‘Strong Currents’ Play at UVI

​Strong currents cleverly pulled laughter out the bellies of at least 100 attendees at The Little Theatre on the 55th birthday of the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI). With a packed room, the March 16 opening night at the UVI Little Theatre, directed by Professor David Edgecombe, presented Strong Currents. The play was written in tribute to Austin Clarke, originally from Barbados, who became one of Canada’s foremost authors.

See more photos here from the opening night.

About the Play: From the Playbill

Bernice, Estelle, Dots, Boysie and Henry all moved from the Caribbean to Toronto in search of a better life. Together they weather the ‘storms of fortune,’ but when Henry aspires to be a poet, the others ridicule him. It is the strength of their friendships that will determine who swims and Aho sinks in strong currents.

Check out STRONG CURRENTS, the latest play Directed by Professor/Playwright David Edgecombe at the UVI Little Theatre | 8pm March 16-19, 24 & 25 #UVIpride #Theatre #Theater #Caribbean #Play #UVIpride

See more photos here from the opening night.


UVI/WUVI Communications students and New Media Club Members documenting the play.

In the Audience…

We From Upstreet Lecture Series

Join the We From Upstreet, Inc. (WEFUS) 2017 Lecture Series varying Saturdays at 4pm in the Jarvis House Museum on Polyberg Road. The Series includes lectures from various educators, historians, exhibits from local artists and more.

Watch as Dr. Ronald Harrigan, Sr. summarizes his lecture held on Saturday, March 4, 2017. Yvette M. Finch and Nadine Marchena Kean also share more information about We From Upstreet, Inc. and what else is coming up.

We From Upstreet, Inc. 2017 Lecture Series

Join the We From Upstreet, Inc. 2017 Lecture Series Saturday at 4pm in the Jarvis House Museum on Polyberg Road w/ guest speaker Gerard Emanuel.Watch as Dr. Ronald Harrigan, Sr. summarizes his lecture held 3/4/17. Yvette Vettie M Finch & Nadine Marchena Kean also share info.

Posted by DaraMonifah.com on Thursday, March 9, 2017

On Saturday, March 11th – 4:00 PM​WEFUS held another thought provoking lecture entitled” “The Issue of Status and Citizenship for Virgin Islanders Before and After the Transfer” presented by​​ ​Mr. Gerard Emanuel​, Educator an​d ​Historian of​ ​St. Croix​.

Held Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 4pm, attendees learned V. I. History specific to the issues of status and citizenship from a lecture with Gerard Emanuel who spoke on the citizenship before and after the 1917 transfer of the Virgin Islands.


Visit the J. Antonio Jarvis House Museum and Learning Center on Polyberg Road, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands of the United States.
#USVI #History #Culture #People

Video made possible by Sankofa Saturdays in collaboration with DaraMonifah.com

Int’l Women’s Day USVI 2017

The day after this year’s International Women’s Day people are starting to ask, “What was THAT all about?”

#WomenMatter #kNOwmore #EndDiscrimination #WearRed #equality #genderequality

Hashtags flinging around like acid rain from off helicopter propellers and they still don’t want to feel it, Talkin’ bout, “When is Men’s Day?”

All around the world woman (and supportive men) marched, were on strike, closed their businesses to bring awareness to the continuing issue of gender inequality, violence and so much more.

If you think things are equal or ok as they are, then you must either be part of the problem, or just naive. Nuff said.

Benita Martin honored for Selfless Service

Award Ceremony for the Helen Gjessing Community Service Award happening now at the University of the Virgin Islands

Posted by DaraMonifah Cooper on Thursday, February 23, 2017

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).

Sponsors for this year’s event include: The University of the Virgin Islands, The St. Thomas Restaurant Group, Buddha Sushi, WUVI Student Radio Station, Sankofa Saturdays Youth Initiative, DaraMonifah.com, and Ms. Cheryl Rae.

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, Helen is 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.

VI AgriFest 2017 St. Croix

Live from #VIAgriFest streaming audio on www.wuvi.am WUVI AM 1090 and FM 97.3 on the Sankofa Saturdays Weekly Radio Show

Posted by DaraMonifah Cooper on Saturday, February 18, 2017

This year I get to cover the #VIAgriFest in a way I’ve never before had the opportunity…. New Media style! Stay tuned as we share photos, videos and audio interviews from the fair in collaboration with the University of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Cultural  Center (VICCC) and Sankofa Saturdays Youth Media Team being shared from their Facebook page.

