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UVI and Emancipation Commemoration Committee to Collaborate on Cultural Events

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The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) announced this week that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Virgin Islands 175th Emancipation Commemoration Committee to organize and promote cultural events during Black History Month and V.I. History Month.

This partnership is part of the 61st Charter Day program of the university, which was held on March 24. The collaboration aims to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The MOU establishes a partnership between UVI and the Emancipation Commemoration Committee to collaborate on the 175th Emancipation Educational Lecture & Listening Series and the 175th Emancipation Cultural Music & Dance Community Sessions. The partnership will increase public awareness and understanding of the history and significance of emancipation in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and highlight the historical impact of the territory’s arts, including music, dance, culinary arts, fine arts, and literary arts.

Governor Albert Bryan’s executive order charges the collaborative effort to oversee the territory’s preparations for events to celebrate the upcoming 175th Anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

UVI President Dr. David Hall expressed his excitement for the partnership, stating, “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.”

According to the release, the partnership aims to accomplish several activities subject to review, input, and approval of both parties. These activities include Cracking the Code Lecture: A Mental Journey from Enslavement to Emancipation and Beyond, Cultural Music & Dance Workshops (Outdoor – Both Campuses), Educational Lecture & Listening Series (Including Videoconference), 175th Emancipation Celebration Folklife and Music Festival, Invitation to participate in the 175th Emancipation Booklet/Video Interviews, and other activities as identified and agreed upon between both parties.

Dr. Khnuma Simmonds, chair of the 175th Emancipation Celebration Committee Cultural Affairs Committee, stated, “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.”

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