Professor Rupert Lewis, who was honoured during a lecture on 'Black Radical Thought, Pedagogy and Praxis' at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, has called for a level of equality in how public policies are implemented.
The three-day lecture series included speakers such as Professor Carolyn Cooper, Professor Obika Gray and Dr Christine Cummings, who examined topics including 'Political Activism and 'Race and the Caribbean'.
Lewis, who introduced the teaching of Garveyism at the UWI and has spent 40 years in the Department of Government, teaching and mentoring several generations of students, told The Gleaner that the poor must be given priority.
"Particularly with this current IMF (International Monetary Fund) programme, there have to be some principles which will guide and prevent the majority of people from shouldering an inordinate amount of the burden," he declared.
"How do we ensure that our people do not have to bear the (brunt of the) repayment of debt, when the repayment of the debt, people profited on from the '90s 'til now? The people who profited from the debt are the ones who should bear (more of) the responsibility than the people who are being taxed to pay back the debt," he said.
Lewis added: "Those are the things we need to focus on to ensure that the equity element is maintained in our public policy outcomes and policies (that) impact on the different economic strata in the country."