Tagged: History

Local Musician Reginald Cyntje shares Spiritual Awakenings through Artivism in the Virgin Islands and Abroad

Reginald Cyntje, a musician and educator from the Virgin Islands, uses artivism to help support those who he interacts with, listens to his music or reads his blogs. As a multi-media and nu media journalist in training, I too choose to use artivism and social media to share the pride we have in home here in the United Virgin Islands.

Historically from a background where the griot tells the story, which then becomes the history and fabric of a place, many artists use their genres to continue in the tradition simply out of the pure love for doing so.

Trombonist, educator and activist, Reginald Cyntje, shares his angle of being a Virgin Islander and what experiences helped him become who he is and continue feeling the pride in his cultural heritage and love of music, children and Virgin Islands history and culture that moves him to share his story with the world through his music.

Sharing experiences he’s had with people who’ve come to love the VI that weren’t initially from here, he often travels to the Virgin Islands, sometimes bringing along with him other musicians who are amazed by the natural beauty of the environment and everyday warmth of Virgin Islands people.

He tries to return home often and meets with young music students, giving them hours of lessons in his parents’ home. He feels that his mentoring of the youth helps them become better prepared for their potential futures as professionals in music and or in school.

Through an initiative that he initiated called the V. I. Movement for Change, Reginald has used visits to schools and his writings to find ways of impressing upon students and other people that they can use their skills and strengths to uplift the community at whatever level that they are at.

Taking his cues from successes in history and the wisdom of elders, his latest album entitled, Spiritual Awakening, shares some of the steps in the process of tackling problems. Wherever he resides, he encourages communities to use collective work and responsibility and cooperative economics to help solve their challenges.

Healing… educating… local musician Reginald Cyntje hopes to continually share with others a little of what the Virgin Islands essence perpetuates. A spiritual awakening unlike any other, he uses music, education, outreach and artivism to promote and welcome you to his home.

Author’s Note: When I was contacted by a fellow Virgin Islander about being one of the main local faces or supports for Pay it Forward USVI, my main concern was how much I would be overwhelmed with putting into it. Random acts of kindness are so regular in my experience that to now be responsible for documenting and sharing when they happen, immediately felt like a full time job. Similarly, when Reginald contacted my about being part of the V.I. Movement for Change, I had to explain my concerns of into being able to be a dependable contributor. As he reminded me, in reality, so many of us already naturally do these things daily without thinking twice about who we’ve helped or what we sacrifice. There can never be too much of us doing it and we continue to encourage by any means possible the random acts of kindness that continues to spread what Virgin Islanders and together our Virgin Islands are naturally about.

Advertisements

The Fruit of V.I. Agriculture in Good Hands: Profiles of Local Leaders – Dr. Louis E. Petersen Jr.

DaraMonifah.theArtist

The Fruit of V.I. Agriculture in Good Hands with Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr. and Commissioner Carlos Robles – Part One | Petersen’s story
By DaraMonifah Cooper

Dr. Petersen with UVI President Hall during AgFair Opening Ceremony Dr. Petersen with UVI President Hall during AgFair Opening Ceremony


Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr.
is a born and raised U.S. Virgin Islands leader whose life-long passion for agriculture has led to an exemplary career which has helped him to blaze a trail of successes that promise to be continued in his latest role at the University of the Virgin IslandsCooperative Extension Service (UVICES).

As described by Dr. Petersen, the story that led him on the path to agriculture began in 1975 during the longest teachers strike in the history of the Virgin Islands. He was a student at the Charlotte Amalie High School and along with other students, didn’t agree with staying at home. Although there were no teachers…

View original post 837 more words

Insight on the Grassroots Intellectual Experience: The Triumphs and Struggles – Part One

Dr. Chenzira Davis Kahina | Mother, Educator, Culture Preservationist, Spiritual Leader +

Sometimes when you’ve gone a distance in one direction, you realize that bringing along what you learned in the other direction will take you further and that actually, they both not only lead to the same place, but are a necessary balance of each other.

