St. Croix forum will explore slavery's impact

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ST. CROIX - A community group has organized the second in a series of forums set for Sunday to discuss "Slavery and its impact on Humanity."

Shalima Edwards, the event organizer, said For the Love of Our People is a community organization that will present the forum in conjunction with UCA Rebel Dawtas from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at UCA's Kitchen, also known as Blaze Redemption Center in Frederiksted.

Edwards said the event is focused on speaking out about slavery and its impact and is a wake-up call for the community to realize the long-lasting impacts of slavery that still affect the modern-day socio-economic struggles.

She said crime is spiraling out of control, violence continues to plague local homes and schools and the education system is burdened with problems, and most of the issues have their roots in the emotional and physical abuse endured by ancestors years ago when they were oppressed by slavery.

"We have to speak about these things, talk about the origins, talk about the effects and talk about solutions and how we can reclaim ourselves and our community," she said.

A documentary "Hidden Colors - Cultural Warfare" will be screened at the event.

The documentary was released in 2011 and is about the history of people of color around the globe. The film examines some of the reasons why the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of many pages of history.

A panel of presenters will share their thoughts on slavery and its impact, and the audience will also be given time to share their perspectives or elaborate on any of the issues being discussed.

"This affects everyone and it affects everyone in a different way, so to get the audience's input and get them to share how they feel is very important," Edwards said.

The forum's organizers hope that they will be able to bring the message across to everyone and there is no one target audience, Edwards said.

The impact from slavery has affected young people, adults and senior citizens, and it is the organizers' goal to continue to spread the word and get feedback from a cross section of the community, she said.

"We want to continue doing this and have similar forums on a monthly basis where we talk about different aspects of the impact," Edwards said. "We will change our location, we will change our focus, but out goal remains the same - to share knowledge and bring liberation to our people."

Admission to the forum is free.

For more information, call Edwards at 643-7599 or UCA at 772-5063.

- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email

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