Category Archives: Traditions

Valiant Virgin Islands are We

Gylchris Sprauve: Valiant Virgin Isles

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!

Posted by Antilles School on Friday, April 7, 2017

(Click here for Song lyrics)

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.

“Press-ing on through ar-duous trials,”

Valiant are, our Virgin Isles – (Click here for full Song lyrics)

Posted by DaraMonifah.com on Monday, March 20, 2017

Muslim Origins in the Caribbean

Muslim Origins in the Caribbean Lecture at UVI

UVI Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism (CSAP) held it's Muslim Origins in the Caribbean lecture. WUVI aired it live and will re-air the recording 6am & 6pm on Saturday & Sunday 8/19/2017 & 8/20/2017. For more info about the CSAP lecture series email wendy.coram@live.uvi.edu visit:http://www.uvi.edu/announcements/articles/current/interfaith_lecture_series.aspx #Islam #USVI

Posted by WUVI AM 1090 and FM 97.3 on Friday, August 18, 2017

The UVI Center for the Study of Spirituality and Professionalism (CSAP) in collaboration with the Masjid Nur, held a lecture entitled “Muslim Origins in the Caribbean” with featured speaker Sheikh Abdullah Hakim Quick. WUVI‘s Student Radio Station aired it live on air/Facebook video and will re-air the recording 6am & 6pm on Saturday & Sunday 8/19/2017 & 8/20/2017. Listen at 6am on 1090 AM & 97.3 FM (FM only after 6pm daily).


Watch the live videos: Part 1 | Part 2  and Listen to the Interview


For more info about the CSAP lecture series email wendy.coram@live.uvi.edu visit:
http://www.uvi.edu/announcements/articles/current/interfaith_lecture_series.aspx #Islam #USVI


WorkCation on St. Croix

At the beach! Follow me @UVICES as I share the play for play at #AgDiscovery Camp @uvi_edu

Posted by DaraMonifah Cooper on Saturday, August 5, 2017

Where else can you fly to an island paradise, engage in constant learning experiences around agriculture and culture, with some of the most uniquely intelligent and environmentally aware young people who just happen to be interested in changing the world?

Right here. I’m there… and getting paid to do it, while getting to do what I love most at my leisure: New media documenting, spending quality time with young people, and teaching them by doing.

At the beach! Follow me @UVICES as I share the play for play at #AgDiscovery Camp @uvi_edu

Posted by DaraMonifah Cooper on Saturday, August 5, 2017

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We spent week one on the island of St. Croix enjoying the first part of the AgDiscovery summer program at the University of the Virgin Islands. To follow us along the way connect with us @UVICES online via FacebookInstagramTwitter and Youtube to stay updated. Facebook live videos to be added*

See how 20 students from all over the USA (with a few locals from the Virgin Islands) are getting the experience of a lifetime learning about agriculture and related fields, while rooming in the dorms for two weeks at the AgDiscovery summer program. All happening at the University of the Virgin Islands, Albert A. Sheen, St. Croix campus. 

AgDiscovery is an outreach program to help students learn about careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness and plant pathology. To find out more information about this program click on the 2017 AgDiscovery brochure

DAY 1 | Photo Album
Meet & Greet
Along with a few local students, twenty “AgDiscoverers” from as far West as California to North as Seattle took the first afternoon/evening to get acquainted with each other and the staff.

DAY 2 | Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3 | Video 4 | Video 5 | Photo Album
OH SHEEP! 
One sheep, two sheep, from scooping out sheep poop first thing in the morning to checking through ultrasound technology to see if they’re pregnant… then collecting/checking their stool and blood samples for parasites and anemia, AgDiscovery campers spent the first day getting to know Agriculture deeper than ever before, from the inside out, literally.

DAY 3 | Video 1 | Photo Album
This Lil Piggy went to Market… as a dish.
This little piggy’s going to market… on a plate. After a trip to the Abattoir, AgDiscoverers now know the procedure that pigs endure when being slaughtered at the VI Department of Agriculture. Then after lunch (no pig today), they walked over to the Research and Extension Center to learn horticulture from Dr. Stuart Weiss and went along with him to the greenhouse to learn about sooty mold and other potential hazards to plants. They ended the day making smoothies with 4-H Ambassadors in the CES Kitchen Lab.

DAY 4 | Video 1 | Photo Album
2 ‘Ponics & an Eggfruit
Water water everywhere, putting it to use. Day 3 was about Hydro and Aquaponics systems. They helped to make and then enjoyed eggfruit smoothies with the 4-H staff in the CES Kitchen Lab.

