News Releases

Prime Minister Mottley among distinguished persons of Caribbean heritage to receive UWI Gala Awards

For Release Upon Receipt - January 22, 2021


Barbadian Prime Minister, the Honourable Mia Amor Mottley, Q.C., M.P. is one of seven distinguished persons to be honoured at the 24th annual Legacy Awards Gala of the American Foundation for The University of the West Indies (AFUWI). She will be presented with AFUWI’s ‘Legacy Award’ at a virtual edition of the Gala scheduled for February 21, 2021.

For over two decades, this signature black tie event, hosted in New York City where the Foundation is headquartered, has been an annual tradition that helps provide increased access to education. AFUWI partners with UWI alumni, the Caribbean community in the US as well as American foundations and corporations to raise funds for scholarships, development projects and academic programmes at The University of the West Indies (The UWI). A major fundraising event in the United States, the Awards Gala provides an average of 50 scholarships each year. In addition to bringing together alumni and partners of The UWI for fundraising, the annual Gala recognises the achievements of notable US and Caribbean personalities. This year’s honourees celebrate Caribbean heritage and contributions to the region in their respective sectors including politics and nation building, music, acting, media, entrepreneurship, business, academia and education.

In addition to Prime Minister Mottley, the 2021 honourees include:

·         Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, Global Head of CSR, President, Moody’s Foundation—recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Achievement Award.

·         Dr. Jermaine Omar McCalpin, Chair, African and African American Studies Research Interests, New Jersey City University—recipient of the Pelican Award.

·         Cedella Marley, OD, CEO of Tuff Gong International—recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Global Leadership.

·         David Mullings, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Blue Major Capital Partners—recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Business Leadership.

·         Amanda Seales, Actress, Activist, Artist and Media Personality—recipient of the Caribbean Luminary Award.

·         107.5 WBLS FM radio station in New York and celebrity host, Dahved Levy—will receive the Trailblazer Award for Excellence in Community Engagement.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, said “Each year the AFUWI has the privilege of saying thank you on behalf of the people in the Caribbean and the Diaspora, to a select group of distinguished persons of Caribbean descent or heritage who are blazing a trail of excellence. We acknowledge and honour them as eminent standard bearers for a region that has contributed much particularly to the development of the USA in a range of spheres.” He added, “As large as America is, our Caribbean immigrants continuously punch way above the weight of the small island nations of their birth or heritage and we share in the pride of their accomplishments”.

This year’s virtual production will accommodate online contributions. Visit for further details.





A 501(c) (3) charitable organisation, 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 (UWI). Today, its mission is to source and administer private donations, maximise philanthropic efforts, and develop strategic alliances with American corporations, foundations, alumni and other organisations, primarily to provide scholarships, support academic programmes and facilitate development projects at The UWI. The Foundation has more recently intensified its focus on supporting the University’s scholarship programme because of the urgent and increasing demand for financial aid from many in the student population who are talented, ambitious and determined to break the cycle of poverty, but face severe economic hardships. In addition, the Foundation also seeks to facilitate activities which promote the well-being and strengthening of the West Indian society through community service, research programmes and public service endeavours for the preservation/creation of a robust cultural and social legacy. Visit:


About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and 2019, then top 20 in 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit

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