquito population. St. Lucian Health authorities on Monday warned the population to take all precautionary steps to prevent the spread of the dengue fever, given the rapid onset of the rainy season. Earlier this month, the Ministry of Health and Wellness reported a “significant increase in dengue cases on island,” and that there is continued local transmission which often peaks during and after rainy seasons.last_img read more

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