As part of its 61st Charter Day program, held on March 24, the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Virgin Islands 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee to collaborate on a series of cultural events and activities during Black History Month and V.I. History Month to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
The MOU establishes a partnership between UVI and the committee to organize and promote the 175th Emancipation Educational Lecture and Listening Series as well as the 175th Emancipation Cultural Music and Dance Community Sessions.
The MOU will increase public awareness and understanding of the history and significance of emancipation in the U.S. Virgin Islands and will highlight the historical impact of the USVI arts, including music, dance, culinary arts, fine arts and literary arts. It is a collaborative effort charged by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.’s executive order to oversee the territory’s preparations for events to celebrate the upcoming 175th Anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
President David Hall expressed his excitement for the partnership, saying, “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize the importance of educating our students and the community about the history and culture of the Virgin Islands, and this partnership is a great opportunity for us to serve the Virgin Islands community by ensuring that our unique journey to emancipation is recognized and celebrated for generations to come.”
The partnership aims to accomplish the following activities – subject to the review, input and approval of both parties:
Cracking the Code Lecture: A Mental Journey from Enslavement to Emancipation and Beyond
Cultural Music and Dance Workshops (Outdoor – Both Campuses)
Educational Lecture and Listening Series (Including Videoconference
175th Emancipation Celebration Folklife and Music Festival
Invitation to participate in the 175th Emancipation Booklet/Video Interviews
Other activities as identified and agreed upon between both parties.
“What better place than the University of the Virgin Islands, devoted to mental emancipation through education, intellect, innovation and making an impact in the U.S. Virgin Islands and globally? So, it is with much joy and honor that we officially announce our partnership with the University of the Virgin Islands through the public signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee,” said Khnuma Simmonds, Ph.D., chair of the 175th Emancipation Celebration Committee Cultural Affairs Committee.
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