Multi-disciplinary educator, cultural performing artist, naturopathic therapist, ordained minister, community developer, scholar and visionary, Dr. Chenzira Davis Kahina’s story would fill bookshelves, but she’s probably burned the books. Instead she just writes them with each step and publishes new volumes with every new day. Her grassroots related experiences have taught her things that experiential learning explain best. A type of ‘common’ sense usually expected from the street, while her background in the halls of academia have her at an exceptional advantage above others who focus only on one specific area of expertise.

“Essentially because of the work that I do, sometimes the integration and the synergy is exceptional, and then other times it seems like there’s resistance…” Dr. Kahina

Per Ankh, Inc. is a charitable and spiritually centered non-government organization (NGO) and non-profit organization (NPO) “livicated to providing educational, cultural, environmental, social, holistic health & wellness, artistic, spiritual & other naturalistic resources and supports that positively contribute to the comprehensive improvement & sustainable development of our local, national and global communities.”

The University of the Virgin Islands V. I. and Caribbean Culture Center (VICCC) is designated to produce, develop and institute state-of-the-art research, publications, mixed media networks and programs, regional and international conferences, collaborative initiatives, academic and community partnerships, interdisciplinary cultural exchanges, socioeconomic development and heritage tourism events, educational resources and more.

As the primary Director of both entities as well as the leader of a number of others, Dr. Chen, as she’s often compassionately called has the opportunity to merge so much of her prior grassroots life experience prior to working at the University of the Virgin Islands in her current capacity as Director of the VICCC as well as the Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism (CSAP).

When asked about how she balances the two, Dr. Kahina responds thoughtfully. “There’s a synergy that exists between culture, spirituality, the arts and technology that my work at the UVI gives me an opportunity to lend over to CSAP and the VICCC into what I do which Per Ankh and Smai Tawi, CPAN, PADU and a host of other global activities…” Dr. Chenzira Davis Kahina

“In all things Pan African, conduct oneself with character, courtesy and common sense.”

Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) Practicing Ma’at in Organizing the African Diaspora By David L. Horne, Ph.D.

Q: What would you suggest for approaching and responding to schools that ask for Black History presentations when you know they’re only asking you to come in because it’s Black History Month:

A: Dr. Kahina simply suggested a wealth of online sites that have related information made available in an ongoing everyday way. This way, the resources could be shared with students in a way that is easy to access and always available. She explained that this is important so that they can see that Black History is all the time and it is World history, not just information that is useful to one set of people.

We also discussed that one can’t really speak about Virgin Islands history without knowing and showing that it is Caribbean history.

Q: What do you think the students can contribute as well as learn at the same time… they can’t share what they don’t know so they have to be taught then encouraged to share with others.

A: They can go to various resources locally including people and places like our campus and public libraries, the Digital Library of the Caribbean as well as various offices like our Virgin Islands Council on the Arts and V. I. Humanities Council.

Learn more about experiences with the community that make it challenging to want to keep giving as well as the small triumphs that make all the sacrifices worth it in Part Two of Insight on the Grassroots Intellectual Experience: The Triumphs and Struggles with Dr. Chenzira Kahina and others.

#VIAgriFest2015 | The Largest and Best Agriculture, Culture & Food Festival of the Caribbean

If you’ve never been to an Agriculture and Food Fair, hailed as the largest in the Caribbean, consider attending the 44th annual Virgin Islands AgriFest held on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands February 14 – 16, 2015. “AgriFest gives you a snapshot of not only agriculture, but the possibilities that we can do with our Agriculture industry by adding value to our products. It also celebrates our culture and things that you normally don’t see throughout the year, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to see and purchase,” Clarice Clarke, UVICES Public Information Specialist and VI AgriFest Coordinator of Promotions interviewed on What’s Going on @UVICES (Weekly Radio Show).

Sponsored by the V.I Department of Agriculture, University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) Cooperative Extension Services (UVICES) and the V.I. Department of Tourism, the theme of Agrifest 2015 is “Agriculture: The Heart of it All.” In a St. Croix Source story, UVI President Dr. David Hall describes the AgriFest as, “a family-oriented, community engagement activity where we can renew and widen our circle of friendship, begin cultivating networks, and celebrate the cultural diversity represented.”

