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judithRenowned dancer, choreographer and Artistic Director Emerita of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Judith Jamison is the recipient of the 2013 American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI) Bob Marley Award. The legendary icon, the first dance professional to receive the award, will be presented with the prestigious AFUWI Bob Marley Award at the glitzy Annual Legacy Awards Gala on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 in New York City.

The AFUWI Legacy Awards Gala, now in its 16th year, is an annual event which seeks to raise well-needed funds to support scholarship programs at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and is its premier fundraising event in the United States.

The Bob Marley Award is a recognition granted to individuals whose contribution to the advancement of arts and culture transcends boundaries of race, color, creed and geographies, uniting people throughout the world in a spirit that embodies the essence of the music and lyrics of the Hon. Robert Nesta Marley, OM.

Ballet dancer, choreographer and artistic director, Judith Jamison worked closely with Alvin Ailey himself beginning in 1965.  She became an international dance star and Mr. Ailey created solo roles for her over the next 15 years.  Some of her most pivotal roles include “Blue Suites”, ”Revelation,” and most notably, “Cry.”  Before moving into the realm of choreography, Ms. Jamison toured with the company all over the world, danced “Pas de Duke” with Mikhail Baryshnikov and starred in the Broadway musical, “Sophisticated Ladies.”  Ms. Jamison later had an opportunity to choreograph for her own company, “The Jamison Project.”  During that time she choreographed ‘’Divining”, ‘’Time Out” and ‘’Tease.”  In 1989 she returned to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and succeeded Mr. Ailey as Artistic Director.  For the next 21 years, she dedicated herself to securing the company’s identity by creating and commissioning breakthrough dance repertory. Now, Artistic Director Emerita, Jamison has been named one of “The TIME 100: The World’s Most Influential People” and has received both an Emmy Award and an American Choreography Award amongst other honors. “We are eager to celebrate the achievements of Ms. Jamison, a woman that has used dance to move us, enthrall us and teach us about ourselves,” said Gala Chair, Janet Rollé EVP & Chief Marketing Officer of CNN Worldwide.  “She not only embodies the spirit in which the award was created with her past works, but we know she will continue to be an artistic mentor and exemplary model of positive cultural genius in the future.”

Also being honored during the evening will be Hon David N. Dinkins, the 106th mayor of the City of New York.  Mr. Dinkins will receive the Trailblazer Award for his work in instituting “Safe Streets, Safe City: Cops and Kids,” the model criminal justice plan for reducing crime and expanding opportunities for the children of New York City.

Among the other honorees are healthcare leader Frank Douglas, M.D., Ph.D., healthcare executive, Verona Greenland and eminent jurist Honorable Sylvia Hinds-Radix who will receive the Caribbean Luminary Award; Dan Lothian, CNN Whitehouse correspondent and Larry Quinlan, Global Chief Information Officer of Deloitte, who will be presented with the Vice Chancellor’s Achievement Award, while Nielsen, global information and measurement company will receive the Corporate Award.  The Legacy Awards are conferred on notable individuals or entities which represent high levels of achievement within their respective fields of industry and enterprise.

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Dr. Harry Belafonte will again serve as Honorary Patron and Kaye Foster-Cheek SVP, Global Human Resources Onyx Pharmaceuticals serves as 2013 Dinner Chair.

Attorney and TV personality Star Jones and WCBS Anchor Maurice DuBois will serve as MCs for the gala awards.

Tickets for the benefit are available for purchase at a cost of $2,500, $1,000 and $500 per person.  Purchases may be made at the AFUWI in New York City by calling 212-759-9345. Corporate packages are also available.

The Rockaways, located in the borough of Queens, New York City has a large number of Caribbean Americans, mostly Jamaicans, Guyanese and Haitians. The area was brutally ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in October. Thousands of homes were flattened, washed away or flooded. Within minutes the collective hope, dreams and aspirations of several working class Caribbean American neighborhoods had become shattered due to the incredible power of Hurricane Sandy, one of the deadliest hurricanes to hit the eastern shores of the United States in decades.

Many residents lost everything and were forced to flee. And those residents who were able to remain afterwards were forced to endure many weeks with no lights, no water, limited food and no heat in freezing temperatures. To make matters worse, over a hundred additional homes were destroyed in a post hurricane fire that fire fighters were largely unable to quell due to severely curtailed capabilities related to the hurricane.

buju bThe iconic Dancehall superstar Buju Banton found himself in a new twist with his prison situation when a reporter for a Florida newspaper got on tape that seems to contain one of the jurors that, voted or his conviction, admitting that she had done research on the imprisoned and embattled Dancehall artist. Juror Teri Wright had done an interview with reporter Chris Sweeny, where she stated that she had gone against the orders of the judge and had done this violation. Sweeny had recorded the interview, which he played in court. 

According to defense attorney for Mark Myrie AKA Buju Banton, Chokwe Lumuumba, the research done influenced Wright’s vote in the case and as such her vote should not be allowed to stand since it violated the Judge’s instructions to make a decision based only on information coming from the trial itself. This judicial principle seems to be an attempt to preserve the integrity of the process especially since the information researched could be inaccurate or inappropriate.

chairwomanVice Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson, re-elected on November 6th as District 3 Commissioner, took the oath of office for a four-year term on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at the South Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay. Joined by family and friends, Vice Chairwoman Edmonson was sworn in by the Honorable Karen Mills-Francis, Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida.

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