Thursday, August 10, 2017

Statement on the Murder of Mickolle Moulton

August 9, 2017


Statement on the Murder of Mickolle Moulton

As Jamaican women, we the undersigned members of the 51% Coalition wish to express our deep shock and anger at the murder of 17 year-old Mickolle Moulton, a girl who had her whole life ahead of her and a promising future, and the wounding of her 12 year-old sister, who is still fighting for her life in hospital. We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms, and trust that the perpetrators will be brought to justice as speedily as possible. 


We express our deepest sympathies to the mother, sister and family of Mickolle and share in their grief. We wish Mickolle's sister a speedy recovery from her injuries.


We see the issues surrounding crime and violence as a public health emergency, not only for our women and girls, but for all community members, including men and boys, the young, senior citizens and the disabled and especially vulnerable populations.


Mickolle's tragic death should underline the urgency of the situation and the particular vulnerability of women and girls to all forms of violence. While many women's human rights groups have raised awareness on this issue, much more remains to be done. We must actively support all the efforts of communities and organizations towards building more respectful and equitable relationships among women and girls, men and boys. 


The Child Development Agency (CDA) reports that the average age of alleged male perpetrators is 14 - 17 years. Many of these boys experience disturbing mental health problems, associated with trauma from experiences with physical violence. We suggest that additional resources be found to address the range of mental health problems faced by women, their families and children - both girls and boys.


Additionally, boys and men must actively take part in violence reduction and gender equity programmes. We must build a nation where women, girls, boys and men are valued equally and a strong sense of justice, fairness, equality, and integrity prevails. All Jamaicans, including our political leaders, must consider violence against women as a priority. 


Many women's organisations are engaged, in the face of great challenges, in helping to address the vast needs of vulnerable communities. We wish to restate our commitment to continuing this effort, in partnership with other agencies and communities.  We hope to see practical and sustainable community development initiatives from the government and private sector, which can meaningfully engage wider partnerships on a non-partisan basis. 


We urge the community to tell what they know, cooperate with the police and help bring the murderer/s of Mickolle to justice. 



Jeanette Calder

Marcia Forbes

Joan Grant Cummings

Emma Lewis

Jean Lowrie-Chin

Indi McLymont Lafayette

Carol Narcisse

Judith Wedderburn 


WMW Jamaica

Women's Resource and Outreach Centre


Thursday, July 27, 2017

UTech, Jamaica Presents Final Report on “Research on Regulatory Treatment of Small Cable Operators”

Members of the UTech, Jamaica and Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica teams (from left) -  Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, President, UTech, Ja., Prof. Anthony Clayton, Chairman, Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica, Mr. Cordell Green, Executive Director, Broadcasting Commission, Mrs Jodi-Ann Jackson, Project Manager, Broadcasting Commission, Dr. Valoris Smith, Lecturer, COBAM and project lead researcher, Mr. Sydney Lowrie, Lecturer, FELS and communication specialist on the research team, and Mr. Okeeto DaSilva, Attorney-at-law and legal consultant on the research project team.

On a personal note .. 
My brother Sydney 'Tony' Lowrie who was a researcher on the Project, noted: 'The research and recommendations considered the importance of providing communication and media services to areas that are under-served as well as the  promotion of media literacy, provision of internship programmes for students, and facilitation for the development and broadcast of local content.'
I can attest to the importance of small cable operators with whom we have collaborated on such projects as Voter Registration. They have influence in their communities and deserve this recognition. Well done team UTECH!

