Sherna Alexander Benjamin has always been passionate about speaking out against violence, oppression, and injustice. As a result of her own traumatic experiences associated with severe childhood abuse and the impact of adult interpersonal violence. Today, she is a thriving survivor, systems advocate, and Human and Social Development Practitioner with over twelve years of experience in the areas of violence prevention, women, peace and security, and conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Who centers her work on access and control, oppression, liberation and healing, and unhealthy dominant norms. Linking to ways systemic, structural, symbolic, and political violence enables violence within the family, community, and wider society.
Alexander Benjamin brings her experience and knowledge of transformative change processes, inquiry-based learning, intersectionality, and linkages, asset-based community development, and development analytical lenses when addressing violence within the family, community, and wider society. She is a member of the United Nations Spotlight Initiative: Civil Society National Reference Group (CS-NRG) for Trinidad and Tobago. A World Pulse Digital Ambassador and some of her other achievements include the first Caribbean woman of African descent and the first citizen of Trinidad and Tobago to be honored with a Joint Legislative Resolution from the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey in 2019. Featured in Our Secure Future - Women, Peace, and Security Global Polling Project Report "The Future of Security is Women"; Recipient of two international story awards; World Pulse Digital Ambassador; She was one of the co-leads for the first phase of the research project "The Costs of Inaction: Counting the Economic Costs of Violence Against Women and Girls in Trinidad and Tobago"; In 2016 she was a member of the Cavehill University of the West Indies IMPACT JUSTICE CARIBBEAN Project Technical Advisory Group. She has presented at parallel events during the United Nations Session on the Commission on the Status of Women, and In 2017 she collaborated to launch the first Victim Advocacy Service Center (VASCO) in Trinidad and Tobago.
Some of her other achievements include the publication of her Op-Ed piece by TIME.COM; One of the co-authors of a two-volume academic book to be published by Palgrave publishers in 2021 that looks at Gender and Domestic Violence in the Caribbean; Publication of her 2016 speech by the UN Women Multi-Country Caribbean Office; Recipient of an International Women Leaders Award from Scotia Bank of Canada, and a National Youth Ally award from the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in 2014.
Alexander Benjamin is pursuing Social Work and Research as her academic areas of focus to restore human dignity, tell stories, and advance social protection and sustainable development. She is a Certified Project Management Associate who holds an International Diploma in Development Leadership with three specialization areas, Certification as a Victim Advocate, and holder of multiple professional development certificates including NGO Management. She is a writing enthusiast, nature lover, radical collaborator, strategic innovator, encourager, and public speaker, who cannot imagine the world without grace, second chances, and smiles.
Areas of Expertise:
Advocacy conceptualization, development, and implementation: community and systems;
Bystander approach: engaging individuals to become active bystanders;
Conflict analysis, mapping, transformation, and Peacebuilding;
Critical analysis and reporting;
Course design, development, and implementation;
Developing coordinated community-based client-centered programs to preventing violence against individuals and groups;
Working with groups to develop their Theory of change to drive social impact;
Development of culturally specific programs: Responding to victims of sexual violence;
Digital literacy to promote online safety;
Engaging men and boys to be active agents of change in violence prevention;
Facilitation, deliberative dialogue, capacity building, training, and development;
Monitoring and Evaluation;
Program assessment, enhancement, development, and implementation and;
Domains of change development for advocacy, program, and services development and management.