GUYANA SPEAKS: London UK – “OIL” by Chris Ram on July 13, 2018; + “Emancipation and Beyond” – July 29, 2018

 GUYANA SPEAKS – Featuring CHRIS RAM – 13 July 2018. London. England.

Chris Ram, who was one of our speakers on What will oil do for Guyana? in November 2017, has just received a certificate for the Masters of Laws in Oil and Gas from Reading University and is currently in the UK.  Guyana SPEAKS will therefore be holding a one-off special in which Chris will talk for 30 mins on “First Oil in 2020: Are We Ready?” followed by a Q&A session.  If you are able to attend, please RSVP so that we have an idea of numbers. The event will be held on Friday, 13th July (6.30pm for a 7pm start) at the Classic.      

As per usual Guyanese food will be available for purchase, however, to avoid delays we would advise you to pre-order you


DOWNLOAD FLYER: Guyana Speaks Flyer- 2018.07.29

I’m excited, meantime, to confirm the following distinguished speakers for the Guyana SPEAKS event: Emancipation and Beyond –  on Sunday, 29th July (2-5pm): Beryl Haynes, Arthur Torrington CBE, Ulele Burnham and poet, Grace Nichols.  Please see below for bios.

This stimulating afternoon will be followed by a lime session with complimentary drink.  As per the above, please pre-order your food.  Tickets can be purchased from the following link:

We’d be grateful if you could circulate this email, and/or the flyers, to all your friends and family!


Beryl Haynes, born and educated in Guyana, migrated to the UK in 1964. She trained initially as a nurse and then switched career, branching into the field of Education.  Beryl’s teaching career, spanning over 25 years, included roles such as: Lecturer in Food and Nutrition, Health Education and Child Development; and more latterly Special Education Specialist and Counsellor. When she returned to Guyana after 32 years in the UK, she aligned herself to the village of her birth, Plaisance, and became heavily involved in community outreach work, both as President of the Plaisance Dorcas Club (for over 19 years) and head of several village Committees.  She is author of Plaisance: From Emancipation to Independence and Beyond (2010).  The contents of this book will form the basis of her talk.

Arthur Torrington CBE is founder of the Equiano Society and, with the late Sam B. King MBE, co-founder of the Windrush Foundation, a registered charity advocating for good race and community relations, and heritage projects that celebrate African people. The latter also undertakes research and publishes the history, heritage and contributions of African and Caribbean men and women who settled in the UK before, and after, 22 June 1948. The Equiano Society promotes the life and times of Olaudah Equiano, a former enslaved African, best-selling author, and abolitionist, who lived in 18th century London.   Torrington’s talk, Making Freedom, is centred on the liberation of nearly a million Africans in the British Caribbean during the 1830s.

Ulele Burham is a barrister specialising in mental health, mental capacity, and equality and human rights law.  She is a member and former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Discrimination Law Association, and was an occasional tutor in Labour Law at LSE (2002-2006). She is a B Panel member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of approved counsel. In January 2018 she delivered a research paper at the University of Birkbeck that sought to address the question: “What is to be done when the thing to be repaired is irreparable?”  Her talk will focus on the issue of reparations.

Grace Nichols, poet and novelist, was born and educated in Guyana but has been in Britain since 1977. Her first collection of poetry, I Is A Long-Memoried Woman won the 1983 Commonwealth Poetry Prize. Among her other books are the popular, The Fat Black Woman’s Poems and Sunris, which won the 1996 Guyana Poetry Prize.  She was poet-in-residence at the Tate Gallery, London (1999-2000), which resulted in her poetry collection: Picasso, I Want My face Back.  She is among the poets on the current GCSE syllabus and received the Cholmondeley Award in 2001. She’s also written a novel, Whole of a Morning Sky published by Virago. Her latest book is, The Insomnia Poems (Bloodaxe 2017). Grace will share readings from her poetry.

  • Many thanks as always for your continued support!
  • Best regards,
  • Juanita Cox Westmaas
  • Guyana SPEAKS

At the request of Ra Hendricks, I’m also attaching a flyer about an event being held in Peckham on Thursday, 26th July.


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