Gates always open at 9:00 am and close at 6:00pm with an opening ceremony that starts at 10am on the Saturday morning. People from near and far attend the fair to take advantage of it’s vast array of agriculture education, fresh local food, local produce, live music and other entertainment, children and family activities, shopping opportunities with so many vendors being available in one place and it’s consistently low cost. The entry fees remain affordable at only $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and $3 for children.

VIAgriFest2014 poster

VIAgriFest2014 poster

Centrally located on the Rudolph Shulterbrandt Agricultural Complex at Estate Lower Love, across from the Albert A. Sheen St. Croix campus of the University of the Virgin Islands, the fair always takes place during the 3-day President’s Day weekend. Three stages in the various areas of the fair provide simultaneous ongoing entertainment throughout the day with one of this year’s highlights being a Calypso show focused on Lord Kitchener and his music. Youth groups including the Superior Court Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra, St. Croix Educational Complex Marching Band and others. St. Croix Heritage Dancers and other adult performers also share Virgin Islands culture with the viewing audiences.

“We will reach a day when everything we eat is produced here in the Virgin Islands.” ~UVI President Dr. David Hall, from the VI Source Feb 15 story.

About 48 farmers from St. Croix and other islands occupy about 70 booths, 88 vendors sell t-shirts, jewelry and other items. In addition, fair goers can visit the livestock pavilion, food pavilion and farmers market to check out locally raised animals, grown and prepared food. “We sell only the local food, no alcoholic beverages or sodas whatsoever,” Clarke noted proudly on a radio interview.

UVI components will be participating in the exhibits by displaying their products and the services offered to the community according to a press release on the UVICES website. A centerpiece of the fair, the UVI Tent has numerous programs showcasing their services, lead by UVICES, which focuses on the fair theme and showcases plants and fruits that promote healthy heart eating. The new UVICES publication, “Tropical Fruits of the Virgin Islands and their Nutritional Values,” also highlighted and on sale, which is available along with their other educational publications year-round at UVI bookstores on both campuses.

“Travelers to the fair include people from the other Caribbean islands visiting us who always look forward to coming and participation,” Clarke shared.

Native Son is the official AgriFest ferry and Seaborne Airlines helps get people there from neighboring islands. Major sponsors include Innovative, V.I. Department of Tourism, V.I. Lottery, V.I. Port Authority, DaVybe 107.9 FM, Water and Power Authority, V.I. Waste Management Authority, Choice Communications as well as the men and women of the VIDOA and UVICES for their annual management and organization of the AgriFest.

Local media coverage of the fair is always expected and for more information about the fair from it’s committee members, the AgriFest 2015 Bulletin publication is sold all three days at the fair and made available afterwards as a pdf on the ces.uvi.edu website or connect with their social media pages @uvices. The official AgriFest website is www.viagrifest.org.

MEDIA COVERAGE:

VIAgriFest2015 made front page news on the St. Croix Avis Sun-Mon, Feb. 15-16 newspaper

VIAgriFest2015 on front page of the St. Croix Avis Sun-Mon, Feb. 15-16 newspaper

Virgin Islands Daily News coverage of VIAgriFest2015 from cover page

Virgin Islands Daily News Coverage of the VIAgriFest2015 (from page four)

“Black” Heritage takes On a New Face with Fresh Minds at UVI

History rewrites itself this Black History Month as a new set of students learn the ropes while helping to promote cultural awareness at the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI). As a standing committee of the University’s Student Government Association (SGA), “raising awareness and promoting African Heritage on campus and abroad” is what they are charged to do according to the school policy.

The University of the Virgin Islands “Black” Heritage Committee is a student-based organization charged with the responsibility of raising awareness and promoting African Heritage on campus and abroad. According to Article VIII Section 11 letter F of the UVI SGA Constitution, the “Black” Heritage Committee shall be responsible for planning and implementing programs of “Black” cultural awareness.

