Senator Murray Sinclair

Murray Sinclair during opening keynote of the Shingwauk 2015 Gathering. Photograph taken during his address to survivors. (source - Wikimedia CC)

Senator Murray Sinclair

Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and First Aboriginal Judge

Senator Sinclair served the justice system in Manitoba for over 25 years. He was the first Aboriginal Judge appointed in Manitoba and Canada’s second. He served as Co-Chair of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry in Manitoba and as Chief Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As head of the TRC, he participated in hundreds of hearings across Canada, culminating in the issuance of the TRC’s report in 2015. He also oversaw an active multi-million dollar fundraising program to support various TRC events and activities, and to allow survivors to travel to attend TRC events.

Senator Sinclair has been invited to speak throughout Canada, the United States and internationally, including the Cambridge Lectures for members of the Judiciary of various Commonwealth Courts in England.

He served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Manitoba. He was very active within his profession and his community and has won numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, the Manitoba Bar Association’s Equality Award (2001) and its Distinguished Service Award (2016) and has received Honorary Doctorates from 8 Canadian universities. Senator Sinclair was appointed to the Senate on April 2, 2016.

GraceKennedy Limited

GraceKennedy Limited

On February 14, 1922 Dr. John Grace and Mr. Fred William Kennedy established Grace, Kennedy & Company Limited in Kingston, Jamaica to carry on a general mercantile, shipping and insurance business.

Today it is known as GraceKennedy Limited, one of the Caribbean's largest groups of companies with over 2,500 employees. Publicly listed on the Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago Stock Exchanges, it is the parent company for over 40 subsidiaries with operations spanning Jamaica, other Caribbean countries, Belize, the USA, UK, Canada, and Africa operating mainly in the food and financial services industries.

The Food Trading Segment, GK Foods, comprises six factories which produce a number of products under the flagship Grace brand, other GraceKennedy-owned and also some third party brands; marketing and distribution companies in Jamaica and overseas; as well as retail outlets through Hi-Lo Food Stores supermarket chain in Jamaica. The GraceKennedy Group distributes food products bearing the Grace brand, other GraceKennedy-owned brands, and the brands of its principals in over 40 countries around the world. In Jamaica, Africa, Canada, Belize, the USA and the United Kingdom, the company distributes its offerings through fully-owned subsidiaries based in these locations. For the rest of the world, its products are marketed and sold through independent distributors.

The Financial Services segment, GK Financial Group, comprises commercial banking, general insurance, insurance brokerage, investment banking, remittance, cambio and bills payment services businesses.

The company's insistence on the high quality of its products and services, as well as being true to its founding principles of honesty, integrity and trust, has made it a household name in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean.

Committed to being an exemplary Corporate citizen and mindful of its responsibility to give back to society, GraceKennedy has contributed generously to Jamaica's development through the years. In addition to providing financial assistance to a host of worthy causes, GraceKennedy has institutionalised its programme of support through its two Foundations. These are the Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation (Grace & Staff) and the GraceKennedy Foundation.

Grace & Staff offers assistance to under-resourced communities located in proximity to GraceKennedy operations. Established in 1979, Grace & Staff has directly reached more than 10,000 community residents. At present nearly 600 students receive support through the homework centres as well as tuition bursary support, career guidance and counselling.

The GraceKennedy Foundation, established in 1982, focuses on giving assistance in the areas of education and protecting the environment. In addition to the award of annual scholarships and bursaries to students, the GraceKennedy Foundation contributes to long term thought leadership and innovation in workforce development and social and environmental management through the Professorial Chairs in Management and Environmental Management at The University of the West Indies. The professors have supervised over 50 Masters and PhD students in areas critical to national development including migration, environmental management, sustainable tourism, and Caribbean regional integration.

GraceKennedy's subsidiaries based outside of Jamaica are also actively involved in giving back to communities wherever they are located.

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.

Mr. Wayne Purboo

Mr. Wayne Purboo

Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

As President, CEO and Co-founder of Quickplay, Wayne Purboo drives the development, management and execution of Quickplay's innovative strategy. Under his guidance Quickplay has developed award-winning technologies and forged critical partnerships with market leading content providers, video service providers, handset manufacturers and mobile service operators to drive the rapid growth of the company.

Prior to founding Quickplay, Wayne was Chief Technology Officer for Solect Technology Group. When Solect was acquired by Amdocs, Wayne was appointed to the role of Vice-President of Strategy. In this capacity he launched and was Editor-in-Chief of ABR, a quarterly research magazine focused on the future of Telecom with a worldwide circulation to thousands of industry professionals.

