Jamaica School Resources Patron Profiles

Morgan - NjokuI have been involved with Jamaica School resources since its inception. My role has been to gain support, both financial and advice from fellow Jamaicans and others.

I am passionate about education for all and particularly for those who find it difficult to gain access to education.

Schools in Jamaica strive for excellence in education. That attitude and their motivation have inspired me to continue to work hard for Jamaica School Resources in the United Kingdom.

In the past I have worked with children from varied cultural backgrounds in my own community. Presently, I am developing contacts with communities in Jamaica.

Jamaica School Resources is doing splendid work providing financial support to provide essential books for children.

My appeal is to all interested parties would be “Let’s do as much as we can to provide books and other resources for our children in Jamaica We need you on board with us”.

Monica CokeMonica Coke Minority Business Development Policy Manager - Advantage West Midlands, the Regional Development Agency . She is responsible for articulating the work which comes from the West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum across the Agency delivery vehicles as well as its private/public sector partners. The Forum is an independent, strategic body representing the interests of minority ethnic managed/owned businesses across the West Midlands. It acts both as an advisory body to the regional development agency and to the agency’s partners as well as providing a channel of communication between the communities and government at local, regional and national level.

Monica role is to promote the contribution minority ethnic managed/owned businesses make to the West Midlands economy and the benefit of entrepreneurship to individuals within the communities. She also has the task of identifying prioritising issues of concern to minority ethnic business people by focussing on matters relating to constraints on business development

She has been instrumental in influencing the shaping of the policies of the Forum and in building links between organisations locally as well as nationally - such as the Regional Finance Forum, the West Midlands Business Council and the West Midlands Enterprise Board, Regional Skills Partnership and the West Midlands Business Links.

Monica has played a pivotal role in leading the work of the Forum in ensuring specific issues focussing on minority ethnic communities are uppermost in the development of the strategic documents such as Regional Economic Strategy, City Region Business Plan which is aiming to increase skills levels to ensure that the workforce has skills to compete in the global economy by delivering an employer led and skills for growth agenda amongst many others. She has also been instrumental in the commissioning of research documents which have helped to change hearts and minds in respect to barriers faced by the communities.

Apart from her day job of influencing policy and strategy to ensure that enterprise and entrepreneurship within the regions minority ethnic communities becomes a reality she also finds time to time to become involved with community project – Monica was responsible for setting up the African/Caribbean Achievements Group - the catalyst for development of same for other communities. Birmingham Ishango Science Club being the first initiative resulting from the African/Caribbean Achievements Group – The Club which she has chaired now for the past 10 years -which provides tutorial and educational study support for African-Caribbean pupils, being a place where they can come for guidance, help, support and encouragement with their learning during out-of-school hours. This enrichment programme aims to raise their educational achievements in Science, Engineering and Technology.

Chair of Project Planning Centre – A Social Enterprise which provides training and skills development in automotive engineering and kit car manufacture.

She also sits a various boards locally and nationally – Caribbean Board under the auspices of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, vice-chair of Governors of Harborne Hill School, Corporation Governor City College Birmingham and Regional Co-ordinator for the Jamaican Diaspora UK, member of the financial Ombudsman Service, Accessibility & Transparency Discussion Groupp amongst many others.

Juliet OuryJuliet is a Solicitor and Partner in Oury Clark, a central London law firm. She trained and practised for a number of years in criminal and Human Rights law. She represents prisoners throughout the Caribbean region particularly Jamaica in their final appeals. She spends extensive time reinvestigating claims of innocence in the communities and works with the authorities on restorative projects.

Steven StephensonSteve is the former Principal Equalities Officer (Race) for Swindon Borough Council and former Chair of Swindon’s Race Hate Crime Forum. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica on Human Rights Day, 10 December 1953. He is in the Black Who’s Who and The Voice Newspaper’s list of the 100 most influential black people in Britain. He is a former Director of Milton Keynes Racial Equality Council and was instrumental in saving the REC from certain closure in 1998. His other substantive post was Principal Officer Ethnic Minorities at Northamptonshire Social Services, were he work closely with the Home Office on S11 Grants.

Steve has been a social worker, youth and community worker, lecturer and sports and charity promoter.

He has substantial experience in policy development and implementation in the Race Equality field as well as community development over the past 30 years. He has been involved in trying to develop an inclusive society as a Youth and Community worker and later as a Social Worker.

