Guyanese Women Against Violence Everywhere

From the archives of 2003 because #lifeinleggings out of Barbados and recent murders in Trinidad & Tobago, reminds us that the fight cannot stop…all are involved:

“When last anyone see anything, with the word Guyana on it, that people have signed on to, across race, across class, across gender, across age, across national borders, even Caribbean academics and artists? Or the responses from chutney singer, Terry Gajraj, saying he really wants to help, or the Mighty Sparrow saying to sign him up, to Rikki Jai saying that we should sign him up and that he and Black Stalin are working on songs that addresses some of these issues in Trinidad, to some Caribbean artistes letting us know if we come up with lyrics they will contribute their talents and come up with a song, to Trinidadian DJ’s saying they want to join the list too, to Guyanese everywhere offering to contribute money for full page advertisements? Perhaps elsewhere in the Caribbean people will not only sign on, but take example in their own situations.

And finally, we may think it is symbolic, or can’t come to anything. But look what does happen when you put a bunch of educated people together (and yes, I include myself here), we does pontificate, we does quarrel, baby party does bruk up, we does talk and talk and talk…..and over 30 people already murdered in Guyana for 2003. Someday we may say nothing much came of this, but for now, a strategy whereby you choose what I call ‘the lowest common denominator’ (and that was just to say if you agree that the killing must stop NOW, then sign on) to get Black, Indian, and Amerindian, rich and poor, man and woman to sign on, is a good strategy. If we don’t do this, and we immediately start instead by putting forward positions or reasons why the violence happening, then the can buss open, Rishee cussing Josiah, Josiah cussing Rishee and we don’t move forward.

If we can generate some generosity of spirit with this, we have done a lot.

The women in Guyana are not speaking. They are acting. We are near the bottom. How much does it take to give them the benefit of the doubt, place some of that little bit of hope you have left in what they are doing, and have just a little faith.” Alissa Trotz


Many Signed onto the ADs that were placed in Newspapers in Guyana. The AD heading read:

We, the undersigned are writing to express our collective horror at the violence in Guyana, and to register our solidarity with the women of Guyana who, by coming out to the Cenotaph in Georgetown on Friday January 24th and 31st, 2003, are courageously taking a public stand against this madness. They do this in all our names. STOP ALL THE KILLINGS…..NOW!!


Updated 11/2/03 (486 names)

Abbyssinian, Artist, New York
Abena Cummings
Adam Lynch St. Kitts & Nevis
Adana Collins,
Agnes Griffith
Aileen L. Fox
Aileen Thomasson
Alesia Ferguson, Stanford University
Aletha Wills
Alexis J
Alice Miller-Thomas
Alison Hinds, SQUARE ONE, Barbados
Alissa Trotz, University of Toronto
Aliyah Khan
Allana Persaud, Guyana
Allison Butters-Grant
Allison Lindner
Alvina Rambarran
Amlata Persaud
Anastasia Persaud
Andre & Natalie Belmonte Florida Business owners
Andrea B’Shaw
Andrea Delph, Occupational Therapist, Maryland
Andrew Ballantyne, United Kingdom, Trinidad & Tobago
Andy Ninvalle
Angela Osborne
Angie Rose, Helsinki, Finland
Ann Munroe
Ann O’Brien
Anthony Cummings
Anthony Persaud,Marketing Director ,World Financial Group
Anthony S Persaud and family
Antoinette Bacchus
Ariane Mangar
Arnold Itwaru, University of Toronto
Arturo Tappin
Asafa George
Ashmid Ali, Civil Engineer
Association of Artists & Writers Inc. in New York
Aubrey Gonsalves Brampton Canada
Aubrey Woon-A-Tai
Audrey Cyrus
Audrey Lilloo-Fraser
Audrey Bobb
Ayanna Kambui, Washington DC
Ayanna Wickham
Ayenni Dougan-McKenzie
Ayodele Browne
Azad Mohamed
Azad Shaheed Toronto,Canada
Azar Ali
Azar S. Ali
B. Prashad
Barbara Thomas-Holder
Basil Lucas
Bernard Heydorn, Novelist, Canada
Bonnie Singh
Bernice Walmesley Scarborough Ont.
Bert Haitsma
Beverly Conway, El Salvador
Bibi S. Sultan
Black Stalin, Calypsonian, Trinidad and Tobago
Bob Singh
Brad Tafa Hemmings of, Miami
Brenan Finch
Brenda Chester DoHarris, Bowie State University
Brian Meeks, University of the West Indies, Mona
Bridgit Antoinette Evans The Venus Project New York City

