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By Nicole Telford- A United States (U.S) delegation, including a Senator, State Representatives, Education Officials, and Business Owners, is currently in Guyana on a fact-finding mission. Led by Dr. Dee Dawkins-Haigler, President/CEO of the Organisation of World Leaders, the delegation aims to investigate allegations of discrimination in Guyana.
During a press conference, Tuesday, Dawkins-Haigler, the spokesperson for the group, emphasised that the delegation is “autonomous, independent, and unbiased” and not affiliated with any local political parties. “We are here to gather information to better understand if there is indeed any discrimination in the country,” she stated. The group has received numerous responses and allegations regarding discrimination and racism in Guyana.
Dawkins-Haigler recalled her first visit to Guyana in 2021 with Representative John King and Mr. Marcus Coleman, where they met with President Ali and his cabinet. She noted that the President had then spoken about “One Guyana,” emphasising unity and equal opportunities. However, since their departure, the delegation has received numerous disheartening concerns, prompting this follow-up visit.
In Washington DC, the delegation met with Congress members Hakeem Jeffries, Yvette Clarke and Maxine Waters, discussing the concerns raised by Guyanese in America. Dawkins-Haigler mentioned Congressman Hank Johnson’s statement two years ago, advocating that “Guyana should be for all Guyanese.”
Dawkins-Haigler shared personal anecdotes from her Guyanese hairdresser about the difficulties of doing business in Guyana, including discrepancies in awarding contracts and living conditions. She expressed hope for Guyana after her initial visit but is now seeking to substantiate the claims of discrimination with supporting documents. Several local groups and individuals, including the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana (IDPADA-G), provided documentation at the press conference.
Regarding the Guyana Government’s refusal to meet with the delegation, Dawkins-Haigler expressed surprise, noting her previous interactions with President Ali in New York. She clarified that the delegation has no ties to activist Rickford Burke, emphasising respect for the citizens of Guyana and openness to meeting with the government.
The Guyana government has declined to meet with the delegation, suggesting the mission is associated with Rickford Burke. The team plans to visit Berbice and Linden during their visit, which runs from November 13 to 19, 2023.