DAY 5 | Video 1 | Video 2 | Photo Album
Planting Sugar Cane, Sejah Farm & Cruzan Rum Factory
Measuring the field area, Laying out the tubing and Planting sugar cane was how this day started with AgDiscovery campers having hands on setting up a SWEET hydroponics system. Then they visited their first local farm with Yvette and Dale Brown giving them an experience of local plant identification, herding lamb and making fruit smoothies. They got a quick tour of the Cruzan Rum factory before heading back on campus.

DAY 6 | Video 1 | Photo Album
Ridge 2 Reef Certified Organic Farm & Salt River Bay Historic Preserve
AgDiscovery campers took a long, winding, and bumpy trip up the mountain to the only USDA Approved Organic Farm in the USVI, Ridge to Reef Fa rm and spoke with it’s Driector before heading to the SaltvRiver Bay National Park site for a hike on tribal Taino land and left with jewerly that they made during the visit.

DAY 7 | Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3 | Photo Album
Farmers Market, Whim Museum, Town & Beach
What would learning about local agriculture be like without a trip to the farmers market?
A little historical edutainment at the Whim Museum gave the campers a new appreciation for the rich history of the islands and making it to town and the beach before eating on the Boardwalk was an excellent way to wrap up a full day…week!

#AgDiscovery Campers at Whim Museum

Posted by DaraMonifah Cooper on Saturday, August 5, 2017

Stay tuned for more  week 2 footage starting with these photos:
AgDiscovery Day 8: Early Morning Sunrise to Sunset on a Beach

AgDiscovery Day 9: Visit to the Department of Ag, Diving Cows & Party!

AgDiscovery Day 10: APHIS Info, Interviews, 4-H Health Ambassadors & AgRobotics

AgDiscovery Day 11: GLG Plants & Produce Farmer Grantley Samuel


Watch the interview below as collaborators share their reflections after opening day of the AgDiscovery 2017 Youth Camp held at the University of the Virgin Islands Albert A. Sheen St. Croix campus. Click the photo below to watch the video:
From left to right: Sarah Dahl-Smith, UVI Cooperative Extension Service 4-H Specialist; Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr., UVI Cooperative Extension Service Assistant Director, Agriculture and Natural Resources (St. Thomas-St. John District); Tammy H. Lowry, AgDiscovery Program Manager & Management/Program Analyst (Office of Civil Rights, Diversity, and Inclusion (USDA); Kai Nielsen, Camp Site Coordinator.

The AgDiscovery program was initiated as an APHIS Veterinary Services pilot program in 2002. This year, we have a total of 22 universities hosting an AgDiscovery program at college campuses nationwide.  Funding for AgDiscovery is enabled through cooperative agreements between APHIS and the host universities.

AgDiscovery is a summer camp outreach program designed to help middle through high school aged students explore careers in animal science, veterinary medicine, agribusiness, plant pathology, aquaculture, and much more. This 2-4 week program allows participants to live on a college campus, and discover agricultural science from university professors, practicing veterinarians, industry representatives, and professionals working for the U.S. government. Students who participate in AgDiscovery experience hands-on labs, workshops, field trips, and other group and team building activities. For more details click here!

eXtending Knowledge; Changing Lives, join us as we share the journey of AgDiscovery with youth in the U.S. Virgin Islands as they prepare themselves to change the world.

DaraMonifah Cooper, New Media Specialist
UVI Cooperative Extension Service, St. Thomas

#AgDiscovery #USVI  #YouthInAg #AgCommunications

VI EMANCIPATION DAY 2017

VI Emancipation Day 2017 Program took place on Monday, July 3, 2017 between 10-5pm in the Emancipation Garden. Programs were also held on all three main islands of the USVI (St. Croix and St. John) as well as in the BVI (Tortola) today. Hear more from the VI Emancipation Day Coalition here during their pre-event radio interview with Kevon Browne on the Sankofa Saturdays program:

>>>Last year’s VI Emancipation Day 2016 article<<<

Photos from the set up for 2017:

VI Emancipation Day Program today 10-5pm in Emancipation Garden. Programs happening on all three main islands of the USVI and in the BVI today. Stay tuned for photos, videos & more. Hear more from the VI Emancipation Day Coalition here: http://www.daramonifah.com/2017/07/03/vi-emancipation-day-2017/ #VIemancipation #EmancipationDay

Posted by DaraMonifah Cooper on Monday, July 3, 2017

Setting up at Emancipation Garden. VI Emancipation Day Program today 10-5pm in Emancipation Garden. Programs happening on all three main islands of the USVI and in the BVI today. Stay tuned for photos, videos & more. Hear more from the VI Emancipation Day Coalition here: http://www.daramonifah.com/2017/07/03/vi-emancipation-day-2017/ #VIemancipation #EmancipationDay

Posted by DaraMonifah Cooper on Monday, July 3, 2017