C. Wilson
Camille Correia
Camille McKenzie
Camille Willock
Candace Walcott-Shepherd, NJ
Candice Ramessar
Carl Hosannah Jr
Carmen Ann Subryan
Carmen Barclay Subryan Howard University
Carmen Outridge
Carole Fraser
Cary Fraser, Pennsylvania State University
Cassandra Perry
Cathryn Jackson
Cavelle Lynch
Cavelle Lynch, University of Warwick, UK
Cecelia Dolphin
Cecilia Green, University of Pittsburgh
Cecilia Rose, Geneva Switzerland
Centime Zeleke, York University
Chandra Budhu, Toronto
Chantalle Smith
Charlotte Williams Writer and Broadcaster UK.
Cheryl Williams
Chico Khan, Boston, MA
Chris G. Aird
Claremont Kirton, University of the West Indies, Mona
Clement Gail
Clinton Ritchie
Colin Baird
Colin Cholmondeley, Mustard Seed Communities/ROOTS FMJamaica
Colleen gonsalves
Cosbert, Winston
Cynetta Delisse Halls Freeman, Atlanta, GA
Daiann Singh Baruch College New York
Danesh Chowritmootoo
Danny Rampersaud -Toronto,Canada
Daphne De Peana
Dave Martins, TRADEWINDS
David Hinds
David Mahesh, Capitol Engineers, PC
David Scott, Columbia University
Davina Stephenson
Dean M. Jackson
Debbie Singh
Debra Gibson- Welch
Denise DeCaires Narain, University of Sussex
Denise Dias
Denise Holder
Denise Robinson
Denyse Bernard
Derrice Deane
Desa Calder
Desiree Gomes
Desrey Fox, Rice University
Devendra Sahadeo
Devina Sharma
Dhanraj Bhagwandin
Diana Abraham
Dion R Allicock
Dominic Willock
Donna Brown, Guyanase, London
Dr. Kimani Nehusi University of East London UK
DRUPATEE, Soca/Chutney singer, Trinidad and Tobago
Dwayne Hackett
E. Hopkinson
E. Ramdin – Toronto Canada
Ebenezer Oloyede
Ed Yhap, UG Guild of Graduates, Ontario
Edith Joan Payne
Elizabeth Gopaul
Emanuel Mendonca, President OBG, Toronto, Canada
Enakshi Dua, York University
Eon Canzius, NYC
Erin Lane Schuck, Palm Bay, Florida (USA)
Esther Roth-Dias
Ewart Thomas, Stanford University
F. Yvonne Jackson, Chicago, Illinois – USA
Fahd Ahmed Brooklyn NY
Fareena Mahmood
Farida McDougall
Fedora Galasso
Ferrolisha Griffith
Feyi Rodway
Fianna Holder MSc. Imperial College Uni.
Fiona Holder, University of Waterloo, Canada
Frances Shepherd
Francesca Pires
Frank Henry, Artist, Canada
Gary Girdhari, Editor, Guyana Journal
George Mentore, University of Virginia
Gery Barry
Gilbert Campbell
Gina James
Gina Singh
Glenn Fraser
Godfrey Chin
Gordon Watson
Grace Aneiza Ali
Grace Nicholls, Poet, UK
Hannah Buck
Harold Drayton, University of Texas , Galveston
Hon.Prof.Dr.Harold R. Persaud Radio/TV Talkshow Host
Harry Hergash, UG Guild of Graduates
Hemraj Muniram Ontario
Henry Ramnath, Toronto, Canada
Hilbourne Watson, Bucknell University
Hollis France, Charleston College
Honor Ford Smith, University of Toronto
Horace Benjamin
Horace Campbell, Syracuse University
Horace Henriques, University of Toronto,
Hubert C. Roberts
Hubert Devonish, University of the West Indies, Mona
Hugh Hartley, Guyana
Imran Bacchus
Indira Anandjit
Ivor Ramroop
Iwer George, Soca singer, Trinidad and Tobago
Jacqueline Massiah
Jai Parsram
Jan Lo Shinebourne, Novelist, UK
Jean Forbes, Toronto
Jean Sankies
Jeanette Singh, UG Guild of Graduates, Ontario
Jennifer M. Stewart-Page
Jennifer Roman, Antigua
Jennifer Singh, Educator, Toronto, Canada
Jerry King
Jewel Whinfield
Joan Anne Jordan
Joan McCloggan
Joan T. Seymour
Joan-Ann Gravesande
Joanna Helen Campbell, Stanford University
Johann Trotz Singh
John Agard, Poet, UK
John Rickford, Stanford University
John Slingshot DrePaul (calypsonian)
Jonelle Reynolds
Joseph B. Collins, Manchester,UK
Joseph Sealey
Joy A Noble
Joyce Ramsubick, Ryerson University, Toronto
Juanita De Barros, University of Western Michigan
Judith McLean
Judy Butters
Juliet Tucker Chalmers
June Bobb, Queen’s College, City University of New York
June Gibson
K. Zaman Ali
K.K. Bhagwandin
Kafi Gordon
Kafi Langevine Payne, Oakland, CA
Kamal Singh-Matthews, Artist, UK
Kamala Kempadoo, York University
Kamau Bobb
Kampta Karran, University of Warwick, UK
Karen Abrams Atlanta
Karen Alexander
Karen Jardim
Karen Sutherland
Karen Wharton
Kathleen Drayton, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill (Retired)
Kathleen Gittens
Keith Corsbie
Keith Moses Toronto Canada
Keith Thom
