We had the good fortune of connecting with Sebrina Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sebrina, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Undoubtedly, the most important thing behind the success of my brand is authenticity and genuine passion. Working on issues related to the welfare of women and girls is a deeply personal endeavor and a life long dream. The support What Women Want Ja receives from the general public is directly tied to the large amounts of effort that the team places on bringing awareness to the myriad of issues affecting women and girls in Jamaica as well as the consistency with which the organization works to aid in the eradication of some of these issues.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am currently a Project Manager at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) working in the Social Policy Planning and Research Division on an Unemployment Insurance Feasibility Study in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO). I am most proud of the fact that I am able to work in a field that I am passionate about; my work in civil society with What Women Want Ja represents a more practical element of change making but I am also passionate about helping to lead change from a policy level. This unemployment insurance (UI) feasibility study presents a credible case for how unemployment insurance can be implemented in Jamaica; a well needed expansion of Jamaica’s social protection system, as well as an expansion of the mechanisms offered in the Caribbean as well since only two other countries in the region have implemented a UI scheme. I got to this place professionally, though I still consider this just the beginning, because of a deliberate interest in working in as many areas of development as I can, my interest in nation building is and has always been unwavering. I started out working in the private sector with a corporate NGO, JN Foundation, the organization responsible for all the project management skills I have developed as well as for reaffirming my interest and passion for developmental work. Over the years my interest expanded to include social policy development and I embarked on a pursuing a masters in Analysis and Design of Social Protection Systems at the Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Seig University in Germany. I have now completed one year of the two year program and I am absolutely thrilled to be working in my field before completing the program.
The main lesson I’ve learnt along the way is to always be true to yourself and your passions. Following your passions will always lead you to exactly where you belong. And it is through following these passions that we fulfil purpose and find true meaning in life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
From an aesthetic perspective, Jamaica is literally paradise on earth. My absolute favorite parish is Portland and a trip to the island is incomplete without a trip to Portland.
Some of the most interesting places to check out are:
1. Negril- Catcha Falling Star and Rockhouse are excellent places to grab a bite
2. St. Elizabeth (the heart of community tourism) – Pelican Bar (bar in the middle of the ocean), Lover’s Leap, Jack Sprat
3. Ocho Rios
4. Montego Bay
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mother, Ms. Gretel Ritchie who is the backbone of my family and serves as the inspiration for everything I do. Ms. De-Andrea Jackson who is also an ardent supporter of women’s rights, a close friend and confidant and the social justice creative that creates all the artwork for What Women Want Ja. Mr. Damoi Gordon who is a strong ally of women, a good friend and the Creative Director for What Women Want Ja.
I’d also like to shoutout all the amazing women in my life who continue to inspire me everyday and who are all also actively playing their part in smashing the patriarchy. Some of these women are Ms. Ockema Watson, Dr. Maisha Reza, Ms. Zola Hinds, Ms. Catherina Schonhammer, Ms. Nia- Ade Mattrasingh, Ms. Tia Dryden and my sisters, Ms. Sarah and Sara Brown.
All artwork submitted was done by our social justice creative, Ms. De-Andrea Jackson.