Activists credited with having a local effect on global problems
Seven activists were yesterday honoured in memory of the start of a home-grown movement against South African apartheid.
Imagine Bermuda, a community group, joined members of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Bermuda to celebrate those who have made a local difference in the fight against global problems.
The honourees, who included Kristin White, a founding member of Social Justice Bermuda, were chosen for how well they embodied this year’s theme of “think globally, act locally”.
Ms White said: “I feel quite honoured to be included among such a group of people who are contributing to development and progress in Bermuda.
“We have a long history of activism in this country that we just hope to be part of.
“We’re very new, but we’re excited that people recognise our potential.”
Ms White said that she was glad to know that people had been inspired by SJB and encouraged others to learn more about the history of activism in Bermuda.
She added: “We hope that inspiration is more than saying ‘we think you’ve done a great job’ and hopefully inspires them to act in whatever capacity they can.”
The event, which took place at Barr’s Bay Park in Hamilton, was held two days before the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Bermuda.
The movement started on June 26, 1981, after a protest of the Bank of Bermuda when it was revealed that they offered loans to the South African government, which then operated a system of rigid racial segregation.
The movement, headed by honorary chairman Canon Thomas Nisbett, became one of many groups that made up a global anti-Apartheid coalition.
Eugene Dean, the chairman of environmental charity Greenrock and member of the Free Democratic Movement, said that the award was “very humbling”.
Because the path of activism was “very lonely” at times, this recognition reminded him that he was doing the right thing, he said.
Mr Dean said: “It’s situations like this that give me hope and inspiration to continue because I recognise that there are people who actually appreciate the work that I’m doing, even if initially they did not agree.”
He told young people who wanted to get involved in activism to “speak your truth and be your truth”.
Me Dean added: "Our most potent tool for change is leading by example.“
Former One Bermuda Alliance senator Dwayne Robinson and Progressive Labour Party member Christopher Famous, who co-host the radio show Motion to Adjourn, were also honoured for their social advocacy.
Mr Robinson, who collected Mr Famous’ award on his behalf when he was unable to attend, said their show proved that people of different beliefs could still work together for the good of the island.
He added: “I think that’s something that Bermuda really needs right now – for us as politicians to work alongside activists and each other to pull the community together.”
Sumaya Lambe, the youngest member of the general council for Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda, said she was honoured to be chosen and encouraged emerging activists to stand up for what they believed in.
The 41-year-old said: “Sometimes you think that small contributions are not recognised, but they all culminate into something grand and bigger.”
Rosalind Wingate, an environmentalist and daughter of conservationist David Wingate, was also recognised for her green advocacy.
Ms Wingate’s award was accepted by her daughter, Roxy Crockwell-Laurent, aged 16, on her behalf.
Carika Weldon, the head of the Covid-19 diagnostic laboratory, was recognised for her work during the coronavirus pandemic but was also unable to attend.