Keith Waithe, Musician, UK
Kerry Rittich, University of Toronto
Kevin “Ital-K’ Smith of WLRN Radio +, Miami
Kevin Yelvington, University of South Florida
Kim Cook
Kiran Mirchandani, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Kiroon N Singh (Faye)
Krishna Madan, Maui Hawaii
Kristina Balram
KROSFYAH, Barbados
Kumar Tiwari
Lance Thomas
Learie Bain
Lee Shepherd
Leila Parris, Georgetown,Guyana
Leon Christian, Guyanese. Atlanta
Leon Ramessar
Leslie Camacho, New York
Leslie Nedd
Linda Peake, York University
Linden F. Lewis, Bucknell University
Lindsay Davidson
Linzi Manicom University of Toronto
Lisa B. Thompson
Lisa Shadir
Lloyd Conway/Stabroek News
London England
Lourdeth Ferguson
L’roi Jones
Lucretia John
Lynda Bonnett
Lynette Gibson The Graduate Center CUNY
Machel Montano, Soca singer, Trinidad and Tobago
Maggie Kosmoll Mew
Mahesh Kissoon
Makeda Burton
Makeda burton
Malaika Cummings
Malaika Scott Amsterdam Netherlands
Malcolm Cho-Kee, Chairman of United Guyanese Organization
Malcolm Robinson
Marc C. Arthur
Marc Matthews, Poet/Storyteller, UK
Marcia Bumbury
Marcia Gomes
Marcia Shury, Italy
Margaret Kosmoll
Margot VigilanceMarieann Harvey
Marie Brandon, Australia
Marie Correia
Marie Correia Marissa Williams
Marilyn Baird
Mark Jacobs
Mark McWatt, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill
Mark S. Weekes
Martin Jaundoo
Maurice L. Linton
Maximus Dan
Maxine Moore – London, England
Maya Trotz, Stanford University
May-Lou Prince,Guyanese,New York
McDougall, Farida
Megan Grant-Gravesande
Melanie Newton, University of Toronto
Melissa Pollard
Melissa Yearwood
Michael Ashley
Michael Bobb
Michael Earl Lambert
Michelle Bolin
Michelle DeAbreu, Maryland
Michelle singh
Michelle Small
Mlilwana Osanku
Mrs. M. M. Khan
Mohan Lall
Monetta Edwards, San Diego CA
Moonsammy Raymond
Myrtle Richards,Cooperatives, Guyana
N. Ally, UG Guild of Graduates, Ontario
Nadira Persaud, Educator, Toronto, Ontario
Nalini Mayroo – College of Charleston
Nalini Seenauth
Nancy Rickford Toronto
Naresh Gurpersaud
Narindra Dat, Educator, Markham, Ontario
Natalie Nesbith, York University
Natalie Samuels Myers
Natasha Moonsammy
Nekoda Clarke
Nesha Cole
Nesha Z. Haniff
Neville & Dawn Patrick
Neville George Novelist Texas
Neville Munroe
Nicole Barnwell
Nicole Moore-Clarke, Barbados
Nigel Bolland, Colgate University
Nigel Westmaas, University of Binghamton
O. Pindling, VISAGE BAND, Bahamas
Olga Hinds
Orin Greene Guyanese. New Jersey
Orin King
Orissa Karshi Samaroo
Pamela Chase
Pamela Ramdial
Patricia Kempadoo
Patricia London,, CA
Patricia Rodney, Morehouse School of Medicine
Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth
Patsy Lewis, University of the West Indies, Mona
Paul Buhle
Paula Holmes
Paula Jackman-Duncan; N.Y
Paula Jordon Noble
Pauline Melville, Novelist, UK
Pearlie Wood
Pedro Noguera, Harvard University
Peggy Antrobus, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill (Retired)
Penny defreitas
Percy Hintzen, University of California, Berkeley
Perry Mars Detroit USA
Pet Hope
Philip Richards
Rachel Hazel
Rae Vanderhyden
Raj Persaud
RAJA-Soca Chutney Singer of Guyana
Rajindra Sankarpersaud
Rajindra Sankarpersaud
Rakesh Rampertab
Randolph B. Persaud, American University
Rannie Whyte
Rasheeda Forbes-Riley
Raul Christopher Seecharran
Ravi Jaundoo, Web Developer, Graphic Designer
Ravi Somar
Raymond King, Maryland USA
Raza Ally
RED RAT, Reggae Artist, Jamaica
Rhoda Reddock, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine
Richard Bhola
Richard Drayton, Cambridge University
Ricky Rampertab
Rikki Jai, Calypsonian, Trinidad and Tobago
Rishee S. Thakur/University of Guyana/Berbice campus
Robert S.Drepaul, The Association of Guyanese Overseas(AGOS)
Roberta Parris
Robin Hazel
Rochelle Clarke
Rocky Fraser
Rohan Sooklall
Rohilda Goodluck
Rohit Coonjah, Engineer, Guyana
Roianne Nedd-Waldron
Rolston Osborne
Ron Bobb-Semple
Ronette Carr
Rosalind Hintzen Baptiste
Roshini Kempadoo
Roslyn Baichoo
Roy Sears
Rozanna Ali Beaumont
RUPEE, Soca singer, Barbados
Rupert Lewis, University of the West Indies, Mona
Ruth White, Seattle University
Ruth-Anne Lynch
Salina Allie
Sally Bacchus, Canada

