The Florida Panthers National Hockey League team celebrated Black History Month in February 2023 by honoring community members from South Florida. Three of those recognized were Jamaicans: Andrea Hall, Executive Director of the nonprofit Shak’s Hope Foundation; Dr. Malou Harrison, Executive Vice President and Provost at Miami Dade College; and Marlene Maragh-Williams, retired Vice President of the Xerox Corporation.
The Panthers presented their second annual “Celebration of Black Excellence” series, which recognizes Black executives, educators, and others for their achievements each week throughout the month. These individuals were nominated by community members for having a positive influence on South Florida area communities.
Dr. Malou Harrison
Dr. Malou Harrison was recognized for her achievements in education. Serving as the executive vice president and provost of Miami Dade College, Dr. Harrison has championed underserved students in public higher education for over 35 years in various positions at the College. She established numerous partnerships designed to further equity, academic excellence, and student success during her tenure and has obtained funding from private and public funders, including the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Education. She is the author of several works on education issues and serves on a number of boards including the National Advisory Board of the Community College Consortium on Immigrant Education; the Board of Directors of Thriving Mind of South Florida; the Board of Directors of Centro Campesino; and the Board of Directors of the Miami-Dade Urban Debate League. Dr. Harrison received the Florida College System’s Cameron Hall Practitioner Award, the Educate Tomorrow Founders’ Award, South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Leadership Award, Miami Dade County’s In the Company of Women Award for Education and Research, the Nigerian American Foundation Educator Leadership Award, and the Jamaican Consulate General Community Leader Award.
Andrea Fandangles Hall and Marlene Maragh-Williams
Andrea Fandangles Hall was honored for her work with the Shak’s Hope Foundation, which promotes education about and awareness of sickle cell anemia while also providing services that improve the quality of life for individuals living with sickle cell in South Florida, Jamaica, and around the world. Hall is from Kingston, Jamaica, and attended Wolmer’s Girls High School, Before settling in South Florida, she spent time between Jamaica and Brooklyn, New York. She made a career of her passion for travel, working for Alken Tours for a decade and American Express Centurion for 15 years. An entrepreneur, she has hosted monthly events selling and promoting clothing and accessories through her Fandagleboutique.com website. She serves as a board member of Jamaican Women of Florida. When learning in 1986 while pregnant that she carried the sickle cell trait and that her daughter was unlikely to live past the age of 13, she became a strong advocate for the Sickle Cell Foundation. With her daughter Shakira Martin, who won the title of Miss Jamaica Universe in 2011, Hall led toy drives for children in the sickle cell units of hospitals in Jamaica. Shakira went on to educate the public about the disease via her Miss Jamaica Universe platform and was the force behind the creation of Shak’s Hope Foundation. Shakira passed in 2016 at the age of 30, and in her memory Hall currently serves as the foundation’s director, and her son Kishi and husband Paul serve on the board.
Marlene Maragh-Williams, who retired from her position as vice president at the Xerox Corporation, made history when she became the first Black woman to serve as vice president of Graphic Arts at Xerox where she oversaw the US and Canada regions. She also served as vice president and general manager of the production business unit and vice president and general manager of agent operations responsible for the southeastern US, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. After retiring, she joined the board of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward in 2018 and is the current vice chair of the board.
Photo – Florida Panthers
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