2022 Executive Council Elections

Listed below are the candidates for Vice President 2022-2023 and Executive Council 2022-2024. Voting will be available and carried out during the CSA virtual conference.

Vice-President, Executive Council 2022-2023
The Vice-President serves for one year after which she/he assumes the Presidency:
Okama Ekpe-BrookOkama Ekpe-Brook

Okama is a conscious heartist, an International development expert, policy adviser, scholar, activist, entrepreneur, model, dancer, philanthropist, and author. She is the founder and president of the Africa Caribbean Heritage Alliance, ACHA, an international NGO based in Africa (Nigeria), Caribbean (Sint Maarten) and North America (Canada). She is a wife,  mother of three beautiful children and speaker. She is a Nigerian/Canadian and available for consulting opportunities.

She is a scholar with an MA in Development Studies and Public Policy, and currently a Research Assistant at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She is also a member of the Caribbean Studies Association, and an Online Education Consultant for the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean & AsombrosoX.

Okama began her international development career in the 1996 working at the Alberta Research Station, Lacombe, Canada  as a research assistant before landing development jobs in Thailand as gender adviser, in Lao PDR as CUSO Co-Operant Coordinator, in Sri Lanka as UNV Program Officer, in Curacao as UNDP Liaison Officer and Government Senior Economic Adviser and in Sint Maarten as Government Senior Policy Adviser on National Development planning and Charlotte Brookson Academy of the Performing Arts as Innovation & Communication Coordinator. In Nigeria, she was the Country Director for the ACHA/VOICE Innovation and Reconnection; and Now US Awards projects, both Oxfam in Nigeria and Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported initiatives.  She volunteers as the Vice President/Global Liaison, VOME Magazine, a USA based magazine helping to transform Africa’s economy through connections and public private partnerships between Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean through features, tourism and SDG initiatives.

She has traveled and has lived experiences in over 50 countries, having worked with the United Nations, International NGOs and governments in Asia, the Caribbean, North America and Africa. She authored several development publications including the CSA Annual Report 2016, Curacao and Sint Maarten MDG Report in 2011, and Measuring Volunteerism in Lao PDR in 2001, etc. She has certifications as a leadership, governance and life coach, project management trainer & mentor, dance fitness coach, change management and humanitarian coach.

Okama is a sports enthusiast who played college soccer at Red Deer college, touch rugby, volleyball and swimming in Canada. She coached boys and girls soccer teams and was the technical coordinator of a youth soccer club in the Caribbean and currently manages the FOG U.15 Boys Volleyball Club in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Okama believes in equitable development and the enhancement of the full human potential and continues to give back professionally, academically and passionately and using as a baseline the deep-rooted questions surrounding the preservation and protection of the African cultural heritage and by defacto, the historical linkages and reconnections of people of African Descent, she is passionate about ACHA’s role in strengthening economic development and image of Africa and Peoples of African Descent.

She is an Entrepreneur, and an Independent Contractor of Max International, the Glutathione company Ltd USA; Combined Insurance, a Chubb company of Canada/USA and a Vision Partner of Lifestyle Asset Hub, Nigerian/Pan African real estate and wealth creation company.

Okama is a Rotarian and was the past president of Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise, and past co-chair of the Caribbean Studies Association. She is a dancer, performer and transmits love and understanding through her passion for creativity. As a world changer, she believes in the power of harnessing people’s emotional Intelligence in the pursuit for leadership and institutional strengthening.

Her breakthrough in the modeling industry came in 2019 while in Nigeria. She partnered with HopeZ Modeling Academy to implement the Africa Fashion for Peace.

Okama is known for her modeling appearances in the agency’s several events and as brand ambassador/global face for several companies. She has been featured in several magazines I.e Vome edition 2021, HopeZ Magazine 2020, Voice Global magazine, CSA publication, etc.

She had dancing roles in Sri Lanka, Curacao, Canada, Sint Maarten and Nigeria and compere roles in Abuja, Nigeria at the Abuja Fashion Night (2019), Africa Fashion for Peace (2019 & 2020), Sri Lanka (2016-2017) and Sri Lanka (2008-2009) and several speaking, trainings, mentoring and coaching roles.