From on the UVI website, in 1986, the United States Congress named UVI one of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU); therefore, it holds the distinction of being the only HBCU outside of the continental United States. HBCUs are a source of accomplishment and great pride for the African American community as well as the entire nation.

The BHC serves as an integral part of the University’s effort to share with it’s students the rich culture of the Virgin Islands, Caribbean as well as African American and African history. A past Professor of the University and co-chair of the BHC, Gene Emanuel lead hundreds of students on historical and environmental nature tours while sharing stories of local historians who helped to influence global world leaders such as Edward Wilmot Blyden, Marcus Garvey, Dr. Ben and others.

The Virgin Islands has a number of people and things that makes it unique even today, but historically, many reasons exist that have paved the way for a ‘magical and healing experience’ to many that travel here, even if only for a day. For history lovers, here are a few facts:

  1. the first jurisdiction under the U.S. flag to be emancipated by slavery
  2. the first successful slave rebellion in the Western Hemisphere on St. John in 1733
  3. the only state under the U.S. flag with the distinction of having over three quarters of the population of African ascendants

These and more are lessons passed down from past and some current UVI faculty, including Professor Emanuel who joined the UVI faculty in 1981, when the University was still the College of the Virgin Islands (CVI). Searching online, one can find statements by the then Governor of the Virgin Islands as well as the University President hailing the work and principles that Emanuel stood for. “Throughout his career, Professor Emanuel stressed that learning involves more than acquiescing to the status quo – that the consciousness of students must actually be raised. An avid Pan-Africanist, Professor Emanuel’s passion for Afro-Caribbean history and culture was always evident.”

If they don’t know how great we were, then they can never be expected to realize how much greater they can be. Going back through the timeline of events with the BHC, there is much to learn and even more to teach. The students will continue to change, but the history will always remain the same.

To be continued…

The UVI SGA "Black" Heritage Committee, Sankofa Saturdays & the Pan African Support Group presents #Blackhistory #MOVIEnights 6-9pm #FRIDAYS at the University of the Virgin Islands #CHASEauditorium

The UVI SGA “Black” Heritage Committee, Sankofa Saturdays & the Pan African Support Group presents #Blackhistory #MOVIEnights 6-9pm #FRIDAYS at the University of the Virgin Islands #CHASEauditorium

Infographic of BHC Timeline

The UVI SGA “Black” Heritage Committee, Sankofa Saturdays & the Pan African Support Group presents #Blackhistory #MOVIEnights 6-9pm #FRIDAYS at the University of the Virgin Islands #CHASEauditorium

VI Kwanzaa Season’s Community Organizational, Management and Communications Efforts

KWANZAA365’s HabariGaniVI January 2015 Newsletter | Letter from the Editor

KWANZAA Banner at Fort Christian 2012Kwanzaa in the United Virgin Islands is celebrated like no where else and was another productive year, uniting, organizing and building for 2015.

Locally-created organizations, KWANZAA365 and Sankofa Saturdays used their multi-media skills to continue assisting with educating, promoting, organizing and documenting the various activities.

First, the VI Kwanzaa Schedule, focused on providing an accessible list of Kwanzaa gatherings, activities and/or education was compiled and shared with local, national and international media sources and organizations. As a result, more people were able to learn, share and attend Kwanzaa events within the Virgin Islands.

IMG_8986

KWANZAA365 also created and shared audio sound bites on Kwanzaa principles and celebrations with various radio stations which reached even more people who were able to learn about Kwanzaa, the various organizations that come together for annual activities as well as be informed about where the local events would take place.

An Ujamaa & Ujima (Cooperative Economics and Collective Work & Responsibility) meeting was held at the Natural Livity Kulcha Shop Lounge with grassroots organizations and business owner, hosted by KWANZAA365 and Sankofa Saturdays. Strategic planning was done collaboratively and an action plan put into place that will assist local grassroots organizations and businesses.