Samuel Legay LL.B
Samuel Walker
Sandhya Jokhu
Sandra Parris
Sanjhevi Kempadoo, Television Producer, Amsterdam
Sara Abraham, University of Toronto
Sarah Wilkinson-Eytle
Sarita Khan
Sattie Bulkan
Selwyn Seyfu Hinds/New York City/author
Shamita Singh
Sharmila Sadik
Sharon and Jacqueline Brusch
Shelly Ann Anthony USA
Sherene McDougall
Shirley Cameron
Shivani Jagmohan
Shiyama Rickford
Shurmine Smith
Simone Gill, Columbia University, New York
Simone Holden
Sister Hazel Campayne, Canada
Sonia Rosen, Philadelphia, PA
Sophia Gallina
sravasti persaud york college,city university of new york
St Elmo Hughes
Stacey Payne
Stacey Phillips
Stella Otto Beard
Stephanie M. Huelster, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Steve Semple
Storm P. Jackson
Surya Rambarran
Taharimoon Ali, UG Guild of Graduates
Tahseen Nasir
Tameca Sukhdeo
Tarique I. Nageer
Taryn De Mendonca
Tavis Jules
Terence Roopnaraine, Anthropologist
Terrence Richard Blackman
Terry Gajraj Soca/Chutney artist CT USA
THE MIGHTY SPARROW, Trinidad and Tobago
Toni Wilson
Tony Farnum
Tony Phillips, Painter, Australia
Trevor Karran
Uso Fraser
Vaidwattie Naraine
Valerie Glasgow
Valerie Mahadeo
Vandre Fonseca
Vanessa Baliram
Venus Tahal
Vera Moore
Vibert Cambridge, Ohio University
Victor Moses Brampton Canada
Vidushi Persaud
Vidya Jaisaree
Vince Ramcharran
Vivette Glen Lewis, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville PA
Vonetta Edwards
Vonna Lou Caleb Drayton, Texas Department of Health, Austin Texas
Walter F. Edwards, Wayne State University
Wayne Motayne, Canada
Wézon St Lucia
William (Bill) Moore
Winston Cosbert
Yeon Adams
Zainul Bacchus, UG Guild of Graduates, Ontario
Zennie Jardine

