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OECS Director General receives an Award at the Black History Festival

OECS Director General receives an Award at the Black History Festival

OECS Media Release

On February 24, 2024, the Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Dr. Didacus Jules received a Star Prize award in Columbus, Ohio. The award was bestowed by Black History Festivals at the prestigious Black History Makers Awards and Gala Night, which celebrates and honours the outstanding contributions of individuals within the Black community who have made significant impacts in various fields.

The award ceremony and gala dinner were held during Black History Month and commemorated a celebratory end to the three-day Black History Festival. The festival which is held annually, is a unique initiative that celebrates the strong ties between Governments, the Private Sector, and the Peoples of Africa and the Americas. It reinforces connections as well as fosters collaboration and alignment of shared interests between Africa, the Americas, and other bilateral partners with an emphasis on developing and promoting trade, cultural values, and history.

Appearing as a speaker on day three, OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules, delivered remarks under the theme: "Transatlantic Synergy: Nurturing Shared Prosperity through a Global Partnership between Africa, the Americas, and the Diaspora". He stated:

"The recognition and importance of the transatlantic solidarity between Africa and the Americas has a long, painful but proud history. Every great Pan-African leader- whether of Caribbean, American or African lineage- has at some seminal moment asserted the strategic necessity for the restoration of the ties that bind us if the far-flung children of Africa are to truly inhabit a room of our own in the mansion of humanity." 

Dr. Didacus Jules was recognized as a Star Prize Winner for his contributions to preserving the history, heritage, and culture of the Caribbean people while promoting innovation, technology, and financial investment in the region. Dr. Didacus Jules's dedication to education reform, social justice, and cultural preservation makes him a standout candidate for the star prize award at the Black History Festival. Having also set up the Centers for Popular Education in the Grenada Revolution, Dr. Jules participated in helping design adult education programs for ANC fighters who needed to obtain GCE A levels in order to be appointed to Officer rank in a post-apartheid South African army. 

His visionary leadership, tireless advocacy, and unwavering commitment to uplifting Caribbean communities exemplify the spirit of resilience, empowerment, and excellence celebrated during the Black History festival. Dr. Didacus Jules's impact transcends borders and generations, leaving a lasting legacy that continues to inspire and empower individuals across the Caribbean and beyond.

Other Star Prize Winners included Mr. Alex Dadey, Executive Chairman of the KGL Group, for promoting diaspora investment in Africa, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty for her work in promoting equity and ethical governance in Ohio and the United States, and Former Mayor of Columbus, Mr. Michael B. Coleman, for his service to the city. Posthumous recognition was also given to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Marcus Mosiah Garvey for their contributions to leadership, activism, and policy directions.

About the Black History Makers Awards

For generations, Africa’s portrayal on the world stage has often been one of a continent steeped in darkness and backwardness, overshadowed by stories that failed to inspire or capture the attention of global media. When Africa did find itself in the spotlight, it was often framed as a victim, still haunted by the legacies of the slave trade and colonialism. This narrative has had a profound impact on the image of the Black Race and, by extension, on Global Africa and the African Diaspora. However, the reality today is a stark departure from this outdated perspective. It’s a reality characterized by a resurgent Africa and a flourishing Black Renaissance. From the reconstruction efforts in Liberia to the remarkable progress in Rwanda, the thriving democracy in Ghana, the influential role of African Americans in politics, sports, and industry in the USA, the recognition of Caribbean States as the sixth region of Africa, and the global dominance of Afrobeat music, the new and true story of the continent and its diaspora is one of “Africa Rising and Black Renaissance.” It’s a story that encompasses countless unsung heroes, visionaries, leaders, and cultural icons across communities, nations, the African region, and the global African diaspora, especially in the Americas and the Caribbean.

The inception of the Black History Makers Awards was rooted in this understanding, emerging as an integral part of the monumental Black History Festival—an annual endeavour that celebrates excellence across various sectors in Africa and Global Africa. The awards have a profound mission: to recognize exceptional Black Excellence spanning the African continent, the African-American community, the Caribbean community, and individuals of African descent within the broader global diaspora. 

The Black History Makers Awards cast a radiant spotlight on these distinguished individuals—both those well-known and those whose remarkable contributions have yet to receive the acclaim they deserve. These honourees include innovators, scholars, cultural icons, scientists, entrepreneurs, and more. Their extraordinary work has the potential to inspire the next generation of Africans to dream, strive, and accomplish while reshaping the African narrative in a positive and affirming light.

The categories of the BHM Awards encompass a diverse range of fields, reflecting the multifaceted excellence within the Black community:

  • Technology and Innovation
  • History, Arts, and Culture
  • Human Rights & Political Leadership
  • Entrepreneurship and Business
  • Sports and Entertainment

Each year, The Star Prize Winners emerge from the Americas and from Africa—as the most distinguished honourees of that year. In the 2023 Edition, these coveted titles were bestowed upon the survivors of the Black Wall Street – Tulsa Massacre and the President of Ghana, marking their exceptional contributions and accomplishments. The Black History Makers Awards stand as a testament to the enduring spirit of excellence within the Black community, shining a light on those who are making history and paving the way for a brighter future.

 

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Malika Thompson-Cenac Communications Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Malika Thompson-Cenac Communications Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

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