Organizers & Sponsors
Symposium Sub-Committee, 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations Committee, New York
The Symposium Sub-committee is a sub-committee of the 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations Committee, New York. Its mandate is the delivery of a Symposia Series, in partnership with the Academic Working Group [Academic Grounding Committee] of the National Commemoration Commission, Guyana and the Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Inc. The Symposium Series will be held under the theme Guyana at 50: Understanding our Independence Journey. The first part will be held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on May 23 and May 24, 2016 and the second at York College on June 5, 2016.
Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith, Ph.D., currently Executive-in-Residence at the University at Albany, State University of New York, Senior Fellow of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and Associate of Manchester Trade International Business Advisors, is former president of Fort Valley State University in Georgia, Professor of Political Science and Provost and Senior Vice President of York College of The City University of New York, Provost of Radford University in Virginia, and Dean of The Honors College of Florida International University. An expert of Caribbean and Hemispheric security, drugs, and crime, he has published seven books and more than 50 scholarly articles. Dr. Griffith is recipient of the 2015 Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Defense Education named in honor of former United States Secretary of Defense Dr. William Perry and bestowed by the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies in Washington, DC.
Dr. Vibert Compton Cambridge, Ph.D. is professor emeritus in the School of Media Arts and Studies, Scripps College of Communication, Ohio University. He is also current President, Guyana Cultural Association of New York, Inc. For the past 35 years, Dr. Cambridge has led academic departments and programs at Ohio University. He has also participated in the development and implementation of innovative academic programs, research initiatives, and tertiary-level human resources development initiatives to support participatory communication and social change in Africa, rural America, Central Asia, and the Caribbean. Dr. Cambridge’s research and scholarship have focused on communication for social change; immigration, diversity and broadcasting; and Guyanese social and cultural history. His new book Musical Life in Guyana: History and Politics of Control was published in the Caribbean Studies Series by the University Press of Mississippi in June 2015. He has received awards and recognitions from Ohio University(2013); Queen’s College, New York Chapter (2012); Guyana Tri-State Alliance (2012); Guyana Cultural Association of New York (2005); National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Ohio University Chapter (2005); and the Netherlands Entertainment-Education Foundation (NEEF), Amsterdam (2000). Dr. Cambridge’s current work focuses on the Guyanese diaspora in New York and its role in heritage preservation and the development of creative arts education and training in Guyana.
Dr. Kimani Nehusi, FHEA has been lecturer in history at the University of Guyana and the University of London, founder and Director of the Afrika Studies Centre at the University of East London, where he was also Academic Advisor for Black Students and Senior Lecturer in the School of Education. He is currently Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation, Tshwane University, South Africa and Associate Professor in the Department of Africology, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. A former international athlete in Track and Field, Dr. Nehusi was Co-Founder and President of Ruralites Athletic Club and Atoms Athletic Club; National Track and Field Coach of Guyana; Vice President and Convenor of the Development Committee of the Amateur Athletic Association of Guyana; and member of the panel of international coaches of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF). He was honoured for his service to Track and Field in Guyana by the IAAF.
Dr. Simone A. James Alexander is Professor of English and Africana Studies and Director of Africana Studies at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, where she teaches and researches in the areas of Postcolonial literature, African American literature, African literature, Caribbean literature, Russian literature, American Literature and women writers. She was the immediate past Chair of the Department of Africana Studies. She is the author of the award-winning book African Diasporic Women’s Narratives: Politics of Resistance, Survival and Citizenship and Mother Imagery in the Novels of Afro-Caribbean Women and co-editor of Feminist & Critical Perspectives on Caribbean Mothering.
Dr. Terrence Richard Blackman is an old boy of the famed Guyanese high school, Queens College. He graduated Cum Laude with honors in mathematics from Brooklyn College and he holds M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from The Graduate School of City University of New York. Dr. Blackman is an Associate Professor and Chair of The Department of Mathematics at Medgar Evers College in the City University of New York. He is a former Assistant Professor in The Department of Education Research Policy & Practice in the Morgridge College of Education at The University of Denver and a former Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Blackman’s research concerns aspects of the Jacquet-Langlands correspondence in the Langlands Program. Dr. Blackman has a long record of working on issues related to equity and diversity in mathematics. He is particularly interested in African American success in mathematics. He was recent speaker at the annual Conference for African-American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences (CAARMS), where he delivered a talk titled “Can you hear the shape of a drum? Space, Number, Symmetry & Equity.” The conference addressed critical issues involving African-American researchers and graduate students in the mathematical sciences.
Mr. Collin Randy Haynes was born in Linden, Guyana, South America. He is a International Public Health and Healthcare IT consultant. He has a Masters of Public Health in Global Health Issues from Loma Linda University. Since graduating from Loma Linda, Mr. Haynes has worked on various projects in the areas of disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness, migrant health, health promotion and education on chronic disease and HIV/AIDS. Concurrent with his work in Public Health, Mr. Haynes works as a Healthcare IT Consultant for Loma Linda University, Johns Hopkins Medicine, University of Arizona and University of Michigan in the United States training physicians, surgeons and nurses on using electronic medical recording mechanisms in patient care. He is the recipient of the Willard and Irene Humphal, Volunteer Youth Corp service and the PUSH Guyana CDC service awards.
