Excelsior topped the girls with 381.5 points and they were followed by Camperdown 260, the Queen’s School 250.5, Immaculate 162.5 and St Andrew High 147.5. On a day where the athletes had to battle a strong head wind there were several records on the track and in the field. One of the most impressive records came in one of the Grand Prix events, the Class Two boys 800 metres where Calabar’s Kimar Farquharson clocked 1:52.92. KC’s Kristoffe Derby, a double winner, also wrote his name in the record books as he won the Class One 1500 metres in 4:01.11. His other win came in the 800m where he stopped the clock at 1:54.49. There was also a record run for KC in the Class Two 1500 metres, where Aryamana Rodgers won in an impressive 3:59.59. Excelsior dominated their rivals in the girls’ events. In the discus Class Two Grand Prix event they took the first two places. Kimberly Luggage won with 37.49 metres ahead of teammate, Sean Kay Wright, 36.06m. Rushelle Jones also had a record leap of 1.75 metres to win the Class One high jump. KINGSTON College (KC) and Excelsior High captured the third and penultimate leg of the Digicel Grand Prix Series after being crowned male and female champions respectively at yesterday’s staging of the Anthrick Corporate Area Development meet at the UWI Usain Bolt Track. KC continued their impressive form this season in their bid to unseat Calabar at this month’s GraceKennedy ISSA Boys and Girls’ Championships. They amassed 344 points to finish well ahead of Calabar with 228.5. Jamaica College were next with 202 followed by Excelsior 143.5 and Wolmer’s Boys 141. TOPPED THE GIRLS
Global celebrities help raise awareness of otherwise ignored causes and can secure pledges from policymakers. Yet their simplified advocacy messages, often divorced from issues of power, can lead to ineffective or even harmful policies.Hollywood star Ben Affleck championed legislation requiring companies reporting to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose their use of “conflict minerals” mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Image: Erin Lassahn) Georgia Cole, Ben Radley and Jean-Benoit FalisseCelebrity activism and support for African humanitarian causes – such as the Enough Project, Akon’s Lighting Africa and Kony 2012 – has become mainstream. But what are the consequences, and is this something we necessarily want to promote?Celebrity activism is nothing new. At the turn of the 20th century, prominent British journalist, author and politician Edmund Dene Morel and Anglo-Irish diplomat and human rights activist Roger Casement successfully challenged Belgian King Leopold’s violent and autocratic rule of the Congo Free State. They did so with the help of notable friends: Sherlock Holmes author Arthur Conan Doyle, Cadbury’s Chocolates founder William Cadbury, and literary great Joseph Conrad, author of Heart of Darkness. In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst lobbied hard for a fascist-free and, later, independent Ethiopia. A few decades after that Bob Geldof and Band Aid raised US$150 million for famine victims in Ethiopia.Although some of the most famous campaigns sought to provide a palliative solution to one-off disasters such as famine or Ebola, most modern-day celebrities are not content with fundraising or short-lived remedial goals.They have chosen to champion socioeconomic causes that have more expansive and lasting pretensions. The latest generation of American celebrity activists has most commonly knocked at the doors of Congress, demanding changes in US policy towards their cause célèbre.Celebrity activism has grown more powerful in the past decades. The spread of internet and communications technologies has broken down the oligopoly on news, opening many new stages for celebrities and their causes.In the 1980s Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof and his Band Aid initiative raised US$150-million for famine victims in Ethiopia. Unfortunately the effort not only ignored the causes of the famine, but warped popular perceptions of Africa as a whole, with long-term repercussions for trade, investment and prosperity. (Image: Harry Potts) Just causes versus personal brandsShould we question the motives of these celebrities, who hire expensive PR experts to “sell” their convictions? As Daniel Drezner writes, engaging in causes clearly benefits these individuals too. It provides them with access to new outlets such as political talk shows or international forums and helps polish their personal brands.Causes are to celebrities what corporate social responsibility is to business. Every established name seems to require, at least, one. In 2010, with the headline “Dr Clooney, I Presume?”, the online US magazine Mother Jones published an interactive satirical map of Africa allowing users to explore the “celebrity recolonization of Africa”.Celebrities undoubtedly help make causes known to a larger audience. They are often effective in obtaining pledges from governments, policymakers and businesses. The problem is that they are often much less effective in transforming these commitments into appropriate and effective policies.Darrel West writes that the fascination for celebrities raises the risk that there will be “more superficiality and less substance in our political process”.As West points out, it:… drains attention from experts with detailed knowledge, and risks the skewing of civil discourse toward solutions which may not represent effective long-term remedies for complex policy problemsBeyond ‘celebrityhood’A stark example of this is provided in the new documentary, We Will Win Peace, which tracks the impact of Section 1502 of the US’s Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.Championed by