It’s important for the history of the Caribbean region to accurately reflect the lives of the trailblazing men and women who should serve as inspirational heroes for our children to admire and emulate.

One example is Dame Ruth Nita Barrow, the first female Governor General of Barbados and sister of Barbados’ founding father Errol Walton Barrow.

This public servant and non-profit leader always made time to teach the next generation important life lessons, both by her living example and by her words.

As the only female member of the Commonwealth Group of Eminent Persons to visit South Africa to broker the transformation from apartheid to majority rule, her efforts and diplomacy inspired human rights advocates everywhere. The success of her South African panel eventually led to Nelson Mandela’s release and liberty for South Africa.

Dame Nita also lent her efforts to issues closer to home, including the 1994 UN Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in Barbados. As the convener of the Eminent Persons Group, she worked to ensure that world leaders understood that the issues of small islands fighting the onslaught of climate change were big issues for the rest of the world.