The legacy of Prof. Rex Nettleford is assured permanent status in Jamaica now that The University of the West Indies (UWI) recently launched a foundation in his memory.
Launched in May, The Rex Nettleford Foundation aims to continue the work of the cultural icon who toiled to promote intellectual assurance, cultural pride and Caribbean unity.
Reportedly, the foundation will support scholars and programs that advocate the strengthening of Caribbean society in the areas of social and cultural development through research, community service and intellectual excellence.
According to a local newspaper, The Jamaica Observer — the foundation will seek to produce young leaders who will grasp the importance of public service based on integrity.
Individuals who have a desire to protect the weak; use their energies and talents for the betterment of humankind and exhibit qualities Nettleford might have admired will be worthy beneficiaries.
In outlining the objectives of the foundation, Sir Shridath Ramphal, Chancellor Emeritus of the UWI and chairman of the foundation said the institution was established as a charitable organization and would need donations to carry out its duties.
“The foundation will take necessary, contribution by way of donations so it can carry out its purpose,” he said.
“I want to appeal to Jamaica, to the Caribbean, the Diaspora and the global village where Nettleford’s presence was felt, to help us in this venture,” Sir Shridath said.
Nettleford, died Feb. 1, 2010, one day before his 77th birthday.
He was a renowned Caribbean scholar, trade union advocate, social and cultural educator and dancer/choreographer and founder of Jamaica’s National dance company.