celebrities from Ben Affleck to Nicole Richie, this section required companies reporting to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose their use of “conflict minerals” originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or an adjoining country.This stipulation was presented by the Enough Project as an essential precursor to preventing conflict, and thus sexual violence, in the DRC. The project is an international advocacy organisation replete with celebrity frontmen and women who campaign against genocide and crimes against humanity.The documentary, alongside other important research, shows the implications on the ground of this simplified rendering of the facts.With de facto international boycotts on minerals from the DRC, and a government ban on artisanal mining, tens of thousands of miners and businesses ended up unable to make a living. This pushed many individuals either towards the illicit mining industry or a rebel group, thus paradoxically exacerbating the very violence it set out to reduce.We Will Win Peace from Seth Chase on Vimeo.Three pillars of ethical activismAlex de Waal, in an article for the World Peace Foundation in 2013, outlined three fundamental pillars on which ethically driven activism could be based.First, it should respond to and collaborate with local people, rather than impose agendas developed outside the place they live; where they experience the “cause” first-hand, in their lives. The Dodd-Frank Act campaign should have asked local activists, populations and mining experts in the eastern DRC about mineral supply chains coming from the region and whether those could be altered to improve the situation. Evidence suggests this consultation failed to take place beyond a narrow segment of civil society – the church.In Maniema, Democratic Republic of Congo, artisanal miners dig the mineral wolframite out of a mine that has become the centre of a functional and thriving community. Sections of the US Dodd-Frank Act, the authors say, would have been better drafted in consultation with the people who actually live in the eastern DRC. (Image: Julien Harneis)Second, activism should be fact-driven, reflexive and responsive, and open to the fact that it must change with changing contexts.Third, it should speak to power but also firmly against it. Ethical activism should never presume that all change is possible from within existing political systems.The final point is particularly pertinent. It raises a question. Would celebrity activism be more relevant if it were decoupled from the belief that change was best achieved only through shifts in Western government policy?As research has shown, the problem with celebrity causes is that they tend to depoliticise policy and activism. They too often obfuscate the complex dynamics of power and socioeconomic relations in favour of a simple, catch-all solution. Celebrities can improve this situation by bringing back into the debate more stakeholders, researchers and local voices.Celebrities speaking truth to power, rather than half-truths that may inadvertently serve the interests of power, may be a more promising way forward if celebrity advocacy relating to Africa is to lead to meaningful socioeconomic change.The celebrity advocacy circuit for change in Africa lacks celebrity participation in bottom-up movements, as opposed to top-down advocacy. But if the cycle of simplified celebrity advocacy messages leading to ineffective – even harmful – African policy is to be broken, genuine engagement with, and commitment to, the people they advocate on behalf of is critical. It may provide a welcome step forward.Georgia Cole is Researcher in the Department of International Development at University of Oxford.Ben Radley is PHD Researcher at the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam.Jean-Benoit Falisse is DPhil candidate at University of Oxford.This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.Photo research and editing for Media Club South Africa by Mary Alexander.
Chris Brogan is one of the reasons I started writing daily. He is super smart, has had a tremendous influence on me, and I am happy to call him my friend. A few years ago Chris started to theme his year by choosing three words. Along with a whole bunch of other folks, I have found this practice to be useful and I’ve incorporated it into my approach.The idea is to choose themes that cross into all of the important areas of your life. Here are my three words for 2017.Integrated: I have always put things into boxes, separated them. More and more, this no longer works for me. Integrated means all areas of my life function as a single whole. The idea here is that the integration reduces friction, reduces drag, and creates alignment. What I do in one are needs to add to other areas.Impeccable: The word suggests the highest possible standards. To be impeccable, you have to raise the bar. It also means clean, clear, crisp lines. Everything has to be in its place. This word, when applied across all areas of your life, is a challenge.Essential: Better is better than more. Essential suggests a paring down. What is minimally necessary? What doesn’t provide value? What is a distraction? This word is more than it appears. It’s an acknowledgment of how little time you have, as well as an urgent call to do what it necessary.This year, I was tempted more than any other to add additional words to this list. The word “essential” prevented me from doing so. Upon reflection, the two other words that didn’t make it onto this list are already encompassed in these three words. Better is better than more.Note: If you don’t subscribe to my Sunday newsletter, this is what you missed today. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now