Science and Technology (S&T) is not just for older Caribbean men.

Dear Ambassador LaRocque,
RE: Science and Technology (S&T) is not just for older Caribbean men.
On January 10, 2014 a CARICOM S&T Committee was launched to promote the development of S&T in CARICOM as a tool for economic development by working closely with all Governments and scientific organizations in the region, and serve as an advisory body to the Prime Minister responsible for S&T in CARICOM, Honorable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada. The members are Mr. James Husbands, Director of Solar Dynamics Limited, Professor Cardinal Warde Caribbean Science Foundation, diaspora representative who is a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, Professor Harold Ramkissoon, President Emeritus of CARISCIENCE (Chair), Dr. Arnoldo Ventura, former Advisor to the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Professor Ishenkumba Kahwa, Deputy Principal of the Mona Campus, UWI, and Mr. Kent Mitchell.
On June 15, 2016, this committee remains the same. It is all male, and none are representative of youth. One would have hoped that they would have recognized this imbalance and done something about it after two years.
In relation to gender, according to CARICOM, the ideal Caribbean person “nourishes in him/herself and in others, the fullest development of each person’s potential without gender stereotyping and embraces differences and similarities between females and males as a source of mutual strength.” In fact, CARICOM’s latest strategic plan advocates a “development agenda that develops measures for a people-centred approach to poverty reduction; develops measures for protection and inclusion to guarantee opportunities for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged and takes account of the transformative and multiplier effect of gender equality and empowerment of women on development activity and gains.”
The CARICOM Youth Development Action Plan (CYDAP), strives to improve access to the quality and quantity of opportunities available to adolescents and youth between the ages of 10-29, and in and out-of-school. CARICOM also seeks their full participation as architects and enablers of the Region’s development. Women represent 51% of the Caribbean population and 66% of the Region’s population are youth.
There are Caribbean-wide agencies that can provide excellent and innovative young scientists and engineers and female scientists and engineers to serve on the CARICOM Science & Technology Committee that would better reflect who we are – such as CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, the Caribbean Youth Environment Network Caribbean Youth Environment Network Caribbean Youth Environment Network – Guyana, and the various Colleges, Technical Institutes, and Universities of the Region 11th Caribbean Institute in Gender and Development- CIGAD Institute for Gender and Development Studies, St. Augustine… Institute for Gender and Development Studies – (RCU) UWI…. Given the lack of gender equality and youth representation on their committee, we write to ensure steps are taken to secure female and youth representation on the committee by December 31, 2016. It is critical that the committee represents CARICOM’s goals and ideals and reflects its diversity.
Ariana Marshall, Engineer, Barbados
Ayanna T. Samuels, Engineer, Jamaica
Chris Samuel Roberts, University Student, Jamaica
Fatima Patel, Scientist, Barbados
Karen A. Wharton, Engineer, New York, Guyana
Kemron ‘Skyhigh’ Dufont, Engineeer, Grenada
Maya Trotz, Engineer, Tampa/Guyana
Trina Halfhide, Scientist/Engineer, Trinidad & Tobago
Teshanna Mohammed, High School Student, Trinidad and Tobago
Wainella Isaacs, Scientist/Engineer, Tampa/Guyana
Thanks to Kaieteur News, Stabroek News & T&T Guardian for publishing this letter. Thanks to Vanda Radzika and Nfn Andaiye for edits.

On Forests & Dictators, Norway, Guyana, McKinsey & Clinton


October 14th, 2014

November 10th, 2014


Reminded of emails from the past….

From: Narendra Rajcoomar <>
Subject: LCDS Response
Date: Monday, August 24, 2009, 12:00 PM

Dear Ms Trotz,

Thank you for your general interest in the LCDS. Regarding your question, please note that the work of the Mc. Kinsey Group with the Government of Guyana received support from the Clinton Foundation.

M. Brotherson
Office of Climate Change


From: Maya Trotz []
Sent: Tue 25/08/2009 06:21 PM
To: Narendra Rajcoomar
Cc: CCI Info; Climate Positive Development Info;
Subject: McKinsey Report done for the Government of Guyana on a Low Carbon Development Strategy

Hello, I understand that the Clinton Foundation funded McKinsey to complete a project for the government of Guyana on its LCDS initiative. I have been trying to find out (1) how much McKinsey was paid for the project and (2) where I can find a copy of the project since it is being used as a basis for current public consultations in Guyana, however, the public lacks any details on how the calculations were made or work done.

I have already submitted an online request on the Clinton Foundation website and have yet to get a response. I am hoping that you can put me in touch with the ight person at your organization.

Thanks in advance,
Maya Trotz


From: CCI Info <>
To: Maya Trotz <>
Sent: Tue, October 13, 2009 9:17:49 AM
Subject: CCI response

Dear Maya,

Thank you for contacting the Clinton Climate Initiative. We are always excited to hear from individuals who are interested in helping to combat climate change.

If you look at the McKinsey website I am sure that you will find a copy of the project.


Clinton Climate Initiative


From: Maya Trotz []
Sent: Tue 13/10/2009 06:42 PM
To: CCI Info
Subject: Re: CCI response

Thanks. I found their climate initiative page, but am not sure which one of the projects deals specifically with Guyana. Can you tell me please? Thanks, Maya



From: CCI Info <>
To: Maya Trotz <>
Sent: Fri, October 16, 2009 10:02:35 AM
Subject: CCI response
Dear Maya,

I would recommend that you call McKinsey and Company as regards this point. I appologise that I cannot be of more help

Thank you again for your interest and support.


Clinton Climate Initiative


From: Maya Trotz []
Sent: Fri 16/10/2009 03:07 PM
To: CCI Info
Subject: Re: CCI response

Thanks for responding. This is just great. The government of Guyana said I need to contact the Clinton Foundation for the information because you paid for the study. Now you say I must call McKinsey. Is this what transparency is all about? Hope you don’t mind, but I plan to share all of these correspondences online.

