Wed | Sep 19, 2018

Transform the world - Caribbean-American congresswoman has high hopes for UCC graduates

Published:Monday | July 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Dr Yvette Clarke shortly after she was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean during the institution's graduation ceremony for 2018. The ceremony was held at the National Arena in Kingston on Sunday.

Yvette Clarke, the first African American and Caribbean American woman to be elected to the US Congress, has charged the 2018 graduating class of the University College of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) to play their roles in transforming the world.

Clarke was speaking at the National Arena during her keynote address at the graduation ceremony yesterday.

She was also present to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Public Policy, bestowed on her by the UCC.

"What are you going to do to improve the social and economic conditions in Jamaican civil society? What are you going to do to address the inequality issues in Jamaica as well as on the international level? What are you going to do to arrest the effects of climate change and reverse its negative impacts on the world?

"We are at a critical moment in history in which many serious matters remain unresolved. What will you do to address systemic injustice? Will you effect change in Jamaica as an entrepreneur or as the newest technology guru? Do you have the desire to address the impact of climate change? We need a new generation of people who are prepared for leadership throughout the world," she told the graduates.

Winston Adams, UCC's group executive chairman, told the graduating class members to remember that failure in life was not their destiny.

"You have already learned that failures will not deter you. Use them as opportunities. Use them as stepping stones. Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world. Indeed, I see before me an audacious group of individuals who have armed themselves to change the world. You have all worked assiduously to achieve your goals. As you rise to the challenge of fulfilling your purpose and embracing your destiny, I again extend congratulations to you," said Adams.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com