Renowned local musician Gylchris Sprauve received a standing ovation from students and faculty Friday for his performance of "Valiant Virgin Isles." Sprauve and other guests were part of Friday's student organized Black History and V.I. History Cultural Celebration, which took place in the Prior Jollek Hall. Sprauve said his deep love for the Virgin Islands, its history and its people inspired him to write the piece, which has been adopted as this year's Centennial song. More to come!
If the world learns nothing else about the place of my birth, I need it to know of our resilience, our innate kindness and our value. Beyond the beauty of our sun, sand and seas, the treasure that is our people, always revitalizes my sense of pride to be, “bahn” here as we say in our native tongue.
Far more valuable than any material goods or even the naturally hospitable services of Virgin Islanders, is the richness of our history, culture(s) and our faith. I don’t mean the over 300 churches that stand erected in our small archipelago… the most churches on the globe within such a small sized location. I’m not even talking about the grandeur of our architectural structures, frombuildings to step streets… as we also are the one location globally with the most step streets.
Us. The people. Are the most valuable asset that exists amongst all this… and when nature’s disasters strip away everything else, it is our true spirit that shines through ever so brightly as if only washed off and waxed by earth’s most tumultuous season of destructive forces.
I’ve much to share, but I just wanted to start with a prelude. Dear friend and proud Virgin Islander Gylchris Sprauve wrote the song Valiant Virgin Isles way before the storms shook our islands to their knees, but now I hear it ever so much clearer. A March 28th V. I. Source story shares details as quoted by Sprauve himself.
Listen and share in the strength and vulnerability of this, our theme song for what will remind our people of their greatness in this time of deep despair and great need.
Yes, send support for our islands, but do it humbly, recognizing that though we are now battered and bruised, we will soon rise again stronger, wiser and more able to shine again like the diamonds we’ve always been.
Listen/Watch and Learn abt African Liberation Day with the Pan African Support Group here on WUVI AM 1090 and FM 97.3 See the permanent webpage for this video and more info on http://www.daramonifah.com/2017/05/06/african-liberation-day-usvi-activities/
African Liberation Day (ALD) was founded in 1958 when Kwame Nkrumah convened the First Conference of Independent States held in Accra, Ghana and attended by eight independent African states. The 15th of April was declared “Africa Freedom Day,” to mark each year the onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolize the determination of the people of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation. For more details visit www.africanliberationday.net.
Upcoming Events or Related Activities:
May 4 – Showing of Documentary on Dr. John Henry Clarke/Dialogue
May 25th – ALD Ceremony at VI Legislature
May 25th – 7-8pm on WSTA 1340 AM
May 28th – 10-6pm ALD Rally at the Emancipation Garden
July 3rd – Emancipation Day Celebration at the Emancipation Garden
The Virgin Islands Code Bill No 18-0147 #5473 exists to proclaim the 3rd week in May as VI African Heritage Week as well as the African Liberation Day celebration which is celebrated at the Legislature.
More to be added to this site. Connect with the Facebook event to stay updated also.
Using Facebook Effectively: A Digital Drum CallFacilitator: DaraMonifah Cooper, '09 UVI ALUM – UVI Cooperative Extension Service New Media Specialist; WUVI Station Manager; UVI Communications Professor
On Friday, April 7, 2017 between 1:15-2:00 p.m. at UVI Research Day in an effort of strategically pooling our resources and networks in order to assist and support each other with our advertising needs. If you missed it, you can still watch my Facebook Live video stream of the round table. Some viewers also joined us from their desk computers or mobile devices. Simply put, even if you didn’t make it tomorrow, please reply to all with your social media platform ‘handles’ (profile and page names/websites) so that we can all tag each other and share any and/or all upcoming events, activities or offerings. I also have and shared an exciting new toy that could be of use to many of us! Google: Mevo
Official Abstract for UVI Research Day 2017: Using Facebook Effectively: A Digital Drum Call
Facilitator: DaraMonifah Cooper, ’09 UVI ALUM/Communications (B.A.) & ’16 Full Sail University New Media Specialist (M.A.)
