Foundation challenges community to “Be the Change”

One year following the death of community activist Estella Scott-Roberts, the foundation set up in her name called on all men and women to be active in changing attitudes about gender violence.

The Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation formerly launched its ‘Be the Change’ campaign at the Harquail Theatre last weekend.

Rayle Roberts, Mrs. Scott-Roberts’ husband, set up the foundation last year to continue his wife’s work.

At the launch, Mr. Roberts recalled that for a long time after his wife’s death, many women would show up at their home asking for help. When those women realised that his wife had passed away, they asked if Mr. Roberts would listen to them.

The foundation’s vision is gender equality and a life free of violence for all, explained Mr. Roberts.

‘The vision of the foundation can only be achieved by us acknowledging that the violence against women in our society is not solely a women issue,’ said Mr. Roberts. ‘We as good people must stand up and be the change.’

Culturally, many good men are conditioned to think that if they are not perpetrators of violence against women that is enough. Mr. Roberts called on men to no longer take a passive attitude and instead be at the forefront in standing up against violence and abuse on women and children.

‘You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be willing to be the change,’ said Mr. Roberts.

Next year, the Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation plans to host the ‘A Call to Men’ conference in the Cayman Islands. The Call to Men conference in the US educates men on cultural attitudes that breed violence against women. The conference also provides ways in how to make positive changes in society.

Mrs. Scott-Roberts disappeared one year ago after leaving a restaurant following a birthday celebration with her friends. The next day, her burnt-out SUV was found in the West Bay Dykes with her body inside. She was 33.

Mrs. Scott-Roberts was well known for her work in fighting domestic and child abuse. She played an integral part in starting the Crisis Centre and managing its operations. At the time of her death, she was the corporate communications manager at LIME.

To support the new campaign, the foundation unveiled its signature Be the Change poster with its call to action made famous by Mahatma Ghandi: Be the change you want to see in the world.

The poster features a range of people and children from the community including Rayle Roberts, Juliana O-Connor-Connolly, Anthony Eden, Annie Multon, Anthony Ritch, Dax Basdeo and Vaughan Carter.

The foundation also unveiled Be the Change t-shirts as well as Estella Scott-Roberts Foundation pins, using Mrs. Scott-Roberts’ favourite colour, brown.