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Trailblazer Awards Committee and Advocacy Advocates to Stage Awards Ceremony

The Trailblazer Awards Committee is saluting Bahamian men and women who have blazed a trail by setting the highest standards and devoted their lives to excellence in their respective fields.

In its inaugural year, the committee will recognize these individuals who have also exhibited their profound commitment to the field of equal rights. They have stood in the trenches and fought to see women receive equal rights in this country.

In this vein, The Trailblazer Awards Ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 7th, 2023 at 6:00pm in the Atlantis Theatre at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island under the theme: “Fight for Equal Rights”. The event is being held in conjunction with Advocacy Advisors – an organization that creates and executes public awareness campaigns for causes.

The Trailblazer Awards Committee is comprised of well-known veteran local journalists Gina Rodgers-Sealy, Lindsay Thompson, and Felicity Darville. Other committee members are Patrice Thompson and Iain Rodgers.

Rodgers-Sealy also explained the idea behind the Trail Blazer Awards: “A group of ladies who all agreed that Bahamian women are frequently overlooked, under appreciated and do not possess some basic human rights, got together to lift up our sisters, and put crowns on their heads. The committee reached out to Advocacy Advisors to partner with us because they share some of the same goals.”

Receiving our Lifetime Achievement Award are three women who have dedicated their lives to the empowerment of Bahamian women. They are Dr Sandra Dean-Patterson, founder of The Women’s Crisis Center in 1982 to provide services to women who were subjected to physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. It was the first in the Caribbean. The name has since been changed to The Bahamas Crisis Centre and some 40 years later the work continues under her leadership.

Marion Bethel is an attorney, writer, poet, filmmaker, and human and gender rights activist. Her passion is her involvement in the Women’s Movement in the Caribbean for which she was honoured with The 11th Caribbean Community Award from CARICOM in 2014. Since 2017 Bethel has been one of the 23 Committee members on the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and in February she was promoted to Vice Chairperson and Rapporteur.

And the Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training (MOETVT), the Honorable Glenys Hanna-Martin who is presently the longest-serving woman Member of Parliament.

In 2008 she became the first woman elected to the position of Chairman of a political party in The Bahamas. She served as the Immediate past Regional Representative of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Women’s Association. She was also the first woman to run for the Progressive Liberal Party leadership.

In addition to presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to these pillars of society, three organizations will be presented with THE COMMUNITY ADVOCACY AWARD for their commitment to the upliftment, education and protection of Bahamian women.

These organizations are: the Zonta Club of New Providence, the Zonta Club of Nassau, and The Nassau Chapter of Links Inc.

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The committee will also be presenting THE CHAMPION OF CHANGE AWARD to individuals who stood tall in the face of adversity, pushing for the procurement and the advancement of human rights and women’s rights in our Bahamaland. They are: Gaynel Curry, Human Rights Activist; Terneille Burrows, founder/president of Rise Bahamas; Erin Greene, Human Rights Activist, Alexus D’Marco, Human Rights Defender and executive director of The Bahamas Organization of LGBTI Affairs; Mike Russell, Chairman, Rotary Road to Peace; Prodesta Moore, founder of Women United; and Inspector Kendra Whyms of the Domestic Violence Task Force Unit Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Following the awards ceremony a screening of the Gina Rodgers-Sealy documentary “Two-Faced: Gender Inequality in The Bahamas” will be presented. This ground-breaking film shows the various challenges women have faced over the years, the achievements thus far through advocacy, and suggestions in combating gender-based violence and inequality.

The evening will also showcase a splash of culture in rhythm and dance directed by Lawrence Carroll, a spoken Word performance– all in keeping with the essence and message of the fight against Gender-Based Violence, the fight for equal rights, and basic human rights.

Tickets are at $75 and can be available at Hoffer & Son’s Cable Beach.