Being an Ambassador for cause and country is nothing new to Antiguan-born Kai Davis. An avid African/ Caribbean Folk dancer for 22 years, she represented her country at a number of regional and international festivals between the years 1990 - 2002. She also made a mark in the area of modeling and pageantry, representing Antigua regionally in many Caribbean events such as the Jaycee's Caribbean Queen Show and the Carnival Queen Show, where she won both titles. Internationally, Kai has represented Antigua at the Hal Jackson Talented Teen International held in New York in 1996 and the 2003 Ms. Universe Pageant held in Panama City, Panama, where she copped the Congeniality Award.
After becoming a part of the Rastafari livity in 2004, Kai has now become an Ambassador for her Faith, particularly in the area of education. A member of the Creek Side Rastafari Community and the Nyahbinghi Theocracy Church of Haile Selassie 1st, she became a founding faculty member of the Nyahbinghi Theocracy Church School which was established in 2005 and registered as a Community Home School in 2011. Kai has recently completed an Associates Degree in Teacher Education from the University of the West Indies through the Antigua State College and is ready to fly the banners of Rastafari to the four corners of the Earth.
Kai's presentation, "Spiritual Change - The Journey to Rasta" will share with us, and the world, her personal and spiritual voyage.
Born to adventurers, Lia Nicholson's grandparents sailed the family to the twin island state of Antigua & Barbuda in the 1940s. Lia grew up diving and hiking the rugged south coast of Antigua, built a love for nature, and went on to pursue studies in environmental policy. Lia graduated from Yale University in May 2014 with a Master's in Environmental Management, where her research focused on the vulnerability of small islands to environmental degradation and climate change.
As a recipient of the 2014-2015 Gruber Fellowship, Lia is assisting the Environment Division in the Antiguan Government to implement a flooding mitigation project and to inform national strategy on climate adaptation. Lia also serves on the Board of the Environmental Awareness Group (EAG), a local non-profit organization.
Lia's speech entitled "Climate Innovators - Our environment's game changers" will assess the impact of climate change, focus on ways in which local Antiguan's have become climate innovators and discuss small but innovative ways in which we ourselves can also be climate innovators.
Joseph "Calypso Joe" Hunte started his musical career as a student in the Johnsons Point Primary School drama program. It was there he learned to play the guitar and started composing for friends, Lord Deceiver and Latumba, who would later become successful calypsonians.
Calypso Joe first entered the calypso arena in 1969 with Antigua on Fire and We Shall Overcome. He placed first-runner-up the following year and was also crowned first-ever local Road March King with his tune Bum Bum. In 1971 he was crowned calypso king with his two compositions Educate the Youths and Recorded in History.
Joe, who still performs on the hotel entertainment circuit, no longer competes but now composes tunes for other calypsonians.
He has been recognised for his cultural contributions with two national awards and, now retired, he is presently writing his biography Antigua On Fire to be released shortly.
His TEDxAntigua talk, "Our Story in Song - Examining the social consciousness of calypso" will focus on the lingering impacts of slavery, colonialism and racism on society and will end with the positive charge of nation building.
Marcella André-Georges is an entrepreneur and transformative leader. She spent more than 15 years as a media personality/producer, while simultaneously serving as a French, and Effective Communication educator.
Today, she uses her life's lessons to promote personal power and mindset renewal as catalysts to conscious fulfillment, intentional contentment and lifelong growth.
She is focused on encouraging entrepreneurship and empowerment through her own entrepreneurial example and seminars, and through tailored retreat events for women that encourage them to emerge from the shadows of their own lives to stand in the spotlight.
Marcella André-Georges' speech entitled, "A Tale of Two Islands - Displacement breeds discovery" is a narrative of her personal story of struggle with self acceptance as a result of displacement from Dominica to Antigua and back again, and how this experience enriched her life's journey and shaped who she is as an individual.
Sifu Jurey Gomes is a recognised and decorated martial arts practitioner and founder of the Fist of Nothingness system of martial arts. His interest in the discipline began in 1974 at the Antigua Grammar School where he was taught.
From 1980 to present Sifu Gomes has been entering (and winning) international martial arts competitions.
He holds a first degree black belt from the National College of Martial Arts (NCMA) in Missouri, USA; second degree black belts from both the International Kyodai Ryu Karate Academy, Puerto Rico and Go-Ju-Ryu Karate Academy; and a fifth degree black belt in Wu'chikwon-do Karate. Sifu Gomes also teaches the popular Tai Chi Chuan style of Chinese martial arts.
Throughout his exploration of Eastern combat styles, Sifu Gomes has found spirituality to be at the core of all disciplines and he has studied with the Universal Foundation of Taoism, a Chinese philosophy rooted in harmony, for over 25 years.
Gomes, a devout Christian, will focus on Breath, Mind, Spirit during his TEDx talk and how simple meditation and breathing techniques can improve health and return balance to life.