– UVI Cooperative Extension Service New Media Specialist
-WUVI Station Manager
-UVI Communications Professor
Details: Friday, April 7, 2017 between 1:15-2:00pm at UVI Research Day, St. Thomas Campus Sports & Fitness Center
This round table examines social media platform habits, multi-media technology and the vital role these vehicles will play in converting the current use of advertising media in the Virgin Islands. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate how new media technology behaviors affect effective communication and advertising methods. The discussion will also include the methods in which social media and related technology are effecting change based on the current ways people learn and share information.
To achieve this goal, multimedia elements such as video, infographics and text are used. I will be using research-based experiences throughout my role as a UVI Cooperative Extension Agent over the past thirteen years with CES and my experiences over the past years with WUVI, from volunteer to now being it’s Station Manager, as well as training experienced in the New Media Journalism Masters program at Full Sail University over the past two years.
The goal is to create a powerful media network by providing evidence that a thoughtful collaborative effort of creating a viable communication network is needed at the University and throughout the Virgin Islands/Caribbean/Global community.
Station Manager | New Media Consultant
WUVI AM 1090/97.3 FM – University of the Virgin Islands Student Radio Station
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share a testimony on Dara’s service!
On-Campus Line: 1(340) 693-1670 | On-Air Call in Line: 1(340) 643-1090
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University of the Virgin Islands
On Sunday afternoon, March 19, 2017, Gylchris Sprauve presented ‘A Musical History of the Virgin Islands at the Dutch Reformed Churh in Charlotte Amalie. Subtitled, A Century United in Pride and Hope, Sprauve had assembled a fine cast of students from the BCB Middle School, 2 local instrumentalists, 6 musicians from Puerto Rico, 4 fine singers from the V.I. and recruited 2 percussionists at the last minute who fit the bill perfectly.
Together, united in pride and hope, “we told the story of Transfer Day from the grassroots perspective and what an amazing storytelling session it was!!! ALL HAIL THE VIRGIN ISLANDS!!!” ~Gylchris Sprauve
***(expect updates to this website and the Official Facebook Page throughout the day with more behind the scenes pics and videos like the ones below and the real video by the end of the day – Please share)***
A grassroots celebration of history, culture, and our continued struggle, Gylchris spoke and had musicians sing of out Valiant Virgin Isles in a way many are only starting to experience. His combination of classical, folk, African, Caribbean genres brought quizzical, yet proud looks on people’s smiling faces, that could be described only as awakening awe.
Merging not only a variety of instruments including brass, pan and percussion, as well as cultures as he brought over musical friends from Puerto Rico who added their ashe, Gylchris blended a few octaves of ages from the Bertha C. Bochulte middle school students, to local elders in the musical community.
Just to list a few…
Melita Etienne, Wendy A Joseph, Lorna L. Freeman, Howard Jones, Levi Farrell, Dr. LeRoy Trotman, Alexis Sanchez, Rey Omar Marcano, Eric N. Vázquez Rivera, Rafael Lebrón, Luis Miranda, Nelson Corchado, DaraMonifah Cooper, Howard Peters, Vanessa R. L. Tamar, Lonette Gumbs, Matey Sewer
Sprauve’s vision continues to exemplify the true spirit of the Virgin Islands just as a cultural melting pot of young seasonings and grounding provisions does what it does best in our melting yabba pot.
Recognizing that so many probably never had the honor, Sprauve wrote a Fanfare for the Ursulan Children, recognizing the unsung native s/heroes of the then Danish West Indies.
From the trip over* where so many never lived to see our shores, to the St. John Revolution of 1733, St. Croix Fireburn in 1848 and the 1892 Coal Workers Strike of St. Thomas, he reminds us that as some are made mute by the pomp and circumstance, that the real celebration is of our survival through it all and our continued successes along the way.
