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Jamaican addresses Women's History Month celebration

Published:Sunday | April 8, 2012 | 12:00 AM
From left: Dr Keisha Edwards Tassie, Jonathan Tassie Elaine Grant Bryan and Zaab Para, in conversation at the recent Women's History Month function at Clayton State University, Atlanta, Georgia.
From left: Dr Elaine Manglitz, Dr Khedija Gadhoum, Elaine Grant Bryan and Dr Keisha Edwards Tassie pose for the camera.
Elaine Grant Bryan and hubby Gregory Bryan.

The evening of Thursday, March 15 will long be remembered, thanks to Jamaica-born professional Elaine Grant Bryan.

In celebration of Women's History Month, Clayton State University's (CSU) Dialogue Across Differences Subcommittee of the College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Diversity Initiatives Committee welcomed this star educator and noteworthy real-estate entrepreneur to its campus for an evening of important dialogue concerning diversity, Caribbean heritage, gender, and empowerment.

The ballroom was filled with representation from various groups, races and cultures. Among an enthusiastic audience of university students and faculty, high school students, and community members, were noted leaders from Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana, and Jamaica, as well as representation from Caribbean-American organisations and a few African countries. Flags representing the countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) decorated the ballroom, among them was that of the United States of America.

Meant to achieve two primary goals with respect to issues of diversity - knowledge and involvement - co-chair of the Dialogues Across Differences Subcommittee, Dr Keisha Edwards Tassie (also of Jamaican heritage), worked with committee members, Dr Khedija Gadhoum, co-chair; Dr Jacqueline Jordan, and Dr Elaine Manglitz to create a space for achieving these important goals through dialogue. Also in support of the evening's event was CSU's Caribbean Student Association, the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Office of International Programmes.

Humorous stories

Through Bryan's poignant and humorous stories of her childhood and young adulthood in Jamaica, of her college years in the United States and of her professional and personal successes in education and entrepreneurship, the goals of knowledge and involvement were surely achieved. What's more, the presentation inspired goal-sharing and goal-setting among young audience members; while the event itself celebrated the heart and international influence of the Caribbean.

In her introduction, Dr Tassie described Bryan as someone who, through steadfast determination, hard work and an enduring and contagious quality of positivity, is living her dream while creating new ones. A star in education, an expert in real estate, an alumnus of esteemed Northwestern University, and pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership, Bryan exemplifies her trademark: 'What You Do With What You Have Determines What You Become'.