Opera singer and recitalist Jessye Norman is this year’s choice to receive the AFUWI Bob Marley Award. The five-time Grammy Award winner was named the 2014 winner of the honor annually presented by the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) during their 17th Annual Legacy Awards Gala to be held on January 29, 2014, at The Pierre Hotel (New York), because of her “contribution to the advancement of arts and culture (which) transcend boundaries of race, color, creed and geographies.” The Honorary Patron for this fundraising event is the honorable Harry Belafonte.
The black-tie affair emceed by media personalities Maurice DuBois, Lori Stokes and Susan L. Taylor, is endorsed annually by celebrated actor and Civil Rights activist Harry Belafonte who also serves as honorary patron to the cause which benefits needy students in pursuit of higher education.
It is the “signature event of the foundation, and attracts those of like minds whose desire it is to invest in the journeys of the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals in their pursuit of their aspirations,” an AFUWI spokesperson said.
Proceeds from the Gala are used to support some of the brightest students from across the Caribbean region at the University’s four campuses. Reportedly, aid is allotted to those who “face dire financial circumstances that threaten their ability to access a college education.”
Allegedly, last year, the foundation awarded 66 full-tuition scholarships.
Other patrons of the mission includes: Answorth A. Allen, Mayor David N. Dinkins, Kaye Foster-Cheek and Janet Rollé. In addition to presentation of the prestigious award, a number of individuals will be recognized with Caribbean Luminary honors for their role as “standard bearers in the community.” They include: Gail E. D. Brathwaite, Executive Vice President of Bankwell Financial Group, Inc and Bankwell Bank in New Caanan, Connecticut, Michelle Elie, Haitian-American couture jewelry designer, and Dr. Velma Scantlebury-White, the first African-American female transplant surgeon in the USA.
Another, the Vice Chancellor’s Achievement Award will be handed to Nick Charles, director of communications for LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation) NYC and the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, Elinor R. Tatum, publisher and editor in chief of the New York Amsterdam News, and Dr. Dwight Williams, board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Previous recipients of the Bob Marley Award include actor Danny Glover, musician/singer Jimmy Cliff and dance choreographer Judith Jamison.
For additional information, please contact AFUWI at 212-759-9345 or visit www.afuwi.org
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