Greetings! I was born in Jamaica and spent a happy childhood there, until the age of 18. After high school I decided to study overseas and my journey took me to Worcester, Massachusetts and then to Waterloo, Ontario, where I earned an Engineering degree. I met my “Trini” wife, Anandi, while at university and we have been married for over 25 years and have three beautiful children.

To everyone who is from Jamaica, Trinidad, Haiti, Barbados, Cuba, Guyana, or any of the thirty countries/dependencies in the Caribbean, we welcome you to the Region and invite you to become a member of our organization. Despite the many different languages and cultures we represent, we share a memory and a history of sea and sky and sand, tropical heat and musical beats.

We also share the common experience of emigrating to a colder climate and being a visible minority, likely for the first time. The Caribbean Canadian Association of Waterloo Region was founded in 1975 by immigrants to this region who wished to celebrate their culture and provide a supportive space for those who were working to make Canada their new home. Over the past 45 years the CCAWR has sponsored and supported many events and programs that benefited the Caribbean community.

The CCAWR continues to evolve and grow to meet the needs of the community, but we cannot accomplish our goals without your support. I invite you to connect with us and to use your skills and talents to help us build a strong, engaged and caring community. There is strength in numbers, and we can accomplish far more together than we can as individuals.

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Emily Roslyn Yamoah was born in Clarendon, Jamaica. She graduated from University of Waterloo with a B.A. in 1980. She worked as a teacher in Jamaica and Nigeria and later spent 27 years working with the City of Kitchener and The Region of Waterloo.

She is a past recipient of the Kitchener Award for Positive Suggestions from The City of Kitchener. Mother of four children Isaac, Patricia, Lynta & Megan, Emily is a tourism lifestyle enthusiast and has travelled extensively.

Emily has been a member of the association for the last 25 years, serving as a Board member for 20 of those years. Emily gives her time to multiple non-profit boards and community organizations.  During her time at the association, she has organized and supported activities that contributed to social and business development within the community, especially in economically depressed areas. She has also made significant contributions through organizing community events, annual commemoration ceremonies and memorials.

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AMANDA J. A. EDWIN, Secretary

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Amanda immigrated to Canada with her family in 2008 and planted new roots in the Region of Waterloo. Prior to immigrating, Amanda opted for an early retirement after serving as an elementary teacher with the Ministry of Education for 21 years. Amanda holds a Bachelor’s in Education with a specialty in Educational Administration and a Master’s Degree in Sociology, both of which she earned at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago.

Amanda has always been service-minded and felt the need to serve her new community and home in some meaningful way. She joined the CCAWR as a Board Member in 2016 as she felt the organization’s values, mission and vision aligned with her own. Being a member of the board also offered an opportunity to connect and network with other Caribbean residents in the region. Amanda currently serves as a Director of the Board as the Secretary and is also a member of the Scholarship Committee.

Not only does Amanda volunteer on the board, she teaches adults part-time at Pathways Educational Services, and is the owner and senior paralegal at Amicus Paralegal Services, a small paralegal practice in Kitchener-Waterloo. When she is not volunteering or working, Amanda spends time with her family and explores her life-long passion for writing. She uses different forums such as blogging platforms and social media to inspire others and share her writings on education, parenting, and law. She claims that her writings may not be first-rate or perfect, but like her, they are a continuous work in progress.

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NIGEL HENRIQUES, Chair of Scholarship Committee

Nigel Henriques emigrated from Jamaica in 1979 to attend the University of Waterloo, where he graduated with a degree in Honours Computer Science and Masters in Management Science. Nigel has lived in Waterloo since that time and has a long career of over 30 years in the Information Technology field in a number of industry portfolios, including; automotive, inventory management, finance, agriculture and higher education. He has worked on a variety of projects across Canada and Internationally throughout his career.  He currently holds a senior role at the University of Waterloo as an Associate Director.

Nigel joined the CCAWR Scholarship Committee back in 2010 when it was first initiated because he strongly believes that every child deserves an opportunity to develop and grow through a solid post-secondary education. He has volunteered as a soccer coach in the community for over 17 years and constantly preaches the value and importance of a good education.

Place of birth:      London, England


1970-1978:                Campion College, Kingston, Jamaica
1979-1983:                University of Waterloo, Honours. Computer Science
1983-1986:                University of Waterloo, Masters in Management Science

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Ingrid Berkeley-Brown has been on the Board of Director for the CCAWR Board since 2006.  She served in the role of President between 2012 and 2014 and in the role of Secretary from 2014 to present.  Born in Georgetown, Guyana, Ingrid immigrated to Canada in 1974. She has an honour diploma in Social Sciences and is a graduate of the Masters of Leadership Program from the University of Guelph.

An officer with the Peel Regional Police for over 30 years, Ingrid holds the rank of Superintendent.  She is committed to community development and is a strong advocate of continuous learning.  She leads by example having been actively involved with many community organizations including the Peel Multicultural Council, YMCA Achievers Program, Congress of Black Women (Mississauga, Brampton and Kitchener-Wateroo chapters) and the United Achievers Club of Brampton.  She is a founding member and past Chair of Peel Sister of Colour in Action.

