Presented to people of Caribbean heritage who have made significant outstanding contributions on an international scale in their respective fields, or people who have brought to prominence issues which affect the Caribbean (West Indian) Region.

Andre De Grasse

Andre De Grasse

Andre De Grasse (born November 10, 1994) is a Canadian sprinter. A six-time Olympic medallist, De Grasse is the reigning Olympic champion in the 200 m, and also won the silver in the 200 m in 2016. He also has four Olympic bronze medals, placing third in the 100 m at both the 2016 and 2020 Games, and also in the 4 × 100 m relay in 2016 and 2020.

Basil Watson

Basil Watson

Basil Watson, CD (born 1958), is a Jamaican sculptor and painter.

He is the son of painter Barrington Watson, and the brother of sculptor Raymond Watson. He was honoured with the Order of Distinction, Commander Class, in 2005, in recognition of his artistic accomplishments.

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell

Naomi Campbell was born in London, England and discovered as a fashion model at age 15. Throughout her career, she's fronted the covers of over 1000 magazines, been featured in campaigns for celebrated houses including Burberry, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuitton, and walked iconic shows for Chanel, Azzedine Alaia, Christian Dior, and Versace. Beyond her work in the fashion & entertainment industries, Campbell has used her celebrity for an array of fundraising and non-profit initiatives across the globe. Environmentalism, as well as Human Rights and Global Health, as it specifically pertains to women and children, have been critical sectors of Campbell’s work. She has also formed her own non-profit, Fashion For Relief, a charitable organization founded in 2005 that has raised funds for various environmental and humanitarian causes. It holds events in association with the London-based non-profit organization CARE. Today, Campbell is undoubtedly solidifying her place as a cultural innovator- using her incredible platform and success for positive change across industries around the world.

Dr. Graça Machel

Dr. Graça Machel

Graça Machel is an African stateswoman whose decades long professional and public life is rooted in Mozambique’s struggle for self-rule and international advocacy for women and children’s rights. She is a former freedom fighter in Mozambique’s FRELIMO movement and that country’s first Minister of Education.

In the years following her tenure in government, Machel produced a ground-breaking UNICEF report “The Impact of Armed Conflict on Children” that changed the way the United Nations and member states respond in conflict zones. Since then, she has worked tirelessly in support of global health, child welfare, and women’s rights and empowerment.

Machel works through several regional and international development bodies to accelerate social transformation. Machel is a founding member and Deputy Chair of The Elders, and played a key role in establishing Girls Not Brides. She is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group.

Machel lends her expertise to a number of organizations in a governance role. She serves as Board Chair of the Africa Child Policy Forum, Board Chair of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes, Board Chair of United People Global as well as Executive Chair of the Mandela Institute for Development Studies. Machel is a Board Member of the South African Future Trust (SAFT), Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the Kofi Annan Foundation, and Education Above All. She is Board Chair Emeritus for the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) and is a UNICEF Young People's Agenda Global Advisory Board Member.

She is Chairperson of Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust and a Trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. She also sits on the Jack Ma Netpreneur Advisory Board. Additionally, she is the Chancellor of the African Leadership University.

Machel has created three non-governmental organizations in her own right. She founded and serves as President of the Foundation for Community Development and the Zizile Institute for Child Development. She founded the Graça Machel Trust in 2010 where she focuses on advocating for women’s economic and social empowerment, food security and nutrition, education for all, as well as good governance.

Among numerous awards, Machel has received the United Nations’ Nansen Refugee Award in recognition of her long-standing humanitarian work. In 1997, she was made an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. She is a member of the Ambassador David M. Walters International Paediatric Hall of Fame. In 2018, she was awarded the World Health Organization’s highest honour, the WHO Gold Medal, for her enormous contributions to the health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents. She was also acknowledged by Women Deliver with their 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award and she was named one of Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women by Forbes in 2020. Leiden University bestowed upon her an Honorary Doctoral Degree for her extensive work to advance children’s rights in 2021.

Graça Machel has dedicated her life to improving the fate of women and children, inspiring hope, and building a more just and equitable world for us all.

