PRESS RELEASE:-The Executive Director of LIVE UP: The Caribbean Media Alliance, Dr. Allyson Leacock, has received the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), ‘Champions for Change’ Leadership Award for championing the HIV response in the Caribbean.
Dr. Leacock was recognised for her leadership over the last 10 years of a coalition of 112 Media Houses in 24 Caribbean countries as part of the LIVE UP Campaign, training over 2000 Caribbean broadcasters. She has over 34 years of experience in executive management and has been involved in all aspects of broadcast media for 40 years. The LIVE UP: The Caribbean Media Alliance Executive Director is currently on the Executive Board of the Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI) and has served 4 years as Chairman of the Global Steering Committee for the World AIDS Campaign.
She was one of sixteen (16) stalwarts, including the first lady of Guyana and two regional parliamentarians, who were recognised for their efforts in the fight against the spread of HIV AIDS:
- The First Lady of Guyana Sandra Marie Granger was presented the award for Outstanding Leadership and championing of the ‘Every Caribbean Woman Every Caribbean Child’ Initiative and stellar work in improving the lives of children and women in Guyana.
- Dr Arif Bulkan, an attorney-at-law, received the award for Leadership in advancing the University Rights Advocacy Project and creating a safe space for LGBT students at The University of the West Indies.
- The Canon of the Cathedral in the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Canon Garth Minott was presented with the award For significant work and advocacy towards greater involvement of the faith community in national and regional HIV responses.
- Guyanese Member of Parliament Dr Frank Anthony was recognised For outstanding work in public health and demonstrated understanding of the critical role that parliamentarians can play in ending AIDS.
- Dwayne Gutzmer, the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Law & Economics (ILE) in Jamaica received the award For leadership of the CARICOM Youth Ambassador Corps and youth advocacy.
- The award For advocacy work against sexual orientation discrimination in Guyana was presented to Joel Simpson the founder and Managing Director of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) in Guyana.
- Kenita Placide, The Executive Director of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE), received the award For advocacy and work in the LGBT community nationally, regionally and globally
- The award For leadership in the HIV response and demonstrated understanding of the critical role that parliamentarians can play in ending AIDS was presented to Laura Tucker-Longsworth, the speaker of the National Assembly of Belize and Chairperson of the National AIDS Commission.
- Lucien Govaard, the Chair of the Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities (CariFLAGS) was recognized For advocacy on LGBTI issues both nationally and regionally.
- Nicolette Fernandes, Guyanese professional squash player who won the only gold medal for Guyana at the 2006 Central American and Caribbean Games in Colombia was recognised For utilizing her platform as a sports personality for advocacy regionally and internationally.
- Dr. Nigel Taylor, the President of the Barbados Evangelical Association and former Vice President of the Evangelical Association of the Caribbean, received the award For significant work and advocacy towards greater involvement of the faith community in national and regional HIV responses.
- Dr Nikkiah Forbes the Director of the National HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Programme at the Bahamas Ministry of Health was recognised For contributions as an Infectious Disease and Clinical Care Physician and contributions to the response to ending AIDS
- The Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago was recognised For leadership as a member of parliament advocating for the end of AIDS.
- The Deputy Programme Manager within the Communications Unit at the CARICOM Secretariat, Volderine Hackett, was honoured For advocacy and significant contributions to championing the HIV response in the Caribbean.
- Rev. Winston Mansingh, the Senior Pastor of The Poonah Open Bible Miracle Centre (POBMC) was presented the award For significant work and advocacy towards greater involvement of the faith community in national and regional HIV responses.
The awards ceremony was the highlight of a Forum that included a wide cross section of PANCAP members, partners and stakeholders who engaged in discussions around the theme ‘Champions for change IV: ending AIDS by 2030’. The two-day event was held from Tuesday, September 12 to Wednesday, September 13 at the Guyana Marriott Hotel, Georgetown, Guyana.
‘Champions for Change IV will seek to align the expected contributions of the Champions for Change with international and regional commitments for ending AIDS’ stated Director of PANCAP, Mr. Dereck Springer, ‘these include the UN High Level Meeting Political Declaration (June 2016); the Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016), the PANCAP Justice for All Roadmap (2015/2016) and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals’.