Dr. Maya Trotz


From: Jennifer Rockwitz <>
Sent: Mon, October 19, 2009 6:43:10 PM
Subject: FW: Guyana project query

Dear Dr. Trotz,

Below please find the link to the McKinsey report that you requested, Saving the World’s Forests Today: Creating Incentives to Avoid Deforestation.
Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
All best,
Jennifer Rockwitz


From: Maya Trotz []
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2009 9:13 PM
To: Jennifer Rockwitz
Subject: Re: Guyana project query

Thank you Jennifer. Unfortunately the Government of Guyana (GoG) has named itself as the author of that paper, yet at national consultations they have referred people to the “McKinsey Report.” I would think that if it were a McKinsey report, McKinsey would be listed as an author. In the exec. summary it states that the paper was written by the GoG based on an assessment by McKinsey which made folks, like me, believe that there was a separate McKinsey report. It’s great to know that someone finally has an answer after 2 months of inquiry. You might want to let the Office of Climate Change in Guyana know that they should make it clear on their website and to the people of Guyana what really is being called the “McKinsey Report.” If they do wish to call it the McKinsey report I would also suggest they make McKinsey an author on the title page to help lessen the confusion.

Which brings me to another question. How much did the Clinton Foundation pay for McKinsey’s contribution to this 35 page document? What was McKinsey specifically asked to do? It’s a bit troubling that this document would surface before consultations with local populations, especially forest populations. Hopefully I am mistaken on this latter point and the document was created after much public engagement.



— On Wed, 10/21/09, Jennifer Rockwitz <> wrote:

From: Jennifer Rockwitz <>
Subject: RE: Guyana project query
To: “Maya Trotz” <>
Cc: “Sara Greenbaum” <>, “Olivia Ross” <>, “Chris Johnson” <>
Date: Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 5:04 PM

Dear Maya,

Thanks for your email.

CCI has, upon request, offered the Government of Guyana advice on how to incentivize and generate the investment needed to sustain a development strategy that seeks to preserve Guyana’s forests and enhance community development, on a pro bono basis. CCI has at times worked in cooperation with McKinsey, as they engaged in similar activities. However, the Clinton Foundation is not a grant-making foundation, and CCI did not grant/donate its own funds to McKinsey for the study, Saving the World’s Forests Today: Creating Incentives to Avoid Deforestation. Rather, upon request, we agreed to provide administrative support to “pass through” funding to McKinsey from third party donors at the donors’ managerial direction.

Best wishes,


To Jennifer Rockwitz
CC Sara Greenbaum Olivia Ross Chris Johnson Dec 7, 2010
Ariana, Please see email thread below on CCI and McKinsey and the LCDS. McKinsey claims that the President should not have even used their name on the report and that I’d never find out who paid for their report or how much was paid.

As the email from CCI shows, they pretty much are as non transparent as McKinsey.

Guyana just received the first set of payments from Norway. It would be great if Greenpeace can follow up on this as we are asking communities to believe in these transparent processes when a very simple little question about who backed the initial study cannot be answered. I’ve heard some great rumors that it’s Colombian drug dealers wishing to keep the Guyana forests. Imaginations can soar. And they should.



Human Imagination for a Sustainable Caribbean: Spaces for Creativity


I was invited to write a paper for the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum Trinidad and Tobago 2014 – The Human Imagination At Work – Driving Competitiveness, Powering Innovation. This invitation was sent to all of the members of the technical task force. The entire article will be published in the report from the conference. I feel very strongly about this topic and feel it is the critical direction in which our education delivery must go. An edited version of the article was published in “In the Diaspora”, Stabroek News.

“I want the smallest child or the untrained eye to reach an awareness of the beauty around them and to come to the realization of the miracle of nature in a simple rock, branch, pod and leaf.” Roslyn Watson, “Roslyn: A Retrospective Exhibition,” National Cultural Foundation, Barbados, December 2013.


But we in the Caribbean need to remember that emancipation from the enduring obscenities of the past half-a-millennium depends primarily on the people of the Caribbean themselves. None but ourselves can indeed free our minds of that lingering self-doubt, that lack of self-confidence and that paralysis of will consequent on such afflictions.” Rex Nettleford, “Re-engineering Caribbean Cultural Enterprises/institutions: Agenda for the future,” The William G. Demas Lecture, Tobago, 2004.

20130916diasporaLike the artist who thinks that each child can recognize beauty in the natural world around them, I believe that every person can be creative and that given the right circumstances that creativity can lead to innovations that contribute to the sustainable development of our communities. David Kelley, founder of design and innovation consultancy firm IDEO, describes his interest in encouraging people to “rediscover their creative confidence—the natural ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to try them out.”

