Career & Education

Six to get AFUWI awards

Sunday, February 04, 2018

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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.

The event is an annual “must do” for captains of the diaspora and their counterparts and colleagues in North America and the Caribbean, and will be held at the prestigious Pierre Hotel in Manhattan. It will also feature a special tribute to the Late Dr Lowell Hawthorne, former president & CEO of the 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. Hylton will receive the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Business Leadership.

CCH Pounder, Guyanese American actress, will receive the distinguished Robert Nesta Marley Award. Previous awardees include Danny Glover and Judith Jamison.

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. She has been nominated for a Grammy award and four Emmy awards. An advocate for the arts, Pounder also serves on the board of the African Millennium Foundation and was a founding member of Artists for a New South Africa.

Jamaican-born 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 master's 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, 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 SelimaOptique on two lines of sunglasses and has 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 to 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.

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 Beyoncé, 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.

Noel-Schure works closely with BeyGood, the initiative founded by Beyoncé 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 TA 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.

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