Ingrid currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Peel Family Mediation Services (PFMS).  She has been recognized for her work in the community and has been honoured with several awards including the Peel-United Cultural Partners ‘Black History Month Recognition’ Award; Congress of Black Women Mississauga and Area Chapter ‘Phenomenal Woman’ Award, the Association of Black Law Enforcement (ABLE) ‘Leadership in Law Enforcement’ The Excellence in Law Enforcement Award at the Women’s Courage Award International and most recently the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) ‘Service’ award.



Anandi loves Caribbean culture and will promote it at every opportunity. She joined the CCAWR Board in 2012 and has served as Secretary and Treasurer. She is the current administrator of the Afric Caribbean Book Club.

Anandi is an Auditor with the Canada Revenue Agency, working in the Public Service for over 20 years. This career utilizes her analytical skills and dispute resolution philosophy. Anandi was awarded a Bachelor of Mathematics, Chartered Accounting from the University of Waterloo. She cherishes the discipline and drive to achievement she was taught at her alma mater St. Joseph’s Convent, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
She enjoys filmmaking and obtained a Film Studies Certificate at Ryerson University in 2010. She produced a short film “Gerima” about a very special local drummer of Caribbean descent; the short debuted at the Local Focus Festival, Kitchener in 2011. She stays active in production, volunteering with RogersTV as the host of the news show “Your Region This Week.” She also enjoys improv acting, creative writing and speech crafting with Toastmasters.



Angela Charles was born in the Caribbean island of The Commonwealth of Dominica and graduated from the University of Windsor.

Angela worked primarily in the banking and insurance sectors as an Information Technology Consultant in Canada and the United States.

She was an entrepreneur owning several businesses and real estate holdings. Angela has been a teacher, mentor and community volunteer.

Angela is an author living in Kitchener. When she is not writing or travelling, she’s out volunteering and sharing her heart in the community.



Avonaé Gentles was born in Kingston, Jamaica and immigrated to Waterloo, Canada in 2009 with her family. Since then she has graduated from St. David Catholic Secondary School and is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Science at the University of Waterloo.

Avonaé has always been an active member of the Waterloo community, in particular the health subset. She has volunteered with the Grand River Hospital (GRH) cancer centre and the Northfield Medical centre in addition to working with the University of Waterloo Health Services. She is passionate about female reproductive health and removing the ambiguity behind medical conditions like endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, fibroids, and preeclampsia, that disproportionately affect women of colour and envisions a future where black women in Canada will receive equitable medical care. Avonaé is also a youth leader at a local church, where she works with a team of likeminded young adults and health care professionals to organize annual mission trips to marginalized areas in Canada and provide community and counselling services to at-risk youth.

Avonaé joined the CCAWR scholarship committee in 2020 following the paradigm shift ensuing from the shooting of George Floyd. Her goal is to make meaningful contributions to her community and the the growing momentum of the Black Live Matter (BLM) movement, with a specific focus on creating initiatives for adolescents and young adults.



Loretta Sheriff was born and raised in St Mary,  Jamaica. Prior to coming to Canada, she worked with the Ministry of Youth and Community Development as a District Officer. She immigrated to Canada in 1974 and has lived in the community for the past 43 years. She has given 43 years of her working life to Nursing, working for The Region of Waterloo and NHI Inc. in Toronto.

She has been with the CCAWR since its inception in 1975 and has watched the Association’s growth over the years. She has served as a Board member for the past 10 years.

Her passion is helping the less fortunate and providing empathy and moral support to community members that are shut in.



Donnette became a Board Member of the CCAWR in 2013, but has been actively involved with the Association since she first came to the Region in 2011. Having immigrated to Canada in 2010 she saw this as a great opportunity to connect with Caribbean Canadians and the wider community and a means of integrating into and serving the community.

She received her education in Jamaica at the University of Technology where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Construction Engineering.  Donnette has over 10 years of experience working with community-based Socio-economic Infrastructure and Social Services projects, which involves the development of poor communities through small-scale community-based projects as a component of the Government of Jamaica Poverty Alleviation Strategy.  She also worked in Jamaica with the Commission responsible for overseeing the process for the awards of Government Contracts.  As a Project Manager, she sat at the Commission’s meetings and was also the representative at the Sponsoring Public Sector Procurement Agency meetings. Donnette presently is employed to a major Telecommunications Engineering Consulting Company in Waterloo, Ontario; her work involves providing structural details and drawings of telecommunications towers and appurtenances for Canadian and USA wireless providers.

Having the drive to contribute and make a difference in her community, Donnette participates through her work in Construction. This is unique, international event engaging designers, architects and engineers to use their talents to help those struggling with food insecurity. The event raises funds, food and awareness for local food banks. Donnette hosts International students through various organizations in her community where she provides an English immersion environment, friendship, support and guidance in a caring atmosphere where a wealth of cultural knowledge and experiences are exchanged. Donnette’s greatest strengths are creativity, organizational skills and dedication to task. She has a passion for service and finds satisfaction in a job well done.



Born in England to Jamaican parents, Sean Collington has over 20 years of experience in Information Technology including leading, managing and supporting IT in professional services and manufacturing businesses in Kitchener, Waterloo and Toronto. His experience and background are both strategic and hands-on and includes database development and reporting, Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) administration, programming analysis and development, data integration, network and server maintenance, mobile device management and IP telephony.

Sean calls Kitchener home with his wife of 30 years and has two adult children. Other interests including travel, music, cycling, reading and continuous learning.  To help the community, Sean volunteers with CCAWR as a Board Member as of 2019.

You can reach him at