Press Release from UTECH 

The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech, Ja.) on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, formally presented the final report of a consultancy research project undertaken for the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica, examining the regulatory treatment of small cable operators in Jamaica.
The project, Research on the Regulatory Treatment of Small Cable Operators, was conducted by a multi-disciplinary expert team led by Dr. Valoris Smith,Lecturer, College of Business and Management (COBAM), Mr. Sydney Lowrie, Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, and external attorney-at-law, Mr. Okeeto DaSilva. UTech, Jamaica was selected by the Broadcasting Commission in 2016 to participate in a competitive bid to undertake the research work.
In providing an overview of the project, Dr. Smith explained that the research was undertaken to provide findings and to make recommendations to the Broadcasting Commission on how the Subscriber Television (STV) operators within Jamaica should be regulated in relation to a tiered regulatory system.  The main focus of the research was on regulatory treatment of small STV cable operators.  The research included analysing large, medium and small STV operators with a view to considering a broader regulatory strategy to help to mature the STV industry.  Currently, Jamaica does not have a tiered regulatory STV system.
The researchers provided recommendations on regulatory and geographical boundary considerations related to the tiered regulatory system and various incentives to benefit the entire industry and in particular the small-sized STV operators. 
In receiving the report, Chairman of the Broadcasting Commission,Prof. Anthony Claytonunderscored the Commission's objective of ensuring fair competition on a "level playing field" within the subscriber television industry.  Prof. Clayton said "the only way we can actually help to level the playing field is by looking for ways that we could reduce the cost and burden of regulatory compliance in Jamaica." 
"Highly Policy Relevant"
He pointed out that many small operators serve areas which are not economically attractive to other players, adding that putting them out of business would not result in a better provider, but in no provider at all. "We realised that what we need is to make the divisions more explicit and to build in a strong incentive to improve," he asserted.  The Chairman thanked UTech, Jamaica for the research which he noted is "highly policy relevant" and provides a good foundation "on the exact model we are going to choose."
President, UTech, Jamaica,Professor Stephen Vascianniecongratulated the research team led by Dr. Valoris Smith and the School of Graduate Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship with Mr. Martin Henry as Project Manager for the coordinating role played in securing and managing the consultancy project. 
Prof. Vasciannie in welcoming the research partnership with the Broadcasting Commission said that "I think all of Jamaica will welcome the thrust by the Broadcasting Commission to facilitate the survival of small cable operators in the context of a more sophisticated and organised approach to regulation."  He added that the research "now paves the way for the Commission to utilize good evidenced-based data in pursuit of legislative amendments to facilitate the recommended three-tiered regulatory system for the STV industry." 
Corporate Communications Unit
Advancement Division
University of Technology, Jamaica
Photos: IMS, Calvin McKain Library
July 25, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

UCC confers honorary degree on businessman Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson

ACCOMPLISHED businessman Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson received an honorary degree from the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) at its 2017 commencement ceremony yesterday where he delivered the keynote address.

Hendrickson was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Business, Honoris Causa, in recognition of his achievements in business and industry. He is chief executive officer of Continental Baking Company Limited (National) and has been a member of the American Society of Bakery Engineers for 30 years. He also operates the Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in St Lucia – an all-inclusive, 254-room hotel.

Hendrickson is the chairman of the board at the EXIM Bank, a member of the board of directors of the Bank of Jamaica, and member of the boards of Rainforest Seafoods Ltd as well as Stationery & Office Supplies Ltd. In addition, he is a vice-president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.

He also sits on The King's House Foundation and serves as president of the Council of Voluntary Social Services. His many awards include recipient of TheJamaica Observer Business Leader Award 2016, and induction into the PSOJ Hall of Fame in 2016.

The UCC commencement ceremony was held on Sunday, July 23 at the National Arena where approximately 600 graduating students received diplomas for successfully completing a range of master's and bachelor's degree programmes, along with other certifications

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Kathleen Johnson: Jamaica's PR trailblazer

The cover of the Programme for Kathleen's Thanksgiving

Farewell dear Kathleen! Members of Woman Inc, of which Kathleen was
a Founding Member formed a Guard of Honour for their beloved colleague.

Members of the PR fraternity are mourning one of our trailblazers, the insightful, dedicated Kathleen Johnson. Kathleen was a dynamic founding member of the PRSJ and a legend at Desnoes & Geddes Ltd. 
Later she started her own PR company KJ Associates and did yeoman's service for the Jamaica Society for the Blind. She was also a passionate supporter of Woman Inc.  Journalist Rowena Christene King has noted, "She was a PR stalwart and pioneer. She was a Founding Member of Woman Inc. She gave so much ... Eternal Rest Kathy." 
Kathleen inspired her younger colleagues - we noted her dignity, professionalism and forthright manner. She was a woman of high principles. We are grateful that Kathleen Johnson brought so much respect to the PR profession. Our thoughts and prayers are with her beloved family. 
May Her Beautiful Soul Rest in Peace.

Below is a tribute from the PR Society of Jamaica:
Dear Colleagues,
We pause to note the passing today, July 11, of Honorary Member of the PRSJ, Miss Kathleen Johnson, and express condolences to her family.
In her pioneering role as the first Public Relations Officer, promoted to Manager, at Desnoes and Geddes from 1968 - 1984, Miss Johnson was a business leader who was also a dedicated volunteer. 
On retirement, she ran her own boutique PR consultancy until a few years ago.
Kathleen was an exemplar of how to connect the related business streams of public relations, marketing, sponsorship management, media relations and community relations, thereby vaulting the role of business communicator into the corporate boardroom as well as staying relevant on the sports playing field  and  at the domino table. She is the recipient of the Prime Minister's Medal for Community Service in the Field of Sports.
Kathleen was the Founding Secretary when the PRSJ was formed in 1981, and she later served for more than 20 years as the Treasurer of the society. Her dedication helped to ensure that the PRSJ was financially viable as it undertook the nurturing of a generation of professional communicators. 
Kathleen's last contribution to the PRSJ was an article in the August 2013 edition of the society newsletter PR Brief. A link to that article is set out below. Do take a refreshing dip in her recollections.
Volunteerism, a great way of living.
"When you love you wish to do things for. You wish to sacrifice for. You wish to serve." said Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway in A Farewell to Arms
We remember Kathleen as she communicates to us, her own farewell to arms.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Top 20 Jamaican 🇯🇲 High Schools