The Sankofa Saturdays youth documented the various events using photo, audio and videography and assisted with putting together a report of the Kwanzaa Season, which was then shared on heir weekly youth radio program on WUVI AM 1090 so that those who were unable to attend, were able to experience some of the events via photo, video and audio documentation.

IMG_8961Publicly speaking at all of the Kwanzaa events, sharing Kwanzaa education, contact information and inviting volunteers to assist with the Sankofa Saturdays Youth Cultural Education Initiative, the organizations are proud to end another official Kwanzaa season having educated, informed and obtained contact information list of volunteers for Sankofa Saturdays.

Some of the intended next steps or products include an annual calendar of cultural Sankofa Saturdays events in the VI, a directory of supportive grassroots individuals, organizations and businesses, a Saturday school as well as the organization of a collaborative grassroots media and communications network.

KWANZAA365For more information or to view pictures, videos and listen to audio recordings, visit www.KWANZAA365.vi and www.SankofaSaturdays.com and their corresponding social media accounts:
KWANZAA365
Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Sankofa Saturdays
Facebook
 | Instagram | Twitter |Youtube | SoundCloud

Continue reading

Royalty Recognized at Home: Crucian Community Selects New Miss St. Croix Carnival Ambassadorial Queen

IMG_8312

“Born, bred and fungi-fed,” from designing and wearing her own dresses to writing and singing her own song, the new Miss St. Croix  Carnival Ambassadorial Queen, AnuMaat Davis-Kahina re-introduced herself to her community and was selected to represent them as their new Miss St. Croix on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at the Island Center for the Performing Arts on St. Croix, Virgin Islands.

With the theme of, “creating cultural memories through an international dream,” contestants showcased their intellect and beauty as they shared their various talents ranging from singing/spoken word, steel pan playing an Asian sword fighting as well as African drumming and dancing.

All of the platforms were presented with passion and purpose ranging from autism awareness to embracing healthy living.  AnuMaat’s platform was actually a sample of the non-profit which she created some years ago, LIVEUP.

LIVEUP, an acronym for “Living Inspired as Virtuous Edified and United Princesses (and Princes),” is the youth health education, inspiration & life skills component of NUWOMANRising that is the inspirational creation of Princess Anumaat Davis Kahina, Peer Facilitator and Counselor of Per Ankh Khamniversity Institute.

As mentioned in her introduction speech, through LIVEUP, AnuMaat has already far surpassed needed community service hours by the thousands. Then came the swimwear, platform speech, cultural wear, international costume performance, evening wear, question and answer.

For AnuMaat, answering the question was a great blessing for her as it spoke to topics that are current in the community today. She didn’t have to think long in order to respond as this work she does at various schools and with a number of organizations helped her to be impromptu with giving the presentation that blew the competition wide open for her.

More to come…

Sometimes all you have to do is be yourself… eventually, everyone else will catch on

Self-Determination Prevails: A New Balance Reigns Over St. Croix

Poised with an innate passion for serving her family and her people, newly crowned Queen AnuMaat Davis-Kahina prepares to share her life journey with the world through yet another platform. Affectionately known as Maat to family and friends, Maat is already a public speaker, talented songstress, dancer, clothing designer, educator and peer leader. Now she can add the title of Ambassadorial Carnival Queen to her list of accomplishments.

As we continue to pour libation on this year’s Kwanzaa season, it fuels me to see a community overwhelmed with a culture I know to be home, even if it is transplanted into the Caribbean, which in some cases has embellished our history even more. Whether the Virgin Islands knows it or not, we’ve been graced with the presence of re-born royalty, not just a new Carnival Queen. The leadership, balance, truth and order that Maat brings will be impossible to ignore as she proudly lives out her purpose, spreading the livity of Kemet (Egypt) and the Caribbean in all she does.

United Virgin Islands Kwanzaa 2014-2015 Schedule of Activities

KWANZAA Banner at Fort Christian 2012

Saturday, Dec 20th 9-11pm Strength to Strength on WSTA Radio 1340 AM http://www.wsta.com (Passed: Stay Tuned for archived photos, videos and audio from the radio interview.)