How might we nurture the creative confidence of youth through education pathways in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)?

If you walk into any Caribbean classroom and ask the students if they are satisfied with their school environment, most would say “No.” In 2013 a private corporation, Sagicor; a non-governmental organization, Caribbean Science Foundation; a regional body, Caribbean Examinations Council; and Ministries of Education in twelve CARICOM countries launched the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge (SVC). Students were asked to identify a challenge facing their school and/or community, propose a sustainable solution, and demonstrate how that solution used Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). One hundred and seventy five teams entered, representing some nine hundred students from the participating countries.

Drain adjacent to a national museum in Guyana, 9/1/14.
Drain adjacent to a national museum in Guyana, 9/1/14.

Students proposed performance spaces, photography labs and even a solar powered multi media/gaming portal to visualize material covered in textbooks. The entries indicate that students wanted cooler classrooms, healthier cafeterias with food that they grow and process, better functioning washroom facilities, updated laboratories, and improved computer, library, and sports facilities. They want cleaner environments with less air and noise pollution, less flooding, and less badly disposed of solid waste. As the Caribbean embraces STEM as a new focal point for development, it is critical that decision makers have a grounded sense of the realities the majority of students face in their daily school environment. The process of solving these challenges must also be democratized. Students proposed creative solutions that can easily be implemented if only their voices were heard. Care must be taken to ensure that the work that deals with “the real and local” is not somehow undervalued due to misconceptions of what is cutting edge science and technology for global export.

Solid waste management is one excellent example to expand upon and one that students highlighted across the region. It directly links to the potential of informal spaces for Caribbean creativity, and also sheds light on the uniqueness of island contexts and why solutions could inform the world. Underfunded solid waste management departments, high levels of imported materials including many non-biodegradable products, too little waste for economically viable recycling processes, are common reasons given by researchers for badly functioning solid waste management practices in islands. Competition for available land for landfills, the predominant management practice, coupled with the close proximity of people to landfills makes the challenges urgent. Some students addressed their own habits that could fix waste disposal, others recognized neighboring communities that dumped refuse in gullies which then bred rodents that infested the school, some found beneficial uses for coconut shells that clogged city drains, and all were aware of the plastic bottles and styrofoam containers that made their way into local waterways and beaches, becoming pest havens and breeding grounds for mosquitoes, including those responsible for dengue and chikungunya. Highly publicized clean up campaigns are common throughout the region, yet trash continues to return from land-based activities. Enforced littering fines and financial incentives for recycling definitely contribute to reduced litter, but is there another pathway to stop this trend?

For the most part, not many Caribbean students are accessing spaces such as beaches, parks and coral reefs. In many islands one cannot help but see the ocean/sea, yet there is no formal curricular requirement that takes them to experience and grasp the possibilities that can be derived from these spaces. How can reef environments inspire architecture, material design, and food security? How can ocean waves inspire power generation, steel pan symphonies, and transportation services? How can mangrove forests inspire water reuse mechanisms, performance space, and climate change mitigation? These are the types of questions that Caribbean youth can and should ask and answer. Contemplating these questions can change the entire dynamic of the interaction between people and spaces in the Caribbean from disengagement to pride, protection, and sustainable development. Doing this properly requires investment in the spaces. With tourism an economic driver for decades, infrastructure like restroom facilities and lifeguard stations already exist on many beaches, as do dive shops and local fishermen who access the sea’s resources. Basic infrastructural investment is low compared to the investment needed for tools to harness the creativity inspired by that space; educational models, materials, and design/innovation labs located at the space, away from the space, and even virtually.

There is currently no requirement in CXC curricula for a student to experience the marine environment, much less access a dive site. The CXC is currently developing a Green Engineering syllabus that includes the concept of biomimicry, nature inspired solutions for human problems. Biomimicry is not just limited to engineering design. Caribbean students can watch a video and see the reef system in person, share its story, and learn about it from local communities that use it in diverse ways. Investment would be needed to train people and create materials that show how that underwater experience can be translated across disciplines like music, architecture, medicine, mechanical engineering, materials science. This biomimicry exercise can also be tailored to address solid waste management challenges. Does it inspire students to create improved packaging designs or complete systems that eliminate waste generation? The opportunity to access landscapes filled with beauty, science, culture, and history is critical to Caribbean development.