Furthermore, as he stated during the program’s beginning with a song entitled Wha de Future Gon’ Bring, he continues to keep us in requiem that no matter what remaining trials and tribulations present themselves, Papa God still in charge of this ting.
Full Lyrics to We Gon See Wha De Future Gon Bring by Gylchris Sprauve
Posting in fulfillment of DaraMonifah Cooper’s request after yesterday’s concert. This is most likely what the lower classes were thinking when they got word that Denmark was selling the islands to the USA.
ALL: We gon see what the future gon bring…
Papa God still in charge of this ting…
Beto: Come here, Matilda…
Matilda: Beto! Wha happen now? You look fraid!
Beto: Father: I ain’ know if ah fraid or ah happy,
But when ah went to get paid
The foreman was talking… to a merchant… and he say,
“King Christian gon sell”
Matilda: Sell! Jackson went up to Denmark
And he had no choice but to tell dem
Beto: The Danish West Indies struggling, and tings-dem here very bad
The glory days of sugar done gone, and folks’ condition is sad
Matilda: Beto, doan forget inspite of what they say bout the King
God on high done see and know,
And that is why we does sing
ALL: We gon see wha de future gon bring…
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting…
Beto: Now, dey talking ‘bout dis transfer
Matilda: Yes, transfer…
Beto: Of the islands under our feet
Sound like countries-dem playing checkers
And the natives’ life cheap like meat!
Who gon feed the poor and hungry?
Will the young and strong go astray?
Denmark broke, the Germans-dem coming
Now the King gon’ dash us ‘way?
ALL: We gon see wha de future gon bring,
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting,
We gon see wha de future gon bring,
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting.
Matilda: Oh, Beto stop! De lil’ children…
Beto: Wha? You doan tink dey must know?
Matilda: Tings-dem hard enough as it is…
Beto: And when the Danes-dem pack up and go?
Matilda: They say life good in America,
And we could maybe move there
Beto: Woman, stop!
Matilda: Whatever coming been measured…
T’ain more than what we could bear
All: We gon see wha de future gon bring,
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting.
Beto: I hear that Blacks in America
cahn’ move as freely as we.
They president name is Wilson,
And he hate Black people, yo see?
Matilda: Dis ting ain’ looking too pretty
Beto: Ah doan tink that we should stay
Matilda: We could just run to Tattola
Both: King George woan give them away…
ALL: We gon see wha de future gon bring
Papa Gahd still in charge of dis ting!
Honoring this year’s recipient of the Helen Gjessing Community Service Award, Ms. Benita Martin, the community is invited to a gathering this coming Thursday at UVI’s ACC Building in the 1st floor conference room, between 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
Over the past twenty years Benita helped keep vital elements of local culture alive, collectively working with a number of organizations that promote, preserve, and defend the future and ability of Virgin Islanders to practice self-determination, and to foster the most basic forms of healthy life and living. Some of those culturally-based organizations include the Pan-African Support Group, Afrikan Liberation Day, Rastafari Improvement Association, Kwanzaa365, Sankofa Saturdays, Per Ankh, Inc., Queens of the Earth, and the African Diaspora Youth Development Foundation. She has also provided eight years of service to the Dollar for Dollar Coal Carrying Annual Commemoration and ten years to The St. John African Slave Revolution Annual Commemoration.
Benita’s tireless efforts to help preserve the land and sea of our delicate islands include work with the Environmental Rangers, Environmental Association of St. Thomas (EAST), Virgin Islands Recycle Partnership (VIRP), Waste Management Authority (WMA) Community Advisor Board, Camp Umoja Academy, and the Virgin Islands Conservation Society (VICS).
Read more about Sister Benita and the award below.
Named in honor of Ms. Helen Gjessing, this award is perhaps one of the more difficult awards to earn. It is about living life with an attitude of service to, and care of the world around us in a way that exemplifies similarities to Helen herself. Throughout her life, Helen Gjessing has been a quiet force. Never one to garner accolades, she simply “showed up” for decades in the Virgin Islands, in her quiet and unassuming way, to do what she could and what was needed, to make a positive difference. That is what this award is about.
