U.S. Virgin Islands natives Kervin L. Clenance and Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh were among 11 individuals — including a mayor and a Florida House of Representatives member — who were honored by the United Nations’ Broward County Chapter on Sunday afternoon at an event in Florida.
The Broward County Chapter celebrated United Nations Day to commemorate the ratification of the UN Charter, and celebrate the organization’s achievements over the last seven decades. This year’s UN Day theme is “Our Planet. Our Future.” to recognize the UN’s declaration that the climate crisis is the defining issue of our time.
The event, a scholarship and awards luncheon, honored who the UN described as “local champions for climate action, and social justice,” while raising funds for refugees. This year’s local honorees included Dr. Judith Ann, Mr. Clenance, Dr. Kristin Comella, Sybrina Fulton, Representative Kristin Jacobs, Mayor Dr. Eric H. Jones, Jr., Woodie Lesesne, Dr. Rosalind Osgood, Dr. Satinder K. Sandhu, Dr. Smith-Baugh and Anita Faye Wilson.
“It feels great to represent the Virgin Islands and St. Croix in particular with my work in South Florida over the past 3 decades. It is especially humbling to see other Virgin Islanders doing the same,” said Mr. Clenance, a former producer of the St. Croix Jazz Festival and retired Cox Media broadcast executive.
Mr. Clenance is a seasoned veteran of corporate broadcast sales and management. He has held positions that include station general manager with Radio One, Miami, Radio Station Owner of WTBN- The Breeze, in St Thomas USVI — a distinction that included being the youngest black radio station owner in the USVI; executive producer of the St. Croix Jazz Festival, vice president of sales at WLVE, better known as Love 94, general sales manager at WHQT, Hot 105; director of affiliate sales at Reach Media ( aka, The Tom Joyner Morning Show), general sales manager at CBS Radio in West Palm Beach, and publisher of Legacy Magazine.
During Dr. Smith-Baugh’s acceptance speech, she admitted to changing her speech on the spot so she could thank fellow Virgin Islander and honoree Mr. Clenance as being a source of encouragement and inspiration for her when she first started with the Urban League many years ago. Dr. Smith-Baugh, who is president and CEO of the Urban League in Broward, FL, also stated that when she walked into the banquet hall, while she was honored to be part of a United Nations event, she felt immediately at home when she saw the USVI flag. (USVI bestselling author Angela Golden Bryan had setup a table for her book-signing and had decorated it with the USVI flag. Ms. Bryan’s book, “Fireburn The Screen Play,” made it to number 1 on Amazon’s bestsellers list in July. Ms. Bryan gave a dramatic reading of her soon-to-be-released children’s book, “James and The Fireburn”.)
The Urban League is a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating the standard of living for families in underserved urban communities.
In 2006, Dr. Smith-Baugh, a St. Thomas native, was appointed as the only woman to lead an Urban League affiliate in Florida. She is credited with several achievements including the opening of a $9 million Community Empowerment Center located in the Historic Sistrunk Community.
In 2015, she spearheaded efforts to secure Greater Fort Lauderdale as the premier destination for the National Urban League Conference which attracted over 13,000 attendees and generated an estimated economic impact of $10 million for the region.
Dr. Smith-Baugh’s leadership in breaking the cycle of poverty for countless families has garnered numerous accolades throughout her career. In 2017, she was named the southern regional vice president for the National Urban League’s Association of Executives. Her most notable honors include Broward Black Elected Officials Community Award; South Florida Business Journal’s Diamond Award; Delta Sigma Theta’s Distinguished Service Award; Broward County’s 100 Outstanding Women Award; United Way’s Human Services Professional Award; and Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame Award.
In 2017, Dr. Smith-Baugh was recognized as one of South Florida’s Ultimate CEOs by the South Florida Business Journal; named the 2018 African American Achiever for Community Service by JM Family Enterprises and was recently inducted into The Jim Moran Institute’s South Florida Fellows.
Dr. Smith-Baugh encouraged the audience to investigate how they could personally become involved in the United Nations sustainable development goals, and committed to looking into ways the Urban League could partner with the United Nations Association.
Ms. Bryan is also a member of the United Nations Association-USA Broward County chapter. “We are civilians that partner with the UN by promoting and participating in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. I am the Ambassador for Gender Equality (goal #5) and the UNA Women Chair. My 501(c) 3, The Fireburn Foundation, INC is an NGO partner with the United Nations Association and we seek to partner with organizations that serve those in need, particularly in the USVI,” she said.
Feature Image: From left: Kervin L. Clenance, Angela Golden Bryan and Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh.