Sir Hilary to receive humanitarian award

Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles.

Vice-Chancellor of The University of The West Indies (UWI), Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles was expected to be specially honored at the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus Conference in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 17, 2015, according to the New York-based Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW).

IBW, a major black organization in the United States, said on Sunday that Sir Hilary was expected to receive the Global Community Healer Award, a humanitarian award from the Community Healing Network (CHN) — a global grassroots movement aimed at uplifting black communities.

Sir Hilary is the second recipient of the award; the first being the late American poet Maya Angelou, who was also the founding chair of CHN’s Board of Advisors, IBW said.

Vice-Chancellor Beckles will be in the U.S. from Sept. 13 to 19 on a visit, which aims to strengthen UWI’s global presence and impact, IBW said.

It said his visit begins in New York City with a meeting with the Board of Directors of the American Foundation of The University of the West Indies (AFUWI), the principal link between the institution and its alumni and the Caribbean Diaspora community in the United States, as well as American foundations and corporations with Caribbean business interests or Caribbean markets.

As part of his AFUWI-related itinerary, Vice-Chancellor Beckles — accompanied by Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal (Ag.) Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth; Executive Director Central Office of Regional and International Affairs, Dr. David Rampersad; and Honorary Distinguished Fellow of UWI and former Chancellor of the New York Department of Education, Dennis Walcott — will meet with Chairman H. Carl McCall, Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and other lead members of the State University of New York (SUNY), the largest comprehensive university system in the United States.

The talks are aimed at advancing dialogue on new and ongoing areas of collaboration with UWI, IBW said.

As his first official introduction to the wider New York community in his new role as Vice-Chancellor, Sir Hilary will also be a guest of honor at AFUWI’s Golf and Tennis benefit, IBW said.

The event, hosted at the Hampshire Country Club, in collaboration with New York Giants Legend and Super Bowl Champion, Sean Landeta, is organised to raise scholarship funds for UWI students.

During his U.S. visit, Vice-Chancellor Beckles is also expected to meet with executives of the Ford Foundation – an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization, headquartered New York, as well as with the NY Chapter of The UWI Alumni Association.

IBW said Sir Hilary’s schedule incorporates several meetings and speaking appearances in his capacity as chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Commission.

These include meetings with a cross-section of labor movement and civic leaders New York City.

On the Washington, D.C. leg of his trip, Sir Hilary will meet with U.S. civil rights leader, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, deliver a special address at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Conference (CBC), and be honored with the Global Community Healer Award.

He will also be the featured speaker at an event hosted by the National African-American Reparations Commission (NAARC), where he will sign copies of his book, “Britain’s Black Debt.”

IBW said UWI is on a “strategic growth agenda”, focused on partnership building with other universities, governments and institutions, international agencies, and public and private sectors worldwide.

Prof. Beckles, who took up his tenure as the university’s Vice-Chancellor in May 2015, has begun “zeroing-in” on this area of UWI’s strategic plan.

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