Dominican scientist to be honored at 2020 Caribbean American Heritage Awards.

Dr. Swinburne Augustine uses a pipette to mix saliva samples with antigen-coupled microscopic beads in a robotic workstation at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio to measure immune responses to human exposure to environmental pathogens (bad bugs). Photo courtesy of U.S. EPA.

Dominican-born Biomedical researcher, Dr. Swinburne A.J. Augustine is among several individuals of Caribbean descent who will be honored at the 27th staging of the Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH) set for November 20 this year.

The CARAH Awards show is the brainchild of the Washington DC-based Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS) and celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of outstanding individuals of Caribbean descent who have made extraordinary contributions to their fields of expertise.

Dr. Augustine who works with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will be honored for his contributions to public health.

He is a Principal Investigator in the U.S. EPA Center for Public Health and Environmental Assessment (CPHEA) Biomarker Discovery Lab in Cincinnati, Ohio where he has amassed an impressive collection of peer-reviewed scientific research articles, book chapter and national/international conference oral presentations. He is a member of two of the foremost international scientific organizations: the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). He serves on the Editorial and Review Boards of some of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals and is an ad hoc reviewer for many more. In simple terms, he researches immune system responses (antibodies, cytokines, chemokines etc.) to environmental pathogen exposures and other biomarkers that can affect public health.

Judy Mowatt performing

Other honorees at the 2020 CARPHA Awards include Reggae singer, Judy Mowatt, a member of the late Bob Marley’s backup group, the iconic I-Threes, who will receive the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award.

At the height of Marley’s popularity, Mowatt managed to keep her solo career on track, releasing a solo album, Mellow Mood, in 1975. Mowatt’s five solo albums after Mellow Mood were all released in the United States. As a producer of her own albums, Mowatt was among the first female Jamaican musicians to seize creative control of her own music. Through all the phases of her career, she remained an advocate for women’s ideas in a genre heavily dominated by men.

Other persons who will be honored include inventor, investor and philanthropist Dr. Nicholas Brathwaite (Grenada), British political maven Hon. David Lammy, MP (Guyana), avant garde artist Andrea McKenzie (Trinidad & Tobago),  author Anaya Lee Willabus (Guyana), communications entrepreneur Frederick Morton, Jr. (St. Croix, US Virgin Islands), policy influencer Michele Lawrence Jawando (Bermuda), corporate leader Senator Don Wehby, C.D. (Jamaica) and sports icon Ambassador Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (Jamaica).

Founder and President of ICS, Dr. Claire Nelson, says the decision to host a virtual event this year, given their debut at the Smithsonian Museum of African American Heritage and Culture in 2019, was a tough but necessary one as the world grapples with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the USA with the racial uprising and a national election.

“We have lost many noble citizens in our community this year. We grieve with and for the loss of some of our supporters and CARAH honorees such as the late Prime Minister Owen Arthur of Barbados who joined us as Keynote Speaker in 1996 to lend credibility to our then-three-year-old toddler self,” Nelson said. “We also grieve the loss of the late Frederic ‘Toots’ Hibbert, who we honored in 2007, and who blessed us with his joy and luminous presence over the years. Even though we cannot celebrate in a physical space, we believe the experience will still be intimate in a new way”

The Jamaican-born White House Champion of Change added that it is important that we celebrate and honor the success of Caribbean immigrants.

“Compounded with the racial uprising, we felt it important to let the world know that we, who reflect the blood of Africa in our dark skins, we, from the Caribbean, are very proud of the indelible mark that our people have made and continue to make on the world, even in a world that often tries to negate us. We will not be stifled. We will make a sanctuary. This is a tribute to triumph and transformation. No matter what. We will rise,” Nelson declared.

The Gala Event will commence with VIP Reception 6:30 pm, followed by Awards Gala and AfterParty all virtually. In recognition of COVID related hardships, discounted tickets are offered first come first serve for as low as $25.00. To participate register at www.caribbeanamericanheritageawards.com. Part proceeds will go towards Lifeseed Youth Entrepreneurship Initiatives.

Below is a video of Judy Mowatt’s Many Are Called.

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1 Comment

  1. Ibo France
    November 15, 2020

    Heart-felt congratulations to Dr. Augustine and all the other recipients of Caribbean descent for their outstanding contributions in their various spheres of endeavor.

    Dominicans all over the globe are punching above their weight. If only some of these opportunities were made available to them in their land of birth, Dominica would have been the envy of the Caribbean and probably the world.

    Political mischief and incompetence in government has stunted progress and development in Dominica.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

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