Wayne is on the Advisory Board of Virgin Unite, which is developing new approaches to social and environmental issues. He is also active on the boards of GlassBOX, Artscape, Cellwand, and the Toronto International Film Festival. He has been recognized as a Sick Kids' Leader by Sick Children's Hospital and as one of "Canada's Top 40 Under 40” by the Caldwell Partners. Wayne holds a Bachelor of Computer Sciences degree from McMaster University.

Professor the Honourable Renn Holness, O.J.

Professor the Honourable Renn Holness, O.J.

Consultant Neurosurgeon

UWI, Mona graduate and recipient of the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) from The UWI, Professor Renn Holness, has been selected by the Canadian Neurosurgical Society (CNSS) to receive The Charles Drake Medal, its Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his outstanding career and significant contribution to Neurosurgery.

Professor Holness received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Congress of the Canadian Neurological Sciences Federation Congress in Quebec City, June 21 - 24, 2016. The President of the CNSS, Ian Fleetwood, in communicating this signal honour to him referred to Holness' many leadership roles in Canadian Neurosurgery. Renn Holness attained the Gold Medal in the 1968 Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) Final Examinations, obtaining Distinctions in Obstetrics &Gynaecology and Pathology & Microbiology as well as Honours in Medicine and Surgery. He served as Professor and Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, Dalhousie University from 1987 to 1994 before serving as Director of The UWI Clinical Training Programme in Nassau Bahamas from April-October 2000.

Professor Holness was President of the Canadian Neurological Society, (1995- 1996) and Chairman of the Examining Board in Neurosurgery, Royal College of Physicians of Canada from 1997 to 2000. The Department of Surgery, Radiology, Anaesthesia and Intensive care extends congratulations to this outstanding graduate. Presently, Professor Holness gives back to his Alma Mater, in his capacity as Professor and Examiner in Neurosurgery in the DM (UWI) Neurosurgery Programme and teaches surgical residents and medical students at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.

Justice Michael Tulloch

Justice Michael Tulloch

Judge, Ontario Court of Appeal

The Honourable Mr. Justice Michael H. Tulloch is a judge on the Court of Appeal for Ontario, a position he has held since his appointment in June 2012 following nine years on the Superior Court of Justice.

Prior to Mr. Justice Tulloch's appointment to the Court, he was appointed an Assistant Crown Attorney in 1991 where he worked both in Peel and Toronto.In 1995, Justice Tulloch entered private practice, specializing in criminal law. He continued in this practice until his appointment to the Bench in 2003.

While in private practice, Justice Tulloch was also appointed a special prosecuting agent with the Federal Department of Justice. He also participated in a number of commissions including the Ontario Government Review on Civilian Oversight on Policing, the Review of the Ontario Legal Aid Plan, and the Criminal Code Review conducted by the Federal Attorney General and the Minister of Justice.

In 2006 Mr. Justice Tulloch was asked by the Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School to chair a Review Panel of the Law School's Admissions Policy, after which the majority of the panel's recommendations were accepted and implemented by the Law School.

Over the years, Justice Tulloch has been very actively involved in post secondary education as well as numerous community organizations. He is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Osgoode Society on Legal History. Justice Tulloch is a former Lecturer and Don for York University, where he is an alumnus. He still sits on the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association. As well, he is an Academic Fellow of McLaughlin College as well as Vanier College, York University and a member of the Advisory Board to the Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School.

In 2011, he was also appointed a Distinguished Research Fellow for the Centre of Law and Policy at Ryerson University. Justice Tulloch is the recipient of two Honorary Doctorate Degrees, one a Doctor of Laws from the University of Guelph and the other a Doctor of Theology for Tyndale University and Seminary, as well as numerous other community awards. On the Superior court, Justice Tulloch was a member of Chief's Education committee and he was Co-Chair of two of the courts Judicial Education Conference for Fall 2010 and Spring 2011.

Justice Tulloch was also a treasurer of the Ontario Superior Court Judges Association; as well, he is the Vice-Chair of the Judiserve Committee, a national advisory body established to advise the Commissioner on Judicial Affairs on the technological usage and needs of Federally appointed judges across Canada. As well, Justice Tulloch is a member of the Judicial Advisory Committee on International Engagement (JUDICIE).

