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Women at the Waterfront-Interview with Waterfront Alliance's WaterWire Blog

To access the interview with Wynnie-Fred Victor Hinds directly, please click here



Women at the Waterfront: Wynnie-Fred Hinds

March 2, 2020

By Alison Simko, WaterWire Editor

Wynnie-Fred Hinds aboard the A.J. Meerwald, sailing along the Palisades on the Hudson River.

During the month of March, in celebration of women’s history month, WaterWire will feature women who are making a difference at the New York and New Jersey waterfronts. Today, meet Wynnie-Fred Hinds.

Among her many impactful roles in New Jersey-based and national environmental groups, Wynnie-Fred Hinds currently serves as co-chair of the Newark Environmental Commission and is the liaison for Coalition for Healthy Ports (CHPs). She is a board member of New Jersey Clean Water Action and National Clean Water Action. She is also a member of the Newark Water Group. Born in Haiti, Wynnie-Fred lived on that Caribbean island until she was nine, when the family moved to Brooklyn. She’s always had a love of nature and the water, but did not become an environmental and social justice advocate until she joined Bread for the World when she lived in Washington, D.C., and the Maryknoll Mission Association. A Newark resident for the last 15 years, she has also lived in Switzerland, Bolivia, and Venezuela. In chatting with Wynnie-Fred last week, we learned a bit more about what’s important to her.

The greatest challenge for our region’s waterfront/waterways is… Dealing with diesel emissions from ships and truck traffic. Trying to improve air quality and the conditions at the working waterfront, and make sure the environmental justice component of port commerce is realized.

The greatest opportunity for our region’s waterfront/waterways is… To implement newer technology at the port, such as electric trucks and retrofitted emissions controls.

My career highlight so far has been… Receiving the Maryknoll Bishop McCarthy Spirit of Mission award, last August, for my community service and social justice work.

One piece of advice I’d tell my younger self is… To cherish the quality time you have with family and friends because you might not get the opportunity again.

I love to show up at my job every day because… It’s challenging and I get the sense I’m accomplishing something important.

The one waterfront in the world I’d love to explore is… The waterfront of Hispaniola, which is an island shared by Haiti, where I lived as a child, and the Dominican Republic. Certain sections of the shores of Hispaniola are bombarded by plastics and litter. I’d like to explore it and help clean it up.

One thing about me some people find surprising is… I am fluent in four languages: French, English, Creole, and Spanish.

A book I always recommend everyone read is… Anything by Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American writer. I especially loved Krik? Krak!. I’m captivated by her work. Some of her writing is very familiar, but sometimes I find out things about my own culture that I wasn’t aware of.

Thank you, Wynnie-Fred!

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