In 1983, Claudette “Adjoa” Young Hinds, moved to the region of her parents’ birth with hopes of contributing to the betterment of the Virgin Islands. The passion, as an Executive Director of the progressive Blackstone Community Council and as Senior Manager of Boston’s Anti-Poverty Agency, had waned little when she moved to St. Croix. She found a confluence of issues, identities, and advocacy opportunities when facilitating projects for various nonprofits.
While serving as Virgin Islands’ Governor Farrelly’s Energy “Czar,” Hinds introduced the Energy Rebate Program, Government video teleconferencing, renewable energy grants for farmers and small business, and added kindling to create the Caribbean Solar Energy Society and related regional projects with George Washington University, UNESCO, and the University of the West Indies. Phillip Gerard hired Hinds to manage the Foundation’s Sunday Market Properties and through that relationship, “Phillip discovered my experience with foundations, boards, and community development, engaged me in related discussions, and enlisted me to join him, Michael Neuberger and Lisa Torres in determining how best to assist our community.” Post-Hugo, with his piercing gaze, Phillip said, “It is tiiime” Ahh-juwaah”, and pointed us to the National Civic league planning model and underwrote Lisa’s attendance at their conference. Buoyed by her report, Michael and Phillip believed the NCL model could frame a way to create a ‘foundation for community development.’”
That process informed Hinds’ development of the Foundation’s Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws and gave her the substance around which to frame the initial Ford Foundation grant: Education and Youth, Economic Development, Public Safety, The Environment (Health, Arts, Culture) and Governance.
That St Croix Foundation for Community Development is vibrant, respected, highly accomplished, and focused on a future – 31 years later – is true to the founders’ cornerstones, is a true testament to those groundbreakers upon whose shoulders it rests. She is proud to have been there and done that!