WHO WE ARE

ADVISORY PANEL

 
 
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Cynthia McLeod

Cynthia McLeod serves as an advisor on history and culture for Eden Suriname. She is the daughter of the first democratically elected president of Suriname, Johan Ferrier, and a black Surinamese writer and activist. Her literary work focuses on the history of slavery and shows how the social injustice that originated during the era of slavery continued to mark Surinamese society long after the abolition and is considered the gateway to literature in Surinamese schools. McLeod is a highly respected public intellectual who regularly appears in local media to discuss cultural and political issues and her literary work. She is the author of The Cost of Sugar, a frank exposé of life in the Dutch slave colony when sugar ruled as kind and the tragic toll it took on the lives of colonists and slaves alike. She studied the life of Elisabeth Samson, a 'free Negress' whose name occurs prominently in historical works on Suriname because she wanted to marry a white man, which was forbidden in the colony of Suriname during the first half of the 18th century, as well as the social structure and life of that period. The results of her research were first published as a study by the Faculty of Cultural Anthropology of the University of Utrecht. McLeod later wrote the highly-captivating novel, The Free Negress Elisabeth.

 
 
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Monique Pool

Monique Pool serves as an advisor on ecology and animals for Eden Suriname. In addition to her full-time job as a translator, Pool is Suriname's resident ‘sloth lady.’ Her love for these unique creatures began years ago after agreeing to foster and rehabilitate an orphaned sloth from a local animal shelter. She founded the Green Heritage Fund Suriname in 2005 to meet the rescue, rehabilitation, and relocation needs of all Xenarthra species in Suriname due to deforestation and expansion of the capital city, Paramaribo. Pool also works as an environmental activist, researching dolphins and providing community education about conservation, sustainable development, and climate change to help ensure a green, clean, and healthy future for Suriname. She acts as Suriname’s Country Coordinator for the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program, sponsored by NASA and the National Science Foundation, which provides students and the public worldwide with the opportunity to participate in data collection and the scientific process and contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the earth system and global environment. Pool was named a CNN Hero 2015.

 
 
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Lorna K. Johnson

Lorna K. Johnson serves as an advisor on African history and culture for Eden Suriname. She is the Principal of Global Linkages, Inc., a management consulting firm that helps to build international partnerships. With a passion for Africa, Johnson has helped many organizations in creating viable partnerships with the continent. Recently, she helped establish the Center for African Community Services, the first support organization for African immigrants in the State of New Jersey. She was the Capacity Building Consultant for Sister Cities International, an organization based in Washington, DC working with local municipalities in Africa to create partnerships with cities in the US. She was also the Director/Consultant of the African and Caribbean Regions for United Way International. Johnson has served as an adjunct faculty member in the School for Public Affairs and Public Administration at Rutgers-Newark, State University of New Jersey. She received an undergraduate degree from Adelphi University, Garden City, NY and a law degree from Rutgers University, School of Law-Newark, NJ, where she also attended the Graduate School of Policy, Planning & Urban Development. Johnson is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including being named Business Woman of the Year in 2006 by the Association of Black Women Lawyers of New Jersey.