In 1997, Okama started activism for gender integration into development work as a gender analyst at an NGO in Thailand leading to a long career in gender activism for which she has received the Gender Champs and Cultural Ambassador award and currently links into the work of PACE/WAGE project at the Arts, Women and Gender Equality Department, University of Alberta to address intimate partner violence amongst the African community in Canada working with Prof. Philomina Okeke-Ijiherika as a research coordinator.

She is poised to continue to contribute towards developmental change globally through reawakening deeper cultural understanding for empowering youth and women and general development of Black people around the world.

Member, Executive Council 2022-2024
Executive Council Members serve for a two year term.

Rhoda ArrindellRhoda Arrindell

I was born in Curacao and raised in St. Martin, both Caribbean territories administered by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

In 1985, I began my university studies at the University of Miami and in 1989 graduated from Syracuse University in New York with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics. That year, I returned home and was employed at the University of St. Martin, coordinating the English-as-a-Second Language program and teaching English.

In 1996, I obtained a pre-law diploma (propaedeuse) from the University of the Netherlands Antilles in Curacao, while working as the community outreach and prevention officer for Turning Point, a drug rehabilitation center, and an editor for The Chronicle newspaper.

In 2005, I obtained a master of arts in education administration from the University of the Virgin Islands. At the same time, I headed the Language Division, subsequently the Humanities Division, at the University of St. Martin.

From 2010 – 2012, I served as St. Martin’s first Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, and Youth Affairs in the UP/DP coalition government. While serving as minister, I graduated from the University of Puerto Rico in 2011, with a doctorate in English, specializing in Caribbean linguistics.

Since leaving office, I continue to work as a consultant and currently teach English at the University of The Bahamas.

I’m the owner/operator of SoIL (Source of Inspiration and Learning) book café and the founder of the Institute for Language Research and Development, under which the United Academy is run.

My book Language, Culture, and Identity in St. Martin was published in 2014.

I believe in the love, unity, and people empowerment.

Nicholas FaraclasNicholas Faraclas

Dr Nicholas Faraclas is a full tenured Professor in Linguistics at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.  He received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989, where he was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship and two Fulbright Fellowships.  He has published more than 25 books and 80 scientific articles and chapters, and presented at more than 100 professional conferences in more than 40 countries in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and North America.  Having supervised more than 40 PhD and MA theses, he has also developed and taught more than 50 different courses in a considerable number of distinct areas of theoretical, descriptive, socio-, and applied linguistics at universities in North and South America, Africa, the Pacific, Europe, and the Caribbean.  Over the past four decades, he has been conducting research on postcolonial linguistics and colonial era contact languages, as well as promoting community based popular education and literacy activities for both adults and children in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

L. Kaifa RolandL. Kaifa Roland

Kaifa Roland is currently Director of Global Black Studies and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Clemson University. Her research is in the area of cultural anthropology with a focus Cuba on the African diaspora in the Caribbean. She has topical interests in tourism, entrepreneurship, national identity, racial and gender constructions, popular cultural practices, and critiques of capitalism.

Kaifa Roland joins Clemson from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she has been Associate Professor of Anthropology since 2006 and served as Chair of Women and Gender Studies since 2020.

Roland holds a B.A. in Third World Studies at Oberlin College, an M.A. in African Studies from Howard University, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University.

Her career as an instructor began at Duke University, where she taught courses in Contemporary Culture in Cuba and the Caribbean. After Duke, she was a visiting instructor and visiting professor in anthropology at Kenyon College. She has been on faculty at University of Colorado at Boulder since 2006.

As a cultural anthropologist, Roland’s research has focused on the Caribbean, specifically Cuba. Belonging is a central theme of her book, “Cuban Color in Tourism and La Lucha: An Ethnography of Racial Meanings,” as well as of multiple articles and chapters she has penned describing the black experience.