Congratulations to Jamaica's Top Twenty High Schools. As a Roman Catholic - represented by only 2 percent of Jamaica's population - I am delighted that 25 percent including the top two schools, was founded by our Church. 

As a Convent of Mercy 'Alpha' alumna, I am happy that my school is showing significant improvement - moving up from #18 to #15. 

NB - #1 Campion College's Principal, Grace Baston is a Convent of Mercy 'Alpha' alumna ☺️ - Ad Verum et Bonum! 

Campion College (100%)
2017 ranking: 1
2016 ranking: 2

Immaculate Conception High (99.9%)
2017 ranking: 2
2016 ranking: 1

Montego Bay High School for Girls (98.2%)
2017 ranking: 3
2016 ranking: 3

Westwood High (97.7%)
2017 ranking: 4
2016 ranking: 7

Hampton High (97.09%)
2017 ranking: 5
2016 ranking: 6

St Andrew High for Girls (97%)
2017 ranking: 6
2016 ranking: 11

Wolmer's Girls (96.9%)
2017 ranking: 7
2016 ranking: 4

St Hilda's Diocesan (96.7)
2017 ranking: 8
2016 ranking: 4

Mannings School (95.86%)
2017 ranking: 9
2016 ranking: 5

Wolmer's Boys (94.93%)
2017 ranking: 10
2016 ranking: 14

York Castle High (94.7%)
2017 ranking: 11
2016 ranking: 16

Glenmuir High (93.1%)
2017 ranking: 12
2016 ranking: 8

Belmont Academy (93%)
2017 ranking: 13
2016 ranking: 32

Ardenne High (92.4)
2017 ranking: 14
2016 ranking: 13

Covenant of Mercy Academy Alpha (92%)
2017 ranking: 15
2016 ranking: 18

Knox College (91%)
2017 ranking: 16
2016 ranking: 12

Bishop High School for Girls (90.8%)
2017 ranking: 17
2016 ranking: 10

Mount Alvernia High (90.49%)
2017 ranking: 18
2016 ranking: 15

Manchester High School (89.4%)
2017 ranking: 19
2016 ranking: 27

Holy Childhood High School (88.14%)
2017 ranking: 20
2016 ranking: 17

From May 2017 report in the Jamaica Gleaner

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

IWF Jamaica presents $1.4M to Women's Crisis Centre

Members of the International Women's Forum (IWF) Jamaica Chapter handed over J $1.4 million to Joyce Hewett (centre) of the Women's Crisis Centre to assist with the building of a housing facility for women fleeing domestic violence. Looking on are, from left (front row), Winsome Wilkins, Executive Director of United Way, Lisa Soares-Lewis; Jamaica IWF President Camille Facey, Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade, Angela Jones-Stewart, Founder, Woman Inc, Pat Ramsay the first President of IWF Jamaica, other IWF members. The funds were the proceeds of an IWF event held in March featuring Futurist Edie Weiner, which attracted a wide cross-section of Jamaican leaders.

The funds donated will be used for the refurbishment of a property, a transition home for women fleeing domestic abuse, a most worthy cause! 

Special thanks once again to the Edie Weiner Organising Committee: Lisa Soares-Lewis, Sharon Lake, Dr Marcia Forbes, Patsy Kelly, Minna Israel and Dana Dixon.  Gratitude also to the event's cash sponsors: Scotiabank, Ernst & Young , BPM Financial & JN Bank and in-kind sponsors: Phase 3 Productions, Sandals, Great People Solutions, JetBlue, Pegasus, C&W and JAA whose hard work, cold cash and in-kind contributions helped us to achieve this amazing result which will benefit  the less fortunate women of our country.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Whatever my ancestry, I am Jamaican first!

The Jamaica Gleaner invited me to participate in their Ancestry DNA feature - this was published this week.

As I said to the interviewer, it was an interesting exercise but the results do not affect my self-identity as I am Jamaican first and foremost!