Ellen Campbell-Grizzle new president of Kingston Soroptimist Club

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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The Kingston Chapter of the Soroptimist International Club of Jamaica (SIJK) has elected associate professor at the University of Technology (UTech), Jamaica, Dr Ellen Campbell Grizzle as president, to guide its activities into its 57th year.

Campbell-Grizzle is a social pharmacist and health communication specialist and is a member of the International Advisory Group of None in Three (Ni3), a global multicentre project developed to reduce gender-based violence. As associate professor at UTech, her focus is on Herbal and Medical Cannabis Research and Business Development. This will be her second stint as president of the SIJK. She has also served as president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica (1992-1995) and president of the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists (2000-2008).

In expressing appreciation for her election, Dr Campbell- Grizzle noted that she is “passionate about empowering women and girls based on the type of mentoring and support by exemplary women who helped me along my leadership journey”. She emphasised that the new SIJK executive will be working to rekindle the spirit of voluntarism as it reaches out to new prospects for membership. “These are tough times for clubs that depend on volunteers. We have excellent members, but we need others to come onboard to extend our reach,” she said.

She noted that the SIJK already provides support for early childhood education, and scholarship assistance to outstanding students at Excelsior High School. She added that the new executive will extend the SIJK's reach into the educational system and the Club's health focus will be expanded to include suicide prevention and family planning.

Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement for women in business, management and the professions, who work together to transform the lives of women and girls. The Club was formed in 1962, the year of Jamaica's independence, to educate, enable and empower women. Since its establishment, SIJK has made outstanding contribution to the lives and conditions of Jamaican women and girls in Jamaica, raising money and giving service to many worthy causes in the Corporate Area.

Among its initiatives are the annual fund-raising concert Classics in June, proceeds from which provide support to the National Children's Home; a Valentine's brunch celebrating women in science; an annual health fair serving communities in Swallowfield and Stadium Gardens; and the Charter Luncheon highlighting powerful women with philanthropic spirit. The SIJK was granted charity status in 2017 to assist in its effort to attract corporate support.

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