Caribbean Studies Institute Hosts Webinar On Symbols Of Jamaican Nationhood

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A report by E. Hartman Reckord for the Jamaica Information Service.

A webinar titled ‘The People’s Symbols: A critical Engagement on Symbols of Jamaican Nationhood’ will be held on Thursday, July 23 beginning at 4:00 p.m.

This is the second in a series of webinars organised by the Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS), University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, in association with the Centre for Reparation Research and the National Council on Reparation.

It will honour former Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie 1, who was born on July 23, 1892.

The public can join the session via ZOOM or the ICS’ Facebook Live.

The first webinar, titled ‘A critique of symbols of Jamaican Nationhood’, was held on July 9.

Coordinator of the event and Head of the Rastafari Studies Unit, UWI, Dr. Jahlani Niaah, told JIS News that the webinars are designed to engage academia, advocates and policy makers “to advance the conversations on reparations as part of a public education initiative to include all Jamaicans”.

She noted that Thursday’s webinar will “speak to what people describe as their symbols, and this is a conversation we hope will take place through engagement with not just tangible but intangible symbols relating to music, religion, art, etc.,” he noted.

The session will be chaired by Director, ICS, Dr. Sonjah Stanley Niaah.

There will be presentations from Pan-African Attorney, Bert Samuels; Associate Professor, Community Arts Practise, York University, Canada, Dr. Honor Ford-Smith; Screenwriter, Behaviour Change Specialist and Actress, Dahlia Harris; Trench Town Scholar and Comedian, Owen “Blakka” Ellis; Diasporan Knowledge Systems Scholar, UWI, Cave Hill campus, Dr. Yanique Hume; and Rastafari Scholar, Archivist, Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Jake Homiak.

Dr. Niaah, who is also Chair of the Subcommittee on Internal Reparations in the National Council on Reparation, informed that the third and final webinar, scheduled to take place within the next two weeks, will examine the topic, ‘Pirates and Pariahs”.

He said the topic will look at “how those who are the creators of culture and wealth become robbed of those deliverables”.

He told JIS News that there are plans to have additional conversations to focus on the judicial, education, health and wellness systems.

“The full objective is for us to extract from these webinars and public consultations a sense of the national direction and recommendation on issues as it relates to our identity and how those are represented monumentally and otherwise,” he added.


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