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UWI Vice-Chancellor to speak at fundraising tribute for ailing Caribbean journalist

Saturday, April 20, 2019

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NEW YORK (CMC) — The Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, (UWI), Sir Hilary Beckles, will be the guest speaker at a fundraising event being organised by the New York-based Institute for Black World 21st Century (IBW) for Caribbean journalist, Don Rojas, on May 11.

“For most of his adult life, Don Rojas has been a revolutionary freedom fighter for justice and equality. That spirit remains undaunted as he wages a battle against multiple myeloma, an aggressive form of bone cancer,” the IBW said in a statement.

“Not only is the treatment debilitating, but the cost is also taking a financial toll on him and his family. Over the last several weeks, a tribute committee has been actively engaged in raising funds and, while a reason, the committee decided to host a fund-raising benefit with guest speakers and entertainment to help defray his increasingly large expenses.”

IBW said Sir Hilary, who is also chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Commission, will headline a roster of prominent dignitaries.

The Vincentian-born Rojas, who served as press secretary to the late Grenada Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, had worked as Sir Hilary's senior communications advisor at UWI, and helped design and launch UWI's television network.

“We are honoured to have a person of Don's calibre in our midst,” said Dr Ron Daniels, IBW's president and convenor of the National African American Reparations Commission.

“Don is the quintessential activist/journalist with an impressive array of professional accomplishments and a stellar record of invaluable contributions to the struggle for racial and economic justice in the USA and around the world,” he added.

“When revolutionaries like our beloved brother, Don Rojas, selflessly sacrifice to serve and advance the interests and aspirations of people of African descent and other oppressed and exploited people, it is our revolutionary duty to support him and his family, as he fights to rid his body of cancer,” Dr Daniels said.

A number of notable Pan-Africanists and activists from the Caribbean will also share comments about Don's leadership in the reparations and racial justice movements, Dr Daniels said.

Daniels said Rojas also served as the NAACP's first director of communications; executive editor of the New York Amsterdam News; consultant to the National Council of Churches; IBW's Director of Communications and International Relations, and the Black World Today, an award-winning online publication he conceived and helmed.

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