Castries, Saint Lucia, November 24, 2020:– Saint Lucian and other Caribbean schools will join the third monthly Online Caribbean Schools’ Reparations Lecture on Thursday morning, to discuss aspects of Caribbean History not necessarily taught at regional schools, but necessary for better understanding the region’s present.
The topic for the viral November 26 educational event sponsored by the Saint Lucia National Reparations Committee (NRC) and the UWI Open Campus (St. Lucia) is coordinated by the Jamaica-based center for Reparations Research (CRR) is ‘Conquest, Colonization and the Imperial Project’.
The topic will be presented by three historians of note, Drs Roger van Zwanenberg, Carrie Gibson and Geliam Matthews.
Dr Zwanenberg is a former lecturer in African History at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, Dr Gibson is a UK-based historian, author and journalist and Dr Matthews is a lecturer in Latin American, Women and Gender Issues at The UWI’s St. Augustine campus in Trinidad & Tobago.
The three presenters will address the issue from different and common perspectives, to offer more accurate historical accounts of the History of the Caribbean, from the arrival of Europeans in 1492, through the following genocidal conquest of lands and people and the subsequent colonial and imperial domination until independence in the 1960s.
The monthly lectures are part of a year-long series being broadcast online by the UWI Open Campus during school hours (from 10am to Midday) and are being joined by more regional schools every month, with Saint Lucia among those joining on Thursday.
Students, teachers and schools in all CARICOM territories also join voluntarily, with principals authorizing History classes to participate while Education Ministries formalize engagements for 2021.
The schools’ lectures involve presentations and discussions, with questions and answers, on issues related to Caribbean History and the continuing CARICOM quest for Reparations from Europe for Slavery and Native Genocide.
The first schools’ lecture, held on September 25, was on ‘Reparation, Psychological Rehabilitation and Pedagogical Studies’, was delivered by CRR Director Professor Verene Shepherd, who also serves on the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD).
The second, on October 29, was on ‘The Myth of Extinction: Indigenous People and Their Survival Strategies’, with presentations by prominent Dominican and Caribbean historian Lennox Honeychurch and Egbert Higinio, President of the Garifuna Nation, an activist group representing 800,000 Garifuna descendants in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The regional schools’ lectures run alongside a similar national series also initiated by the Saint Lucia NRC and the UWI Open Campus (Saint Lucia) since 2016, the former coordinated by the CRR and the latter by a National Preparatory Committee (NPC) of NRC member-entities and other local stakeholders.
Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Education is fully on board, with local secondary schools authorized to participate in the monthly series as of Thursday.
Education Minister Dr Gale Rigobert addressed the inaugural event launching the National Series back in August 2016, which featured a lecture by Ambassador Soomer, following which the ministry approved the NRC and UWI Open Campus’ annual series of Reparations Lectures for National Secondary Schools.
Both series have the support of the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), established by regional governments in 2013 and represented nationally by NRCs.
The CRC is Chaired by UWI Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and the CRC’s Coordinator is Dr Hilary Brown, Program Manager at the CARICOM Secretariat in Guyana.