WACC Caribbean elects new board, sets thematic directions

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WACC Caribbean elects new board, sets thematic directions

At its General Assembly on 11 and 18 March 2023, the WACC Caribbean regional association selected new leadership and discussed areas of communication rights engagement for the next four years.

Regional focal areas

On the agenda as likely focal points for WACC Caribbean in 2023–2027 are documentation of and support for grassroots responses to global warming and promotion of cultural diversity in the region, including Indigenous languages. Another possible regional focus is to record the experiences of migrants, particularly of women, and to strengthen the capacity of migration rights organizations.

At a time when communication rights are under threat across the region, WACC Caribbean wants to continue to promote communication for all, including women and girls, with a particular emphasis on the key rights of freedom of expression and media freedom.

In addition, the members highlighted the need to build the institutional capacity of WACC Caribbean.

New Regional Executive Committee

The General Assembly elected a 6-member Regional Executive Committee (REC) to give guidance to WACC Caribbean for 2023–2027.

The REC comprises Corinne Barnes as president, Sandra Clenem as vice president, Ruth Howard as secretary, Michelle Golding as treasurer, and Edner Fils Decime and Maximiliano Dueñas Guzmán as members at large.

Dr Corinne Barnes

Dr Corinne Barnes (President) holds a PhD in Communication Studies, an MA in Journalism and a BA in Media and Communication.

A lecturer at the Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), University of the West Indies, in Mona, Jamaica, Dr Barnes has published and presented internationally in the areas of media and violence, citizen journalism, journalism education, and HIV and AIDS.  She has conducted training for journalists in the Caribbean on the coverage of HIV and AIDS.

Dr. Barnes serves on the REC as a representative of CARIMAC.

Sandra Clenem

A native of Suriname, Sandra Clenem (Vice President) has worked with women and youth in the areas of gender and media, culture, sexuality, breastfeeding, and entrepreneurship for over 30 years. She has held various board positions including with the Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action (CAFRA) and the Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARICOM/CARIFESTA).

Clenem promotes Suriname at the regional level and is associated with different social justice and communication rights forums in the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and North and South Africa.

Clenem was a WACC Caribe REC member from 2009 to 2017 and national coordinator for Suriname for WACC’s Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) in 2020. She serves on the REC as a personal member.

Ruth Howard

Ruth Howard (Secretary) is a writer and women’s rights and gender justice advocate from Jamaica. She has an MSc in Gender and Development Studies from the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies. A former Ubuntu United Nations delegate, she has been recognized as a community leader and a woman digital changemaker and storyteller.

Howard works with WMW Jamaica, which advances gender justice in and through the media, as program manager for the innovative We-Talk for the Reduction of Gender Violence project that combines research, stakeholder engagement, communication campaigns, and capacity building.

Howard serves on the REC as a personal member.

Michelle Golding

A founding member of WMV Jamaica, Michelle Golding (Treasurer), serves as the organization’s director and on its advisory committee. She worked in the private sector as well as with several NGOs and trade unions, focusing mostly on gender and disability rights,  prior to moving to human resources and teaching.

Golding holds an MA in Education Policy, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education, and a degree in Human Resources Management.

Golding serves on the REC as a personal member.

Edner Fils Décime

Edner Fils Décime (Member at large) is a social media communicator and multimedia journalist (Faculty of Human Sciences of the State University of Haiti).

A tireless advocate for popular communication within Haitian social movements, Décime is a founding member of e Asosyasyon Kominikatè ak Kominikatèz Popilè (AKP), an association of students and academics seeking to promote alternative communication in Haiti.

Décime is project manager within Medialternatif Group, an institutional member of WACC Caribbean. He serves on the REC as a personal member.

Dr Maximiliano Dueñas Guzmán

A native of Colombia, Dr Maximiliano Dueñas Guzmán (Member at large) grew up in New York where he began a career as a citizen journalist. He has lived in Puerto Rico since 1986 and is a professor in the Communication Department of the University of Puerto Rico.

Dueñas Guzmán holds a PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His scholarship explores practices that support communication as a human right, with publications on popular communication projects along the Haitian-Dominican border, the representation of women in the news, and experiences of appropriations of new technologies.

Dr Dueñas Guzmán serves on the REC as a personal member.

WACC Caribbean has members in Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Santo Domingo, and Suriname. For more information about the work of WACC Caribbean, contact staff regional liaison Lorenzo Vargas.