*photo by Motlabana Monnakgotla FORBES AFRICA

Dr. David Suzuki

Dr. David Suzuki

Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO's Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the 2012 Inamori Ethics Prize, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and UNEP’s Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 29 honorary degrees from universities around the world. He is familiar to television audiences as host of the CBC science and natural history television series The Nature of Things, and to radio audiences as the original host of CBC Radio's Quirks and Quarks, as well as the acclaimed series It's a Matter of Survival and From Naked Ape to Superspecies. In 1990 he co-founded with Dr. Tara Cullis, The David Suzuki Foundation to “collaborate with Canadians from all walks of life including government and business, to conserve our environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada through science-based research, education and policy work.” His written work includes more than 55 books, 19 of them for children. Dr. Suzuki lives with his wife and family in Vancouver, B.C.

Damian Jr. Gong Marley

Damian Jr. Gong Marley

The youngest son of Reggae legend Bob Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley garnered his own place in music history when he became the first ever Reggae artist to win a GRAMMY outside of the “Reggae” category, taking home an award for “Best Urban/Alternative” performance for his title single, “Welcome To Jamrock”. The acclaimed 2005 breakthrough disc Welcome To Jamrock, also won a GRAMMY for “Best Reggae” Album. Marley has been shaking up stages all over the world for the past few years, first in collaboration with Nas on their Distant Relatives project, and then when he went on to partner with Skrillex for their groundbreaking track “Make It Bun Dem,” which Rolling Stone called “a monster mash up of dubstep and dancehall. ”Marley’s latest album Stony Hill won the 2018 GRAMMY Award for “Best Reggae Album.” Additionally, Damian appeared on Saturday Night Live alongside Jay Z to perform their stand out track “Bam,” and he is also featured on Ty Dolla $ign’s acclaimed track “So Am I” with Skrillex. Most recently, Damian released the remix and music video for his single “Medication” featuring Stephen Marley, Wiz Khalifa and Ty Dolla $ign, in addition to releasing other visuals from his Stony Hill album including Living It Up, Speak Life and Autumn Leaves. He continues to tour internationally around the world and has also been busy producing other artists such as Kabaka Pyramid and Third World.

Deborah Cox

Deborah Cox

Deborah Cox possesses one of the most powerful and versatile contemporary voices of our time. The Grammy Award nominated, multi-platinum R & B/Pop recording artist and actress recently blew the roof off theatres as she starred in the Rachel Maron role originally played by Whitney Houston in the new musical “The Bodyguard”. She made her Broadway debut in the leading role in Elton John and Time Rice’s musical “Aida”, receiving rave reviews. In 2013, she yet again demonstrated her wide range through her emotional portrayal of Lucy in the revival of hit Broadway musical “Jekyll & Hyde”. In 2016 Deborah starred as the legendary Josephine Baker in the original musical “Josephine” at the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Ambassador Susan E. Rice

Ambassador Susan E. Rice

Ambassador Susan E. Rice served President Barack Obama as National Security Advisor and U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. In her role as National Security Advisor from July 1, 2013, to January 20, 2017, Ambassador Rice led the National Security Council Staff and chaired the Cabinet-level National Security Principals Committee. She provided the President daily national security briefings and was responsible for coordinating the formulation and implementation of all aspects of the Administration's foreign and national security policy, intelligence, and military efforts.

As U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) and a member of President Obama's Cabinet, Rice worked to advance U.S. interests, defend universal values, strengthen the world's security and prosperity, and promote respect for human rights. In a world of 21st Century threats that pay no heed to borders, Ambassador Rice helped rebuild an effective basis for international cooperation that strengthened the United States' ability to achieve its foreign policy objectives and made the American people safer.

Ambassador Rice served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 1997 - 2001. In that role, she formulated and implemented U.S. policy towards 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and oversaw the management of 43 U.S. Embassies and more than 5,000 U.S. and Foreign Service national employees. Rice was co-recipient of the White House's 2000 Samuel Nelson Drew Memorial Award for distinguished contributions to the formation of peaceful, cooperative relationships between states. From 1993-1997, she served as Special Assistant to President William J. Clinton and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House, as well as Director for International Organizations and Peacekeeping on the National Security Council staff. From 2002-2008, Rice was a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, where she conducted research and published widely on U.S. foreign policy, transnational security threats, weak states, global poverty and development. She began her career as a management consultant with McKinsey and Company in Toronto, Canada. She has served on numerous boards, including the Bureau of National Affairs, National Democratic Institute and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Rice received her Master's degree (M.Phil.) and Ph.D (D.Phil.) in International Relations from New College, Oxford University, England, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. She was awarded the Chatham House-British International Studies Association Prize for the most distinguished doctoral dissertation in the United Kingdom in the field of International Relations in 1990. Ambassador Rice received her B.A. in History with honors from Stanford University in 1986, where she was awarded junior Phi Beta Kappa and was a Truman Scholar. In 2017, French President Francois Hollande presented Ambassador Rice with the Award of Commander, the Legion of Honor of France, for her contributions to Franco-American relations.