In 1981 Steve helped bring the Black, Asian and White community together after the uprisings in Luton. He re-opened the Starlight youth Club with money from his own pocket. One of the first person to give support to the club, was legendary Bristolian and Community Activist Paul Stephenson, who gave the club funding for Sports Equipment, from the Mohammed Ali Support Foundation.

A member of the Ex-Factor group Voices with Soul started her group with brothers at the Starlight Y C. Steve return to Luton in 1999 and work for Social Services as Manager of Ashanti a Service for Black and Asian people with mental health difficulties. He also saved Ashanti from closure.

One of his main achievements in relation to Human Rights; Steve was directly involved in the freeing of David Anthony Grant who was held at Her Majesty Pleasure” in Jamaica, for his involvement in a murder. He was only 14 at the time and charge with 3 adults. He spent 18 years in prison. The evidence showed it was a miscarriage of justice. After Civil Rights Groups and an MP failed to get his release. David’s mother approach Steve and he team up with a lawyer and use their influences, to get the Prime Minister of Jamaica to free David in 1988.

During this period he helped Kick Racism Out of Football by running a Saturday club for Black and Asian young people to keep them away from the notorious football crowds that plagued Luton Town Football Club. He gave evidence to David Mellor’s task force on Racism in football at the House of Commons.

He pioneered Community Football and Cricket as well as other activities with the police as part of his efforts to help improve Race Relations and Community Cohesion in Luton. He was also a founder of the Luton Carnival and a Cultural Adviser for BBC Radio Bedfordshire.

He was one of the first black people to graduate from Hertfordshire University with a BA with Commendation and CQSW in Social Work. He also holds a NVQ5 Diploma in Management. In addition he was one of the first Black Assessors for the National Lotteries Charities Board and the first Black worker in the Homefing Team in Handsworth Birmingham, where he recruited Black and Asian Foster and Adoptive Carers.

He was one of the first Black lecturers at the University of Central England. Steve has lectured widely on Equality issues and has been involved in teaching Black History since 1976, long before BHM started in 1987.

Steve is the author of “Cold Arrival Life in a Second Homeland” which tells of the experience of first generation Caribbean elders in Pre and Post War Britain.

He is also well known in the Black Community for his Sports and Charity Work. He is not only the chairman Victoria Mutual Caribbean Cricket Cup but also put on the ground breaking Tribute to the Pioneers of Black British Football event in 1998.

Steve has raised thousands of pounds for various charitable causes, by working with Courtney Walsh, Sir Vivian Richards and the West Indies cricket team, He also gets support from Black footballers like John Barnes and Cyril Regis and other Celebrities such as Rudolph Walker in Eastenders to name a few. He received 6 national awards, including the MBE 1996, Voice Newspaper Special Award for Race Relations 1998. In 2003 he received the Prime Minister medal of Appreciation from PJ Patterson for services to Jamaica and Caribbean people in the UK.

Dr Carl HyltonDr Carl Hylton is a freelance researcher, and Project Director of Leeds Bi-Centenary Transformation Project, a collaborative community initiative that delivered a varied Africa-centric educational, spiritual, arts and historical cultural programme of events in commemoration of the 1807 UK Parliamentary Act that helped to end the capture and transportation of African people from their homeland.

Carl is also Director and founding member of JUST-West Yorkshire, a charity based in Bradford that campaigns for equality and social justice. He has lectured in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds and the School of Social Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University and has established an outstanding record of contribution to social justice issues at policy and community level. He is recognised as a promoter of and developer of policies that enhance cultural competence, care and understanding for Black families amongst health and social services providers. Carl is also a community activist and archivist who has recently completed editing a Curriculum Teaching Pack (African Achievements, Liberation and Aspirations) addressing issues of freedom, identity, human rights, prejudice, racial discrimination and social change. The Pack is being used in all Leeds schools and is being marketed to all statutory and voluntary sector schools in the UK. His forthcoming publication is a co-edited book, Black Families in Britain as the site of struggle, Manchester University Press, (February 2010). Other key texts include:

(2003) Improving Educational Achievements for Black and Minority Ethnic Children in Study Support Environments, GBAKHANDA and Leeds Metropolitan University.

(1999) African Caribbean Community Organisations: the search for individual and group identity, Trentham Books

Margaret Palmer, BSc. Hons. Is a Chartered Educational Psychologist. She has been an Educational Psychologist for over 30 years. Her expertise is in autism.

Professor Geoff PalmerProfessor Emeritus Geoff Palmer PhD, DSc, OBE. has been involved with University teaching and research for over 30 years. He has written books on cereal grains, race relations and the history of Jamaica. He devotes a considerable amount of time to charitable and community work.