A resident of St. Thomas since 1958, Helenis an environmental-activist powerhouse. She was given the first “Connie” award from the National Wildlife Federation in 2010; has “Emeritus” status at the University of Virgin Islands-St. Thomas Campus, where she retired in 1999 after teaching biology for thirty-four years; and served on and chaired the League of Women Voters’ Planning and Environmental Quality Committee, tirelessly reviewing countless permit applications and reports on behalf of territorial environmental protections. In short, Helen is the type service-minded individual that communities around the world can only hope to call their own. To read more about Helen’s life and activities in the USVI, follow the About Helen link on this website.
The Helen Gjessing Community Service Award is given out annually, if an individual comes to the fore that year who’s observed to live their life in the spirit of the type of service to the community that Helen epitomized, and which is typically unpaid. Someone who quietly, and again and again, shows up and helps encourage and accomplish things toward a better world. There is no monetary gift with this award. It is given by citizens, to citizens, in recognition of and as an opportunity to honor those who selflessly give, and live a life of giving to the world around them. The public is however invited to make donations, if so inclined, to whatever cause(s) or projects are embraced to the recipient of that year’s award. Based on suggestions from the public on persons deserving of the award, each year’s recipient will join with Helen and anonymous founders of the event in the decision for the following year’s recipient of the award (with the number of persons participating in that process increasing by one each year). The public is invited to submit suggestions for the next recipient of the HG Community Service Award using the Submissions link on the above website.
In that spirit of selfless community service, Ms. Benita Diana Martin has been selected to receive this year’s award.
Benita was born in Detroit, MI (1952), though has long been proud to call the Virgin Islands her home. Benita gave birth to five children — Ayinde, Naima, Ariel, Amad, and Lukata — while providing a mother’s love to numerous youth throughout the world.
Benita’s professional career began in 1979 after graduating with a master’s degree in Blind Rehabilitation. She has provided orientation and mobility (travel skills) Braille and vision training and other vision services to blind and visually impaired children and adults throughout the United States, Kuwait, Egypt, and in 1994 with the Virgin Islands Department of Education. Benita continues to provide services to various organizations to address issues of person with a disability in the Virgin Islands including VI Find, Center for Independent Living, and the VI Special Olympic – St. Thomas.
Benita began her studies in alternative organic system farm practice in 1978. After becoming a vegetarian, she realized that we must grow what we eat and educate our community on how the current fast food system generates too many health issues. In 1995 she began to put her knowledge of organic farming into practice at Green Thumb Farm (GTF) in the St. Thomas Bordeaux area, building a fully operational 20×80 greenhouse, and assisting with all aspects of the farm, making it one of the most productive sustainable organic farms on the island. Benita joined We Grow Food Inc., noting the importance of providing food for their community. She has since served as a board member and is currently co-chairperson of the Future Development Committee. Benita has greatly aided in the development of projects/activities for the advancement of agriculture in the Virgin Islands to include: Land Agreement between Livestock Association and Bordeaux Crop Farmers Source.
In short, Benita is a caretaker of mother earth, continually involved in projects contributing to improved conditions and resources critical to healthy on-island farming practices. She is a vital member of the Bordeaux Farmers Annual Agriculture and Cultural Fair and the Bordeaux Farmer’s Market, as well as, the 1998, 2004, and 2005 Agriculture & Culture Summer Camp. Benita has worked with many agriculture organizations and educational programs with goals to promote, develop, preserve and defend agriculture in the Virgin Islands. They include Farmers In Action, Southeastern African American Farmers Organic Network – Caribbean Initiative, Virgin Islands Farmers’ Cooperative, Islands Food Security Inc. (The Network), Emerald Thumb Garden and the Gladys Abraham; Ulla F. Muller; and Lockhart elementary school’s garden clubs.
