Verene Shepherd lectures at university on SaturdayPOSTED: 09/30/15 6:57 PM
St. Maarten – Dr. Verene Shepherd is the key note speaker at a lecture entitled “Reparatory Justice and the Decade for People of African Descent: The Caricom Case,” organized by the Independence for St. Martin Foundation (ISMF) at the University of St. Martin on Pond Island on Saturday at 8 p.m.
Keynote speaker Dr. Shepherd is an author, historian, and professor at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica. “The lecture focuses on the Caricom case for Reparations. It can also gain great insights for us about the involvement of St. Martin, South and North, in the growing reparations movement,” said lecture coordinator Dr. Rhoda Arrindell.
“Furthermore, St. Martin is naturally part of the Decade for People of African Descent, 2015-2024. Dr. Shepherd will shed light on this historic decade in a way that we’ve not yet heard in St. Martin from an official or an international expert,” said Dr. Arrindell.
Dr. Shepherd is a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Working Group of Experts on people of African descent. “There are around 200 million people identifying themselves as being of African descent who live in the Americas. Many millions more live in other parts of the world, outside of the African continent,” stated the UN in its declaration of the Decade.
In addition to planning meetings, talks with youth groups, visiting maroon communities, and a range of critical engagements for the Decade, Dr. Shepherd’s human rights work takes her beyond the Americas.
The professor has spoken out against the Zwarte Piet practice on national television in the Netherlands, where “United Nations investigators have been threatened and insulted … after calling for an end to … Zwarte Piet.”
“The Zwarte Piet practice has also been called racist and resisted in St. Martin since the 1960s,” said author Lasana M. Sekou.
In addition to her historic decade duties, Dr. Shepherd’s research interests are in Jamaican economic history during slavery (especially the history of non-sugar activities), migration and Diasporas, and Caribbean women’s history.
“Dr. Shepherd is also a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society and Director of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at UWI-Mona Campus,” said Dr. Arrindell.