Monday, Dec 22nd Morning Kwanzaa Presentation at Bertha C. Bochulte Jr.  High School (In progress)

Wednesday, Dec 24, 2014 12-1pm Out to Lunch Radio Program with Tommy Boatwright on AM 1000

Thursday, Dec 25, 2014 – Kwanzaa Eve

Sunset until; Hanging of Kwanzaa Banner at Fort Christian/Emancipation Garden and Screening of The Black Candle – A Kwanzaa story – Another Natural Livity/Sankofa Saturdays Fundraiser by Donation (Tentative)

Pay it Forward – Kwanzaa Zawadi Exchange: Making commitments to do for others during the week of Kwanzaa as a random act of kindness (Tentative)

Friday, Dec 26 – Umoja (UNITY)

– 6 p.m. St. John Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Franklin Powell Ballpark

– 7 p.m., Wesley Methodist Church in Tutu. African Diaspora Youth Development Foundation presents their annual Kwanzaa Program with music by Echo People, Guest Speakers, African Marketplace, good food and Kwanzaa activities. (Confirmed)

Saturday, Dec 27 – Kujichagulia (SELF-DETERMINATION)

– 5 – 6 p.m.; Kwanzaa Education & Music Radio Program on WUVI AM 1090, presented by KWANZAA365 and Sankofa Saturdays Youth Cultural Education Initiative. (Confirmed)

– 6:30 p.m.; Arian’s Restaurant. Pan-Afrikan Support Group and Environmental Rangers present their annual Kwanzaa Gathering and Educational Program. (Confirmed)

Sunday, Dec 28 – Ujima (COLLECTIVE WORK & RESPONSIBILITY)

– 10 a.m.; We Grow Food Farmer’s Market at the Bordeaux Farmers & Agricultural Grounds. A Kwanzaa program will start at 2 p.m. highlighting the principle of Ujima with poetry, youth activities, music and other cultural education and entertainment. Farmers produce, arts, crafts, wholesome meals and refreshments will be available in the African Marketplace. (Tentative)

-4:30 p.m.; The annual Kwanzaa Run & Walk will take place starting and finishing on the UVI soccer/baseball field. One can run 7 km (4.3 miles) on the road to/from the Airport or walk or run a two mile course. They hope to offer caps to the first 30 registrants. Contact Roy Watlington for details: 777-8183 (Confirmed)

Monday, Dec 29 – Ujamaa (COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS)

Tuesday, Dec 30 – Nia (PURPOSE)

Wednesday, Dec 31 – Kuumba (CREATIVITY)

– Sunrise/Sunset; The Blake Family hosts sunrise and sunset Hatha Yoga at Brewers Beach. (Tentative)

Thursday, Jan 1, 2015 – Imani (FAITH)

– Midday/Early Afternoon; United Communities Kwanzaa Potluck at Brewers Beach. Bring a natural dish or seasonal refreshment and a cultural or literary gift for the Kwanzaa Zawadi Exchange. (Tentative)

#KWANZAA365 More than just a Holiday; Nguzo Saba as a Way of Life!

A Tale of Two Perspectives: Economic Growth through Environmental Development

Internet use and multi-media documentation has facilitated community education in the recent movement to “Save Mandahl Bay” on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. While opposing stories and letters have been shared in the local online and print newspapers, Mrs. Anna Wallace-Francis of Camp Umoja and Friends of Mandahl Bay are actively strategizing towards preserving the natural environment on St. Thomas.

Anna Wallace-Francis and First Lady CECILLE DEJONGH

Anna Wallace-Francis with First Lady Cecille deJongh during a tour of Camp Umoja and the Mandahl Bay Area. Photo ©SankofaSaturdays

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wallace-Francis shared that when attempting to research desired public documents, they still experienced various challenges with obtaining information. Waiting days longer than they felt were necessary for recently filed documents, the repeated inability to reach specific persons and realizing that some documents were unavailable due to being destroyed as a directive from higher authority were a few of their experiences.

