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Noted Social Historian to Lecture at IYPAD Event Oct. 23

The University of the Virgin Islands College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) will present a lecture by University of the West Indies (UWI) Social History Professor Dr. Verene Shepherd on Sunday, Oct. 23, in the Administration and Conference Center on UVI's St. Thomas campus. This event is being planned in collaboration with the International Year for People of African Descent-St Thomas (IYPAD-St. Thomas), led by St. Thomas resident Ludlow Bailey. The lecture and panel discussion that follows will take place from 2-6 p.m. and will be transmitted by videoconference to Room 401 of the Melvin Evans Center on UVI's Albert A. Sheen campus on St. Croix.

UVI faculty are dedicating this event to the memory of their esteemed colleague, Professor Gene Emanuel.

UVI Social Sciences Professor Dr. Dion Phillips said CLASS supports the event."In the tradition of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, we are delighted to collaborate with IYPAD/Ludlow Bailey in bridging the information gap about the profound contributions of black people to St. Thomas, the Caribbean, the Diaspora and the world as a whole," Phillips said.

Dr. Shepherd will lecture on the topic, "The Best of the Past for the Future: Knowledge Production for Caribbean Liberation." A member of the faculty on UWI's Mona campus, Dr. Shepherd is the Caribbean regional member to the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.

"We no longer have to look too hard to prove the glorious and free African origins of Caribbean black people," Dr. Shepherd says in a summary of her remarks. "We do not have to dig too deeply to find evidence of the search for self-worth and economic identity; in fostering a sense of self-reliance; of cultural survival."

On Dec. 18, 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the year beginning Jan. 1, 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent (IYPAD). The International Year for People of African Descent-St. Thomas was created to organize a series of events designed to commemorate and celebrate the United Nations General Assembly proclamation of IYPAD.

IYPAD-St. Thomas, under Bailey's leadership, is coordinating Dr. Shepherd's visit to St. Thomas. The group was responsible for hosting the launch of the USVI's initial commemoration of the year, which took place on UVI's St. Thomas campus on June 5, 2011.

"The International Year for People of African Descent gives the world (particularly Afro-descendants) a unique opportunity to draw attention and rally support for important global issues that affect the lives of African Diaspora people in crisis worldwide," Bailey said. "It is also a time to celebrate the major achievements and contributions of Black African descendants."

IYPAD St. Thomas's aim is to create events that will enhance and promote health, wealth, education, family, creativity, political empowerment and spirituality among the people of African descent in St. Thomas.

For further information on the Oct. 23 IYPAD lecture and panel discussion, please contact UVI Social Sciences Professor Dr. Dion Phillips at (340) 693-1260 or Ludlow E. Bailey at (786) 290-7359.