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‘WE CAN ALL SHINE’ [LIKE A DIAMOND]
The reverberating chorus, ‘shine bright like a diamond’ from Rihanna’s 2012 single, ‘Diamonds’, can easily be the common theme that runs through the recent books written and published by Samantha Williams, Library Assistant, The UWI Open Campus.
On one hand, the books invite their audiences – children and women, to look inwardly and recognise that they are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. Simply put, they are beautiful human beings and therefore, have the strength within to overcome the obstacles that may come their way. But this theme is more than just an invitation to look inwardly, it is more importantly, a call for us to use our gifts and talents to help nurture those around us. To emit light!
It is not typical to meet a mother who is full-time employed and who finds time to write. Samantha Williams is one such mom. She started writing as a teenager as a means of expressing herself without having the fear of being ridiculed or diminished. For her, writing provides a space to nurture her creative imagination while at the same time providing an avenue to inspire others who have had to endure the scars of issues such as bullying and abuse. She indicated however that when she started her academic and professional journey, writing as a form of art naturally took a back seat as the demands of her career, academia, and motherhood required more of her time. Her passion was re-ignited when her mom was diagnosed with a terminal illness in 2018. She was then unable to physically be with her mother to provide the comfort and support she needed at that time. Once again, Samantha immersed herself in her writing which provided a peace of mind for her. In her own words, ‘it became therapy’.
In total, Samantha has written and published four books related to children and women and is working on a fifth one. Her publications include, “I am Me!” which was published on August 31st, “I Am Me, too!’, published November 1st, ‘A TO Z Positive Affirmations for Boys and Girls’- September 3rd and ‘Women! We All Can Rise: We All Can Shine!’ published on September 5th also in 2019. It was Sam’s intention to publish these works so her mother can share the joy and pride with her before she passed earlier this year. Her fifth book entitled, “You can, if you try” will be published on her mother’s birthday, April 14th, 2020 in dedication to her life.
Though the books have been written for different audiences, children and women; Samantha wanted to underscore the importance of positive affirmation of children by their parents and guardians through the deliberate use of words; essentially making the point that children - both boys and girls are valuable and valued members of their families and society no matter their circumstances. Similarly, she wanted to contribute to other women’s empowerment by emphasing that their personal histories and circumstances are inevitably linked to their present, but they do not necessarily need to define what they do, how they do what they do and who they eventually become. As she puts it, ‘we can all shine’, as we have the capacity and fortitude to overcome our challenges and setbacks and become like diamonds that shine.
Currently, Samantha is working on several other books which would explore the concepts of Love and Forgiveness. She expresses appreciation to God and her children for the inspiration and strength. She wishes also to extend her gratitude to her family, friends and colleagues at the Open Campus for their support on this journey. The Head, Staff and students of the Open Campus, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, along with the wider Campus, extend congratulations on her accomplishments.
The UWI Open Campus
St. Vincent and the Grenadines