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Barbadian Born Doug E. Fresh among Honourees at UWI Fundraising Gala in NY

For Release Upon Receipt - January 30, 2017


AFUWI hosts its 20th signature event in aid of student scholarships

Douglas E. Davis, Barbadian born American rapper, record producer and beat boxer, known as Doug E Fresh, ‘The Human Beatboxer,’ is among the 2017 honourees at this year’s Annual Legacy Awards Gala of the American Foundation for The University of West Indies (AFUWI), a registered US charity. The New York City, black-tie event which will be held on February 23 at The Pierre Hotel in New York City, is AFUWI’s signature event. Now in its 20th year, proceeds from the Gala provide an average of 50 scholarships annually for students across The UWI’s four campuses. 

The awards honour notable individuals from the US and the Caribbean, all of whom represent high levels of achievement within their respective fields. Doug E. Fresh will receive The ‘Robert “Bob” Nesta Marley Award’, given to an individual/group for their contribution to society and to the advancement of arts and culture, transcending race, colour, creed and geographies; to unite people worldwide in a spirit that embodies the essence of the music and lyrics of Bob Marley. Previous recipients of the award have included Machel Montano, Jimmy Cliff, Danny Glover, Judith Jamison, Spike Lee, and Jessye Norman.

British born singer, songwriter, record producer and actress, Estelle who is best known for her eclectic mix of musical genres will receive the ‘AFUWI Caribbean Luminary Award.’ Estelle is of Senegalese and Grenadian descent and has released several critically acclaimed records and received a Grammy Award, among other accolades. This award is given to individuals of Caribbean heritage who, through their efforts and contribution to community have been able to shine a global spotlight on issues germane to the Caribbean.

The Inaugural Shirley Chisholm Award will be presented to an individual who, through their lifetime of work in social justice, fighting for educational opportunities and civic work reflect the essence of esteemed Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. Born in Brooklyn, to a Guyanese father and a Barbadian mother, Ms Chisholm is best known for becoming the first black congresswoman representing New York State in the U.S. House of Representatives for seven terms. She went on to run for the 1972 Democratic nomination for the presidency.

The Gala continues to attract the support and attention of a diverse range of American and Caribbean entities as well as distinguished and influential persons who have graciously served on the Honorary Committee. This year’s awards will be held under the auspices of Honorary Patron, Dr. the Honorable. Harry Belafonte, O.J.  The Honorable David N. Dinkins, 106th Mayor of New York City, will again join the celebration as the Honorary Dinner Chair, Paxton Baker as Gala Chair who will be joined by Janell Snowden as Co- Chair.

The fundraising Gala begins with a reception and auction at 6:00 p.m. followed by the dinner and programme starting at 7:00 pm. Tickets start at $500 USD. To reserve or purchase tickets, and for further information please call 1-212-7599345 or visit



The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) was established in 1956 to develop an endowment fund in the United States for The University of the West Indies (The UWI). Over the past decades, AFUWI has provided scholarships and grants and funded many special projects to foster the development of the University of the West Indies. The original patrons of the Foundation included such distinguished individuals as Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Her Royal Highness, Princess Alice. Today, AFUWI patrons include actor and songwriter Dr Harry Belafonte; Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott; and Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, individuals that are committed to creating increased educational opportunities for generations of West Indian people to come.


About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in BarbadosJamaicaTrinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. For more information, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)