Continuing its rich legacy of advocacy and philanthropy on behalf of students at The University of the West Indies (UWI), the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) will on Wednesday, January 29, 2014, hold its 17th Annual Legacy Awards Gala, at The Pierre Hotel in New York City, beginning with cocktails at 6 PM. The star-studded event will be under the auspices of Honorary Patron, Dr. Harry Belafonte, OJ, Honorary Chairs, Answorth A. Allen, MD and the Honorable David N. Dinkins, Dinner Patron, Kaye Foster-Cheek and Janet Rollé, Gala Chair. Our Master and Mistresses of Ceremonies are Maurice DuBois, Lori Stokes and Susan L. Taylor.
This year, the recipient of the esteemed AFUWI Bob Marley Award is world-renowned, five-time Grammy Award winner, opera singer and recitalist Jessye Norman. The Bob Marley Award is bestowed on individuals “whose contribution to the advancement of arts and culture transcends boundaries of race, color, creed and geographies.” Ms. Norman certainly embodies all of the criteria of the award, and joins previous recipients including Danny Glover, Jimmy Cliff and Judith Jamison.
Proceeds from the Gala are used to support some of the brightest students from across the Caribbean region at the University’s 4 campuses, who face dire financial circumstances that threaten their ability to access a college education. Last year, the Foundation awarded 66 full-tuition scholarships. The Gala is the signature event of the Foundation, and attracts those of like minds whose desire it is to invest in the journeys of the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals in their pursuit of their aspirations.
A major component of the Gala is the recognition of those who are standard bearers in our community, whose accomplishments are worthy of emulation. This year’s recipients of the Caribbean Luminary Award are Gail E. D. Brathwaite, formerly Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of New Alliance Bancshares Inc., currently Executive Vice President of Bankwell Financial Group, Inc and Bankwell Bank in New Caanan, Connecticut, Michelle Elie, the Haitian-American couture jewelry designer, and Dr. Velma Scantlebury-White, the first African-American female transplant surgeon in the US.
The recipients of the Vice Chancellor’s Achievement Award are Nick Charles, Director of Communications for LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation) NYC and the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, Elinor R. Tatum, Publisher and Editor in Chief of the New York Amsterdam News, and Dr. Dwight Williams, Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.