As a child I had numerous dreams however those were dashed to pieces the day my innocence was violently but subtly stolen in plain sight. Today I dream of being a leading agent of change and to lead an organization into the future which will be a vanguard for women and girls. I dream of my voice and presence transcending the Caribbean and reaching the international community so that many will see the darkness and violence which takes place inside paradise as the Caribbean is called, but more so they will pledge to help to help the women and girls of the Caribbean.
A few years ago the IADB in a report said that Africa the Caribbean and Latin America are the most under-served, under researched and underfunded regions when it comes to the violations of women and girls, in July of 2015 the United Nations General Secretary on his visit to Barbados said that the Caribbean has the highest percentage of sexual violations against women in the world. Yet still the Caribbean continues to be overlooked. I hope to make a change and to be the change and to encourage change but I cannot do it alone.
I no longer reside in the same community which I grew up, however my dream for my country which have approximately 1.2 million people is to have a country where women are respected, appreciated, feel safe and are not violated, to have a country where everyone see the issues of women’s rights and gender equality as one which if not dealt with will negatively impact the social and economic structure of the country, I dream of a country where advocates as myself will have the support of public officials, public and private sectors as they will realize that if women and girls are not at peace then there can be no peace.
I am most proud of my voice, the ability to break my silence but also the ability to stand in defense of those who have no voice and those who are invisible. I am proud of the fact that I can train women and members of the public to change from the conditioned thinking that women and girls should be marginalized, abused and devalued. Personal safety is a serious challenge in this country, yet I feel safe to stand on a platform and declare my truth and support for women and girls. The places which inspire me is the National Library, when I sit in a university class room and when I sit among women who share their stories of pain and distress. But the beach for it calms my soul and balances me.
My major resource is my voice and my ability to seek knowledge, training and advice face to face or online. I often ask Dr, Mary Jo Odom for advice, I go to her because of her wealth of knowledge, her desire to share and help train me to become an effective leader, because she is non-judgmental and pushes me to excel even when I feel that I am breaking and contemplating giving up, but her passion for women and women issues and her drive to seek ways in which we can work with women and facilitate the environment for them to excel.