“When the People Lead, The Leaders Follow” (Extractivism in the Caribbean)

Join “Red Thread Guyana” for the second in a series of conversations about Extractivism in the Caribbean, which will spotlight the communities and people asking questions and organizing: “The Save Cockpit Country movement and fight against extraction in Jamaica.”

DATE: Thursday May 4, 2023


REGISTER IN ADVANCE FOR THIS WEBINARhttps://tinyurl.com/PeopleLeadLeadersFollow2


Ainsworth Smith, South Trelawny Environmental Agency (STEA)
Theresa Rodriguez-Moodie, Jamaica Environment Trust (JET)
Esther Figueroa, Vagabond Media

Moderated by Beverley Mullings, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Toronto

Ainsworth Smith is an environmental advocate and eco-tourism tour guide who is deeply passionate about the conservation of the Cockpit Country landscape and the Jamaican environment by extension. Born and raised in Rock Spring, a small community within the Cockpit Country, Ainsworth developed a love for nature at a young age. He spent countless hours exploring the caves, studying the plants and animals around, and learning about the delicate balance that exists in the natural environment. Through his knowledge of the caves and the many trails across Cockpit Country, Ainsworth joined the team of STEA over 20 years ago as a Tour Guide, showing people the beauty of nature while educating them on the importance of conservation. As an eco-tourism tour guide, Ainsworth has led countless groups on caving, hiking, and birding adventures throughout Cockpit Country.

Ainsworth’s commitment to the environment is not just limited to his work as a tour guide. In his personal life, he strives to live as sustainably as possible, reducing his carbon footprint and advocating for others to do the same. Whether he’s leading a tour or speaking to a group of students, Ainsworth is always eager to share his knowledge and passion for the environment in the hopes of inspiring others to take action to protect the Cockpit Country, Jamaican environment and our planet.

Dr. Theresa Rodriguez-Moodie always had a passion for the environment growing up. She developed this love even further after completing her BSc in Geography. She went on to complete her PhD in Geography at the University of the West Indies, Mona with a focus on coastal geomorphology and paleoclimatology.

Prior to joining the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), Dr. Rodriguez-Moodie worked with an environmental consulting company as an Environmental Scientist and Climate Change Vulnerability Specialist. She worked on projects both locally and regionally, for private-sector, government and multilateral agencies. In her over 10 years of experience, she developed specific skills in conducting environmental assessments, hazard analysis and mitigation, climate vulnerability and risk assessments. 

Since joining JET In July 2021 as their Chief Executive Officer (CEO) she has led its environmental advocacy programme and worked on projects geared towards the protection of Jamaica’s natural resources and public health.

Esther Figueroa Ph.D, is a Jamaican independent film maker, writer, educator, curator and linguist with over thirty five years of media productions including television programming, documentaries, educational videos, multimedia and feature film. Her activist film making gives voice to those outside of mainstream media and focuses on the perpetuation of local and indigenous knowledge and cultures, social and environmental justice, and community empowerment. Figueroa’s films are screened and televised all over the world and taught at numerous universities. They include Jamaica for Sale (2009), the award-winning feature documentary about tourism and unsustainable development. Her most recent feature documentary Fly Me to The Moon (2019) is about modernity and the global aluminum industry. In 2020, she founded the Global Extraction Film Festival, the first free online film festival focused on the impacts of extractive industries. In 2013, Figueroa was Distinguished Writer in Residence at University of Hawai’i English Department. Her environmental novel Limbo (2014) was a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards for Multicultural Fiction.

Dr. Beverley Mullings is Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Toronto. Her research explores the ways that contemporary capitalist regimes are transforming how racialized communities in the majority world reproduce themselves. Drawing upon decolonial, anti-colonial and feminist theories and debates, she is engaged in projects that explore how transformations in the value of work, the emergence of new urban governance regimes, and the growing financialization of everyday life are shifting the terrain of struggle of historically devalued and dispossessed populations. Much of her scholarship is located in the Caribbean and its diaspora, a region that I view as an important place of geographical theory making given its historical role in the world capitalist system. 

For information or questions contact redthreadguyana@gmail.com

See more information at https://redthreadguyana.org

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