Ms. Ismay Griffith, who hails from Guyana, is a licensed clinical social worker and an ordained minister. She began her social work career and education in Guyana where she worked as a district youth officer, a teacher, and as a planner at the State Planning Secretariat. Upon migrating to the US, she has worked in the field of child welfare in New York City for more than 25 years. Ms. Griffith was a Vice President for a Foster Boarding Home Program prior to joining the NYC Administration for Children’s Services. She is currently employed as a Family Team Conference Facilitator and also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Empire State College. Ms. Griffith earned a Master of Science Degree in the field of Sociology and pursued post graduate studies in Family Relations and Child Development at Oklahoma State University. She subsequently earned a Master in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. Ms. Griffith received her undergraduate education at the University of Guyana. Ms. Griffith has been honored by several organizations for her outstanding work with individuals, families and the community. In 2003, she co-founded the Caribbean-American Social Workers Association and served as its President for the first five years. Ms. Griffith willingly supports community organizations to promote change. She is passionate about women’s issues and has presented at forums locally and internationally. Ms. Griffith credits her faith in God as the source of her strength in her everyday life.
Dr. Rudy R. Jadoopat is the only Guyanese with a Doctorate Degree in economics from the prestigious Moscow State Lomonosov University. He also holds a Master of Science Degree in economics among many other outstanding academic achievements. He published and contributed many scientific papers and articles in the Economic Journal of the Latin American Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences. Dr. Jadoopat’s main academic focus has been on ‘The Economic Development of Guyana and Problems of Regulating International Economic Relations’ and ‘Planning the Development of International Trade of Guyana’. He worked at Moscow State University. As a member of a special team of economic advisors to the Russian Prime Minister 1992-1997 during the perestroika period, Dr. Jadoopat worked behind the scenes guiding the processes which ended the ‘cold war’. He was a ‘go-to’ person providing invaluable consultations and advice to the government of Russia on legislative, economic, political and social reforms. Dr. Jadoopat also simultaneously owned and operated several successful businesses in UK, USA, Russia, Lithuania and Guyana. In addition, he is an accomplished actor, poet, chess and table tennis champion with forty two awards to his credit.
Dr. Lear Matthews is a professor at State University of New York Empire State College. A former lecturer at the University of Guyana, Faculty of Social Science, he is the author of “English-Speaking Caribbean Immigrants: Transnational Identities” (2014) and “Communities and Development: A neglected dimension of nation building” (1980), which he co-authored with Dr. Ken Danns. He is a member of the editorial board of the Caribbean Journal of Social Work, executive member of the Caribbean Association of Social Work Educators, and a certified clinical social Worker. Dr. Matthews served as clinical Director of the Bedford Stuyvesant Community Mental Health Center, Brooklyn, New York for more than ten years. He has written extensively on the adaptation of immigrants in North America, cultural retentions and coping with the trauma of natural disasters.
Dhanpaul Narine attended Saraswat High School at DeKinderen on the West Coast of Demerara in Guyana. He earned his BA degree from the University of Guyana and proceeded to the London School of Economics where he completed his BSc (Hons), MSc, MPhil, and PhD degrees. He has also studied at Jesus College, Cambridge University and Teachers College, Columbia University. Dhanpaul lived for two years among the Amerindians of Guyana and taught at the LSE, York College, CUNY, and with the Department of Education, City of New York. Dhanpaul has published four books on the diaspora. He founded the Gandhi Peace March in Queens and is a co-founder of the Phagwah Parade which the New York Times calls ‘ the biggest street festival in Queens.’ Dhanpaul ran for a City Council seat in New York in 2005. He is currently the president of the Shri Trimurti Bhavan. He has his own television show on Time Warner cable and writes a weekly column for the ‘West Indian’ newspaper in New York. In April 2006 Dhanpaul was featured in the New York Daily News ‘ Spotlight on Great Lives.
Mr. Desmond Roberts is a former Director General of the Guyana National Service. He initiated the International Association of National Service Organizations (Lusaka). He later held the appointment of Commander Administration and Logistics of the Guyana Defense Force, his parent organization. He has a degree in Finance (University of Maryland) and won a Mayor of New York Scholarship to study Urban Policy and Management (New School University), where he developed an interest in transnationalism and the Guyanese immigrant community. Mr. Roberts contributed a chapter “Indo and Afro-Guyanese Immigrants in New York City: An Analysis of Selected Transnational Experiences” in Dr. Lear Matthews’ (ed) English Speaking Caribbean Immigrants: Transnational Identities (2014). An eclectic sports aficionado, he was president of the AAG, managing the Guyana athletic team to the Soul Olympics (1988).
Ms. Karen Wharton is a former chairperson on the Board of Directors of Brooklyn Child and Family Services, a not for profit that provided social services to under-served families in Brooklyn. She currently sits on the Parent Association Board of Packer Collegiate Institute where she supports and sponsors programs that explore identifiers such as socio-economics, race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Ms. Wharton is also serving as the Vice President of the Queen’s College of Guyana Alumni Association (NY) through which she engages with Guyanese in Guyana and the diaspora in promoting programs which positively impact the school and related institutions. She has organized successful student empowerment conferences in Guyana in 2014 and 2015. In March 2015, Ms. Wharton led a team of educators to deliver a visual literacy program to a community of students in a hinterland destination in North Rupununi. The program resulted in the successful production of a children’s book, This Is Ours, through the cooperation of students of Queen’s College and Bina Hill Institute. Ms. Wharton graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and from Pace University with a M.S. Telecommunications.
Other Celebrations of Guyana’s 50th Anniversary of Independence
Guyana’s Golden Jubilee Celebration (Guyana)
Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary Celebration Committee (New York)
Guyana50: Memories of Life in British Guiana