The SVC was open to any student in a Caribbean secondary school. Designed properly, the Green Engineering curriculum could integrate the SVC as a formal deliverable for evaluation. Some unique partnerships with the SVC include team mentors who provide feedback on students’ ideas. There is a large Caribbean diaspora and people who visit, and/or work in the Caribbean with relevant expertise who are more than willing to mentor students. This model succeeds if the engagement is meaningful, transparent, and honest in its end goal. The ideal platform for engagement is yet to be developed as are the mechanisms to share mentor expertise and the progress of the mentoring experience. Frameworks like the CXC’s Notesmaster online learning portal could potentially host these materials. Partnerships with national trusts, business owners, governmental and non-governmental agencies are needed to develop and maintain the outdoor spaces. Though written with a strong emphasis on STEM, these must be interdisciplinary and trans disciplinary spaces that promote engagement with the cultural and art industries and business sectors. The Green Engineering course under development is just one example of a course that addresses biomimicry, but one can imagine others that are even more interdisciplinary and appropriate for younger Caribbean students.

Partnerships are also needed to develop design labs that could be at schools, the local technical school or university, the outdoor space, or an artist’s studio. Caribbean people need to be engaged to best decide where these design spaces should be and what they should look like. The “making” would be with purpose and guided by the goal of sustainable development so the purpose is not just to sell product for profit. The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at the University of California, San Diego aims to help society become more effective at harnessing imagination by bringing together the inventive power of science and technology, with the critical analysis of the humanities, and the expressive insight of the arts. Can formal partnerships be established with centers like those as well as more traditional spaces like museums of art and science that allow students to see what others are doing? Appropriate persons in the Caribbean who can lead and benefit from those partnerships need to be supported and encouraged to do so.

There are also many local, regional, and global opportunities for young people to expand their creative ideas into something that receives even more feedback and potential funding. The RBC Young Leaders and the SVC are two regional challenges for secondary school students in the Caribbean. While a necessary start, more investment is needed by companies that see value in changing the educational landscape of youth. This can be done through direct support to educational organizations like the CXC or Caribbean Science Foundation or through the corporate labeled challenges that align with today’s marketing strategies.

Twenty years after the Barbados Program of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island States (SIDS), the world assembled in Samoa in September 2014 for the 3rd plenary on Sustainable Development to focus on partnership building to support SIDS. Size, remoteness, limited resources, climate vulnerability, and small scale provide multiple opportunities for the creation of communities that lead the world down a sustainable pathway. The Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) grouping offers a ready made institutional framework for transforming sustainability innovations developed in the islands to continental populations. Sustainability innovations, however, must depend on the creativity of island populations. In the face of globalization, CARICOM countries must value their human capital and invest in a quality education that nurtures creativity grounded in Caribbean experiences, history, and socio-cultural contexts. The marine environment is but one example of a creativity space that offers opportunities for its rediscovery and revaluation in the context of educational reform. Without access to places of beauty, both physically and mentally, one is not inclined to protect them or see value in them. For the Caribbean islands, however, it is these same spaces that provide unique opportunities for human imagination to soar. The partnerships established through the SVC attest to the power of the Caribbean community to innovate in non-traditional ways for STEM education and sustainability. Post Samoa requires more of these partnerships to strengthen the educational foundation upon which our communities are built.

See Stabroek News for In the Diaspora article.

Under the Bulldozer – Paula Lucie Smith

This letter was received in an email wrt Highway Reroute Movement petition:


What makes societies change for the better? First, someone must take a stand against injustice and wrongdoing – Sir Thomas Moore, Rosa Parks, Ghandi, Malala. Second, others must have the courage to join in challenging those in power. Successive governments in T&T are testimony that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Every day in T&T, politicians serve themselves instead of the people and the only weapon we use against them is picong and jokes. We fail to use the power we have in a democracy.

Our political system comes from the UK. Kings and queens of England used to chop off the heads of those who did not agree with them. Now the Queen answers to parliament and when politicians misstep, they resign immediately. Why? Not because they are any less greedy and selfish, but because they know they will be publicly shamed and humiliated for wrongdoing. The people – with the press leading the way – hold them accountable.

In T&T, the reverse happens. Politicians humiliate those who challenge them – usually by saying they are mad and out for personal gain. Because news in T&T focuses on what politicians say, they need only keep repeating this for their self-serving opinion to become accepted.

One man has ruined his health and now places his life on the line again to hold our politicians accountable. All he asks is that the politicians stop and consider before continuing with a possibly unnecessary section of a highway that will destroy 13 communities and their livelihoods, and could destroy the environmental balance in the South West peninsular – perhaps leading to regular floods as in POS since the reclaiming of the swamp.

Politicians only account to the people when enough of us demand this. Wayne Kublalsingh and the people living under a bulldozer have given us a golden opportunity to reshape our politics. If you wait until the bulldozer is outside your door, it will be too late. For every action, and inaction, there is a consequence.

Paula Lucie-Smith

Hummingbird Gold, Caribbean Award for Excellence