Check out the VICCC at UVI (STX)

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

Posted by Sankofa Saturdays on Saturday, February 18, 2017

VICCNotes live at 46th Annual St Croix Agriculture and Food Fair. Day 3 On air LIVE WUVI AM 1090 and FM 97.3 www.wuvi.am

Posted by Vi Caribbean on Monday, February 20, 2017

“Filled with many activities for the entire family, AGRIFEST captures fair goers and non-fair goers alike repeatedly. ” ~VIAgriFest Website

Special thanks for the assistance of the VICCC & Sankofa Saturdays: Dr. Chenzira Davis Kahina, D’Ajahni Estrada-Petersen, Jason Klarl and Zachary Taibi.

I’ll post all the videos and photos I find below on this page and my Facebook page.

Here 2 Heal: Kamani Tait Returns

For more details…
Contact: 340-244-1196
Email: luvgreenlife@gmail.com
Visit www.ktthearchdegree.com for more on Kamani Tait.

Health Workshop features local Naturopath

The next Health N Healing Workshop will be held on Monday February 6, 2017 at 6:30 pm in the Frenchtown Community Center.

Dr. Wendy V. Coram Vialet in the UVICES Demonstration Garden with Medicinal Plants Photo ©DaraMonifah

Guest Educator:
Dr. Wendy Coram-Vialet, ND, Naturopathic Physician. She is also the CEO of Corvia Natural Healthcare Services right here on St. Thomas.

Bring an open mind, a friend or relative, and remember to tell a friend to bring a friend.
Admission is always Free.

For more information call or (340)-714-1841 or (340)-642-4418 and connect with Organic West Farm‘s Bro Wa-Day Owf
Follow: IChlorophyllConvo

Art Exhibit: It’s a Family Affair

When artists unite, what is created from their combined energies can be nothing less than a work of art… Be it canvas, melodic score or a beautiful young human being…being nurtured.

On Saturday, February 4, 2017 at E’s Tea House in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, a local artist family will share for the first time in public exhibit, Faces of Hope and other works of art. From illustrations to origami & digital art.

Using portraits of local artists, culture bearers and a variety of individuals, the  ‘1 Million Faces of Hope Charcoal Sketch Series’ is his way of bringing out the best attributes of a community through portraits of the people that nurture it to wholeness, as he is doing with his son from a distance.

“I love what I do, and I have experienced the joy it brings others when doing it.”

~Abrahaman Muhammad

In simple words Abrahaman Muhammad is an artist. Born on St. Thomas to two artistic and free thinking parents, who instilled in him the desire and motivation to keep creating.

The illustration presented as the background for his work is one of his son Bilal, which we’ll get back to in a moment.

According to his website, he has never enrolled in an art institution, but instead has taken tips and guidance, from more experienced artists than himself along the way and continues to do so.

“Drawing for me has always been fun, relaxing and mind freeing.”

Abrahaman created the series with his son Bilal in mind. Also an artist, his son will help to curate the exhibit and may even bring some of his own to display.

Abrahaman’s statement of purpose:

“The proceeds go to whatever cause Bilal feels his peers need to help them develop.

There is a reason why in all major perfection and high studies of life, it is call the practice. A humbling word, that tells me that this one lifetime will never be enough to perfect nor master any thing I do. As good as I become at one thing I will alway find someone better then me at it who I can learn from.

I want Bilal to grasp this concept and reality from young and know that the less he opens him self up to knowing is the more he will learn and achieve in his personal life and cast affects on the lives of those dependent on him.

I vision a new educational system that is solely surounded on social skills and focuses primarily on the power of NOW. History is fine but has failed society on so many levels and causes the masses to live in resentment towards each other over a thing that was not done be present circumstances. Bilal, he is representing a social unity, how you beautifully described in your blog. Simplicity is all this is.

My wish is for Bilal to express himself and how he feels about being an artist and how we have inspired him in his own words not mine. All I truly wish to do is help inspire him to his greatest level by providing more art and much less words..”

The family exhibit will showcase charcoal illustrations from Abrahaman, poetry, photography & digital design by DaraMonifah and origami, digital art & one abstract acrylic painting by Bilal Djehuti Karheri Muhammad, their son.

Stay tuned for more from this creative collaboration….. Visit www.symbplisit.com to view portraits and more.

2 Services of Solidarity

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

Posted by DaraMonifah Cooper on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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).

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

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.

Watch/Listen in to the live video or to the audio recording posted on www.wuvi.am shared on WUVI’s Facebook Page or join the Facebook event to learn when, where and what can be expected at the two services happening on Friday, February 3, 2017.

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,
DaraMonifah Cooper‪‪‪
Station Manager | Programming, Website & Social Media
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