A native of Washington DC, Ambassador Rice is married to Ian Cameron, and they have two children.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

Global activist for peace, democracy and human rights.

Studied at the Pretoria Bantu Normal College before teaching at Johannesburg Bantu High School before studying theology at St Peter's Theological College in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, and King's College London where he received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in theology.

The first Black Archbishop of Cape Town, he became Secretary General of the South African Council of Churches, rising to international fame for leading opposition to apartheid. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. After the fall of apartheid, he headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Received an honorary degree in 1986 from The University of the West Indies, the University of Toronto in 2000 and the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Continues to use his positional power and high profile to campaign for poverty, HIV/AIDS, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and land rights globally. Tirelessly dedicated his energies to bringing peace for groups across the world who are struggling for self-determination, environmental justice and climate change. Always advocating for the oppressed, like visiting in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada in 2014 and joined with Indigenous communities in the fight against pipelines and oil sands.

Archbishop Tutu married Nomalizo Leah Shenxane, a teacher whom he had met while at college in 1955. They have four children: Trevor Thamsanqa, Theresa Thandeka, Naomi Nontombi and Mpho Andrea.

Archbishop reads the Bible every day and recommends that people read it as a collection of books, not a single constitutional document: "You have to understand is that the Bible is really a library of books and it has different categories of material; There are certain parts which you have to say no to. The Bible accepted slavery. St Paul said women should not speak in church at all and there are people who have used that to say women should not be ordained. There are many things that you shouldn't accept." His daughter, Mpho Tutu, has also followed in her father's footsteps and in 2004 was ordained an Episcopal priest by her father.

Dr. Shirley Thompson

Dr. Shirley Thompson

Dr. Shirley J. Thompson is a renowned and award-winning English composer of Jamaican descent who serves as Reader in Composition and Performance at the University of Westminster, London. Dr. Thompson’s compositional output consists of large works including symphonies, ballets, operas, concertos, and ensembles, as well as music for TV, film, and theatre.

Her co-scored ballet, PUSH, has been premiered in more than 38 countries over the last 10 years and was originally produced by Sadler’s Wells Theatre in 2005. In 2002, she became the recipient of a commission to compose a large work for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Thompson composed a symphony, New Nation Rising: A London Story, which was premiered by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003, as well as being performed to Queen Elizabeth II in London.

In 2004, Thompson became the first woman in Europe in forty years to compose and conduct a symphony. In 2012, the concept of A London Story was assumed for the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony. Thompson is also the first woman to
conduct and compose music for a major BBC drama series.

Her works have been performed worldwide in places such as: LACMA Sundays Live in Los Angeles; V & A Pavillion, Cape Town, South Africa; London Coliseum, England; Theater Heilbronn, Germany; Athens Arena, Greece; Le Metropole, Lausanne, Switzerland; Opera de Lyon, Theater Champs-Elysees, Odyssud Theatre, France; Teatro Comunale, (Modena); Teatro Arcimboldi (Milan); Auditorium Conciliazone di Roma (Rome); Teatro alla Fenice (Venice); San Carlo (Naples) Italy; Teatro Real (Madrid) Spain; St George’s Theatre, New Zealand; Sydney Opera House, Australia; City Center, New York, USA; Royal Festival Hall, Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, London; Moscow State Opera House and Marinsky Theatre, Russia.

Thompson has been developing an exciting and ground-breaking series of stage works over the last 5 years entitled Heroines of Opera. The heroines include Queen Nanny of the Maroons, Dido Elizabeth Belle and The Woman Who Refused to Dance (on the slave boat). Through these operatic works Thompson is creating for the first time in opera history, triumphant female heroes who are not femme fatales, the usual status of women in opera.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Luminary Award