Nevertheless, to facilitate educating the public, Friends of Mandahl Bay have pooled their skills and research knowledge to share the public government documents on their blog, including the development agreement, lease agreement and deeds related to Mandahl Bay.

Camp Umoja Welcome Wall

Anna Wallace-Francis with First Lady Cecille deJongh during a tour of Camp Umoja and the Mandahl Bay Area.

Camp Umoja’s Mandahl Bay area tours, similar to one held on Dec 13, 2014 with the Hotel Association and St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce including the First Lady Cecille deJongh, also help to educate the community on concerns of those in favor or opposed to transforming the Mandahl Salt Pond area to build a new “300-room Hyatt Regency Hotel,” according to a VI Daily News story.

If developers are eventually successful with building, a concern is that too often, local people are not qualified to make more than substantial salaries. “If we don’t have the skills or bonds to build a marina, then those jobs wouldn’t come to us. Those jobs would probably go to people flown in from Puerto Rico or elsewhere and the remaining service-oriented jobs would offer low wages, which still leaves Virgin Islands people needing to work two jobs,” shared Wallace-Francis.

Knowing locals who, with support, could start their own eco-tourism, agri-tourism and culture-tourism businesses almost immediately, Wallace-Francis shared that she felt entrepreneurship instead is in the best interest of helping the community.

Wallace-Francis provides eco-tours as well as kayaking, snorkeling and other environmental or educational activities. Local youth programs including student interns from the University of the Virgin Islands and Syracuse University’s collaborations have already benefitted from workshops on the campground’s location. She also envisions the ability to add horseback riding, sustainable cottage industries as well as cultural productions, performances, along with more educational marine-life and sustainable agriculture workshops.

Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Wallace-Francis shared that when attempting to research desired public documents, they still experienced various challenges with obtaining information. Waiting days longer than they felt were necessary for recently filed documents, the repeated inability to reach specific persons and realizing that some documents were unavailable due to being destroyed as a directive from higher authority were a few of their experiences.

Port of Mandahl Project New Jobs List

Proposed New Jobs with the Port of Mandahl Proj

Nevertheless, to facilitate educating the public, Friends of Mandahl Bay have pooled their skills and research knowledge to share the public government documents on their blog, including the development agreement, lease agreement and deeds related to Mandahl Bay.

Photo/Video Footage Collage from the Tour on Dec 13, 2014

V.I. Seeking Solutions in Solidarity with Ferguson

handsup

Saving Our Sons, Healing Ourselves: Reflecting on Michael Brown. Photo by Jalani Horton

Daily News Story on the Gathering

Virgin Islands Daily News Story on the Gathering in Case you Missed it…

On a day like today all I care to do is write
The sound of my own voice instigates a useless internal fight
Why does it surprise us when we know where we are
We should’ve already had a plan before the distraction got this far

Now we’re falling right into the senseless master plan
They don’t have to see your cards if you’re always showing them your hand
Is it really that impossible to think outside the box?
The strategy should be easier to see, we’re the ones that made the locks

But just because we did it’s the end of the discussion
We also make the keys so why we accepting this concussion
Wake up my people, it’s not time to act off of emotion
Let’s use this as a reminder, to ourselves we need devotion

It’s not that I don’t care or don’t see the reason to speak out
Sometimes when the noise is so loud, I’d just rather listen than shout

I’ve learned through our confusion; in the silence comes the solution

Get to the core, constant contact now needed even more
ReBuild. We are the resounding resolution

©DaraMonifah

Giving ThAnkhs for siStarQueens like Dena & Jahweh for bringing the V.I. solidarity gathering to life for the sake of our listening, learning, healing and re-building.

Saving Our Sons, Healing Ourselves | Their Lives Matter; Our Lives Count! Headed down to Brewer’s Beach #Solidarity #BrownFriday#blackfridayblackout #BlackLivesMatter #FergusonDecision #KWANZAA365Sankofa Saturdays Unsung Sheroes VI

saving saving1 saving2 saving3