The Brooklyn-based St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers Association of New York on Feb. 22 became the latest contributor to the Maxwell Haywood Memorial Scholarship and Development Fund (MHMSDF), named after the late, prominent Vincentian community and social activist who died in November 2017.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers Association of New York made the monetary donation to Haywood’s widow, Sherrill-Ann Mason-Haywood, and members of the Brooklyn-St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc. during the ex-teachers’ annual Black History Month panel discussion at Trinity Methodist Church, on Eastern Parkway, near Utica Avenue, in Brooklyn.
“Maxwell Haywood had a special relationship with the organization,” Jackson Farrell, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers Association of New York, told Caribbean Life Monday night. “Every year, he wrote at least one article for our journal.
“He was a special individual, who not only looked out for St. Vincent and the Grenadines but also for the Caribbean,” added Farrell, who taught Haywood at the St. Martin’s Secondary School in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
“He tried to push us in that direction, because there were lots of funding out there,” continued the retired public school teacher in Brooklyn.
Mason-Haywood said her late husband, who had preceded her as chair of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc., also participated in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ex-Teachers Association of New York’s Black History Month panelist discussion as late as 2016.
She said Haywood was “always happy to be associated” with the Vincentian ex-teachers’ group, “because he believed strongly in the transformative power of education and the value of teachers as nurturers of the society.”
Mason-Haywood said the donation would be “put to good use to continue” her husband’s work.
She said the MHMSDF was established to carry on the legacy and memory of Haywood, who was the founding chairman of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc.
Following Haywood’s death from cancer, his family asked that, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York.
Mason-Haywood said the committee then moved to establish the fund, with the main aim of “being able to give academic scholarships to students, and to facilitate educational workshops and forums that would address topical issues” that align with Haywood’s passion for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Vincentian Diaspora community, and issues related to migration and development.
Haywood was also a United Nations development officer.
Since the establishment of the fund, Mason-Haywood said the committee has collected almost US$9, 000.00 from several individuals and organizations, including the ex-teachers’ association, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Mission to the United Nations, Vincycares and St. John’s Wesleyan Methodist Church.
Mason-Haywood said some of these funds have already been used to provide scholarships to students in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
She said Trevon Paul (St. Vincent Grammar School) and Alfresco Lampkin (Thomas Saunders Secondary School) were the first recipients of awards, totaling US$3,000.00.
Paul’s disbursement was facilitated through Vincy Cares Scholarship program, while Lampkin’s was a direct disbursement on behalf of the organization, through a partnership with the Rose Hall Cultural and Development Organization, Mason-Haywood said.
She said the fund also sponsored the Inaugural Maxwell Haywood Memorial Lecture, which was presented by Justice Adrian Saunders, president of the Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Court of Justice.
The event was held on the topic, “The Role and Importance of the CCJ in Advancing the Caribbean Civilization, at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College, on Nov. 30, 2018.
Mason-Haywood said this will be an annual event to mark her husband’s passing.
Additionally, she said the fund will be used to support leadership workshops, roundtable discussions and educational workshops facilitated by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc.
The committee is scheduled to host a panel discussion on April 6, focused on mental health issues, at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center, 813 Sterling Pl., Brooklyn, at 3:00pm.
Mason-Haywood said the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Diaspora Committee of New York, Inc. was formed in 2010 in the aftermath of the 2009 Vincy Homecoming Conference. She said Haywood, along with several other dedicated Vincentians in the New York area, formed the committee to follow up on the recommendations of the conference, which produced the document, “SVG USA Diaspora Framework for Action” (www.svgdi
“The committee has used the document to guide its work over the last nine years,” Mason-Haywood said.