Check out the Vi Caribbean Cultural Center at #VIAgriFest this weekend with Dr. Chenzira Davis Kahina. #VICCC365 #SHARE Sankofa Saturdays DaraMonifah.com Jason Klarl D'Ajahni Estrada-Petersen PerAnkh Khamniversity Uvi Pro Reginald Cyntje Reginald Cyntje Music University of the Virgin Islands
Watch this #FacebookLive video (interview starts at 6:30) archive or #ListenIn to the audio (link below) as I speak w/ Kamani Tait aka KT The Arch Degree (also known as Dr. Sebi's Son) on WUVI: Learning about him and the gathering at E's Garden Teahouse and Things on Feb 11, 2017! See full details here: http://www.daramonifah.com/2017/02/11/here-2-heal-kamani-tait-returns/Event Topics: Who is Kamani Tait, Why the Virgin Islands, Kidney's Decoded, Tropical Vegan Food, Super Fruits & Indigenous Herbs of the Rainforest | Streaming live at 1pm on www.wuvi.am Like/Follow: WUVI AM 1090 and FM 97.3 #health #wellness #drsebi #LoveNHealingVIAudio Archive: https://soundcloud.com/wuviam1090/daramonifah-cooper-sits-down-with-kamani-tait-aka-kt-the-arch-degree
Most people don’t know it but Cruzan born Kamani Tait has returned home to the United Virgin Islands with some answers according to his Facebook post. Baba Dr. Sebi and our ancestors continue leading the way.
KT shared clarity on the real Super Foods of the Sun. HE spoke about the differences between diabetes types. He went in about the importance of our kidneys and Indigenous wild herbs of the rainforest are the topics at hand.
2 Services of Solidarity ON NOW: WUVI AM 1090 and FM 97.3 Interfaith Weekend in Response to the Muslim Ban with Dr. Wendy Coram, Rabbi Mike Harvey of The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas & Islamic Center: Masjid Nur Ahl-Us Sunnah #Solidarity Listen to the recording here: https://soundcloud.com/wuviam1090/services-of-solidarity-interfaith-weekend-in-response-to-the-muslim-ban-020117-final
What happens when you get a Rabbi, an Imam and a University Director in the same room? No it’s not the start of another bad joke. It’s about individuals and spiritual centers that have come together with a common purpose. Solidarity. Watch and listen to find out for yourself as we aired it live on WUVI AM 1090 and FM 97.3 (www.wuvi.am).
Guests were members of the Interfaith Council of the Caribbean and Dr. Wendy Coram-Vialet, Director of the University of the Virgin Islands Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism. Together, they are making sure that people come to attend the 1 pm service on Friday at the Masjid Nur as well as at 6:30 pm the St. Thomas Synagogue. Dr. Coram Vialet stated that she wishes to promote peace and to be supportive of organizations who are working to instill peace initiatives within the community. We are inviting as many students, faculty, staff and community members to participate as possible.
Why else to listen? I asked questions like: How long will the services be?
What is being requested from those who are listening or who will attend?
How can they contact you to find out more?
How does this tie in to CSAP – AVPI?
Photos to be added later today.
Thank you for your support,
Station Manager | Programming, Website & Social Media WUVI AM 1090/97.3 FM – University of the Virgin Islands Student Radio Station Email email@example.com to share a testimony on Dara’s service!
On-Campus Line: 1(340) 693-1670| On-Air Call in Line: 1(340) 643-1090 Connect with Us @WUVIAM1090 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or listen to our archived shows on SoundCloud! www.WUVI.am University of the Virgin Islands
Listen to Jah Sekhemna on Reverbnation and follow him on Facebook and Youtube and check out Sister Kim as EmpressionZ Tampa on Facebook.
After the Bordeaux Fair you can find them at Brewers Beach on Sunday afternoons selling boiled peanuts, greens and vegan cookies like chocolate chip and cranberry oatmeal. You can also place your order for crochet wear as they’ll have select items on display. Sister Kim let out the bag that they’ll be introducing a green-nut butter punch which is peanut punch with a green twist.
“Something different for a lil more alkaline,” Sister Kim – aka Crochet Kim