Ms. Kay McConney

Ms. Kay McConney

Businesswoman and Retired Diplomat

Described by She Caribbean magazine as a “dynamo moving the region forward”, Barbadian born Kay McConney has leveraged her multi-faceted talents to champion the interests of Barbados, the Caribbean and small vulnerable economies (SVEs) internationally. Kay’s distinguished service extended to international diplomacy, international development, and international trade. She served as a high-level diplomat at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland; and as a trade negotiator at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). As an international development consultant, her work on programmes of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was published by the European Commission (EC). She has served as an expert resource, leading capacity building consultancies for international development programmes in the Caribbean, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); and other international organisations.

She was the youngest Consul-General to be appointed by Barbados when she blazed trails in Canada as Dean of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Consular Corps, piloting such stellar initiatives as the Caribbean-Canadian Literary Expo (CCLE). CCLE brought together Caribbean and Canadian publishing companies and literary artistes from across fourteen Caribbean countries to open minds and build bridges for the development of the region’s literary industry. Over the past twenty years, Kay has been a champion for entrepreneurship development in the Caribbean region. She has collaborated on enterprise and youth initiatives sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS); and in 2016 she was awarded for leadership by the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) of Barbados - the country’s signature national programme for emerging entrepreneurs, which she spearheaded in 1995.

Currently, Kay McConney heads The Executive Minds, a company she founded in 2009. The Executive Minds specialises in strengthening institutional and individual capacities for 21st century environments, through training, coaching and consulting. TEM works with governments, non-profit organisations, private businesses and international development agencies. Its reach extends from Canada to the Caribbean, with a brand that combines neuroscience, systems thinking and strategic coaching. In the Caribbean and Latin America region, The Executive Minds has impacted some thirty organisations. In 2014, Kay collaborated with international best-selling author, David Krueger M.D., as a contributing author to his book, Successful Life Story Transformations: Using the ROADMAP® System to Change Mind, Brain and Behaviour.

Outside of work, voluntary community service keeps Kay anchored. In Canada, she has been a Training Facilitator for the Canadian Multicultural LEAD Organisation for Mentorship and Training for the past eight years. She serves on the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) of the Ryerson University-based, Lifelong Learning Institute’s Leadership By Design Program. She was an expert resource for York University’s (former) Global Leaders Retreat. South African Women for Women has honoured her for building cultural bridges beyond the Caribbean community with their Friendship Award. She was awarded for community leadership by the Barbadian community in Canada for the establishment of their premier event, which funds educational scholarships and sponsors health-care initiatives that benefit Barbados and the Caribbean.

Dr. Vivian Rambihar

Dr. Vivian Rambihar

Cardiologist and Community Activist

Dr Rambihar is one of the foremost thinkers in the world today, with ideas transforming medicine, health and society. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and a globally renowned cardiologist, involved in teaching, research and practice in Toronto for 35 years. He has looked after many West Indians, including Dame Louise Bennett and Eric Coverly, who helped him with health promotion and in developing his ideas. This year marks 25 years of his pioneering contribution in diversity and health, and in chaos and complexity science, which Stephen Hawking says he thinks will be the science for the 21st century.

Born in Guyana, he studied medicine at McMaster University after receiving the Guyana Scholarship, teaching math in Guyana and a BSc (University of Toronto). Since 1990 he has lectured on ethnicity and health, and chaos/complexity and health across the West Indies, including at many UWI Medical Reunion and Caribbean Cardiovascular Society Conferences.

As a pioneer in chaos and complexity science, he is the first to apply these ideas to medicine, proposing their use in solving complex world problems like peace, health, development, poverty reduction and climate change. He has publications as Letters in prestigious medical journals like Lancet, Heart and British Medical Journal, gave lectures at University College London and Cambridge University, UK, and was part of a global Think Tank at the Newton Institute of Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge University in 2000.

As a pioneer in diversity/ethnicity and health, he developed innovative ideas for reducing obesity, diabetes and heart disease, with a multilevel complexity "Health in All Policies" approach, including grassroots action and social occasions for health, going to schools, temples, churches and community centers to achieve change. He advocated widely for this, gave Keynote Lectures to the Black and South Asian Canadian communities recently, and wrote a landmark 50th Anniversary Editorial for the American Heart Journal on Race, Ethnicity and Health.

He is the founder of Global Heart, co-founder of Valentine's Global Heart Hour, and author of many books, including Tsunami, Chaos and Global Heart, available free online, with sections on improving health.

Recent awards include 2016 FCCS, Canadian Cardiovascular Society's highest award, 2016 Guyana (Canada) 50th Anniversary of Independence Award for Academic Excellence, 2016 McMaster University GTA Impact Award, 2015 UC, University of Toronto Alumni of Influence Award, 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and 2012 Top 25 Canadian Immigrants.

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