Posted on

Tribute to Norman Girvan

Tribute to Norman Girvan


Thur April 17, 2014

Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC)

The Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) pays tribute to Professor Norman Girvan as the ultimate integrationist, an intellectual par excellence and a leading exemplar in the struggle for economic and social justice. The NGO community in the Caribbean has indeed lost a friend and a brother in the effort to mobilize the vast energies and potential of Caribbean people.{{more}}

Norman’s association with the CPDC spans the entire history of the organization. As a member of the Association of Caribbean Economists (ACE), he played a critical role in the emergence of the CPDC and remained a partner and friend. CPDC also benefited from Norman’s deep commitment to a united multi-lingual Caribbean. His inclusive vision helped the CPDC to forge linkages across the Dutch, Spanish and French speaking Caribbean and even further afield, to include Central America and in particular Nicaragua.

He gave freely of his vast practical and scholarly wisdom to the organization in a way which demonstrated that he was one of the few intellectuals who understood how to perfectly marry theory and practice. It was through Norman’s conviction that academia and civil society could work together for social change that cemented the relationship between CPDC and the Institute of International Relations (IIR) around the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Norman worked with us to bring together the arsenal of the intellectual community and the voices from the ground to mount a robust and incisive critique of the Agreement that will perhaps be part of his legacy.

He was an absolute innovator – pushing and prodding us in new directions to discover new strategies. His work on social movements in the Caribbean spoke to his complete belief that the future of the region lay in harnessing the ground swell of citizens of action, galvanized around a collective development vision.

This was further reiterated when he started 1804 Caribvoices, the intent of which was to create a space for critical thinking on how to move forward with the integration project. Norman never missed an opportunity to ensure that the voices of the sector were always heard and gracefully allowed the sector to join with him on this project.

The gift of his life and passion will long be remembered.

The CPDC salutes the life well lived of our dear friend Norman.