ROOTS Foundation’s activities are made possible by a dedicated team of individuals from a variety of professional, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Meet a few members of our leadership team below:
Founder & President
Mtima Solwazi founded ROOTS Foundation and is the Programme Coordinator/Project Facilitator for the foundation’s youth intervention programme, Abyssinia. Under his leadership, ROOTS has developed initiatives which utilize the oral traditions as a tool for cognitive behavioural therapy, social activism, civic engagement, arts education and literacy development. Mtima is the resident Imam at the Youth Training Centre (YTC), a juvenille detention centre for offending males attached to the Trinidad and Tobago Prison Service.
Gary Grant is a Project Facilitator for ROOTS Foundation’s youth intervention programme, Abyssinia. Gary is also the Founder and President of Community Transformation Foundation and the Pastor of Walking in the Spirit Ministries. Once described as a frustrated, depressed and angry youth, Gary believes in the mantra “a wise man learns from his mistakes and a wiser man learns from the mistakes of others.” He brings this belief to his youth intervention work with ROOTS.
Stacey Ann Beckles is a Project Facilitator for ROOTS Foundation’s youth intervention programme, Abyssinia. Stacey Ann also serves as a Reverend and Prison Chaplain as well as a mentor at St. Judes’ School for Girls. She is a survivor and a living testimony of strength, courage and faith. Stacey Ann is the Founder and CEO of Women of Transformation. Her fervour for change and her intense spoken delivery are matched by her love of laughter.
Keston Cotton serves as Public Relations Officer of ROOTS Foundation. Also co-founder of Organize with Style, an administration, logistics and customer service company, Keston’s work ethic and experience makes him a valued member of our leadership team. With nearly a decade of experience in sales and media, Keston connects ROOTS Foundation to influential allies in a variety of sectors.
Emmanuel Villafana is a spoken word artist, workshop facilitator, youth mentor, poetry coach and an Executive Director at ROOTS Foundation. As co-head coach he assisted Michael Logie, as they led ROOTS Foundation’s youth poets, as well as other top young poets from Trinidad & Tobago, in the 2017 Brave New Voices Poetry Slam, where the team achieved a semi-final qualifying performance. Emmanuel has been a finalist in the local National Poetry Slam.