The CARICOM Reparations Commission recognizes that it is vitally important to engage youth in the Reparations dialogue, and proposes to engage the public through a series of national rallies held on a day of historical significance in relation to slavery, the slave trade or native genocide in each Member State, targeting especially young people.
A baton or torch will be passed from the current to the next Member State that is hosting a rally. The event will include major athletes and artists in the region.
The rallies will be implemented over a period of 10 months with at least one rally each month, beginning in May 2016. In each Member State, three activities will be organized which should be high profile media events:
The objectives of the Regional Youth Rallies are:
- Public education
- Public dialogue
- Building awareness and a knowledge base
- Fostering buy-in by youth
- Rebranding/recasting how Reparations is seen and understood
The rallies should be implemented over 12 months, beginning in August 2016 with at least one rally each month. It is anticipated that it will take 6 months to prepare adequately for the activity. A possible starting point for the first rally is in Haiti in August 2016, around the Bois Caiman commemoration of the start of the Haitian Revolution.
The Rallies will take place in the 12 Member States that currently have National Committees on Reparations and may also include Martinique, Guadeloupe, the USA and Brazil. The CRC countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. Belize has a Committee but it has not been active in the past 2 years. It should be noted that Haiti has not yet established a National Committee.
Format for the Rallies
In each Member State, 2 activities will be organized which should be high profile media events:
- A Youth Forum – daytime event
- Youth Rally – nighttime event
The Youth Forum should bring together primary, secondary and tertiary students as well as other young people under 35 years at a Forum that will be facilitated by young people. The Forum should be held for 3-4 hours and the focus will be in education, dialogue and youth participation in the process. The programme will feature panel presentations and a break-out session.
A database of committed/interested youth should be built at the Forum through registration and a petition could possibly be signed at the Forum.
The evening or night time event will feature activities such as:
- Feature address
- Cultural performances
- Re-enactments of historical events
The passing of a baton or torch to the next country will take place at the Youth Rally. Major Caribbean athletes (from track and field, cricket, netball, swimming etc) and moko jumbies will be involved in the handing over ceremony.