The University of the West Indies (The UWI) joins with the people of Jamaica, the wider Caribbean and its Diasporas, and indeed the global coalitions for democratic governance and equality for women and the inclusion of the poor, in celebrating the long and distinguished contribution of the Most Honourable Portia Simpson-Miller to public and political life.
As the former Prime Minister of Jamaica prepares to exit the corridors of constituent and national leadership, her legacy, shaped by a phenomenal rising from the grass roots and resilience at the highest echelons, will be the subject of significant research and academic discourse.
Feminists will find much to discuss and the trail of accomplishments at the highest level, will provide room for robust interventions.
The UWI, therefore, consistent with its practice of celebrating its prime ministerial leaders, is keenly awaiting the opportunity to welcome Mrs Simpson-Miller into its ranks as an Honorary Distinguished Fellow. Arrangements are already in place for the provision of an office at the Mona Campus that will allow access to her by our students and colleagues.
The University has also made provisions for her formal association with the Institute for Gender and Development Studies in order to facilitate her writing of memoirs and other literary productions.
Other ideas for her deeper induction into the University community are under consideration. Within this context, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles noted, “It will be a historic moment, a magnificent relationship, and we will welcome her with exciting arms. She has done so much for our university. We see her as an elder who has so much more to teach.”