Presented by Afro-Caribbean Churches in the UK and The University of the West Indies through the Office of Global Affairs.

About the Symposium

In the context of the global outrage and gathering protest movement at the death of George Floyd, the Afro-Caribbean Churches in the UK have turned to The UWI for partnership and support to stage an Online Symposium, which they have described as an attempt "to construct the intellectual infrastructure for a high-quality conversation with the Church of England and other officials in the power structure of British society".

Ostensibly, these Bishops and pastors on behalf of their congregants and mass of people of West Indian heritage living in the United Kingdom, are seeking to engage the Church of England and the wider British society on the “uncomfortable facts and details” of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, as part of a larger and more long-term goal to establish the UK Diaspora in a correct knowledge of their history and cultural identity.

A tradition of advocacy

The University of the West Indies has had a long and storied tradition of advocacy for human rights and social justice through excellence in scholarship, research and activism; and enjoys a distinct relevance among the top-tier universities of the world in the cause of Reparatory Justice. In more recent years, The UWI has been mandated to lead the implementation of CARICOM’s Reparatory Justice Programme on behalf of the nearly sixteen million people who live in the region, with an even larger population footprint in the far-flung Diaspora.

One of the powerful manifestations of The University's commitment to Reparatory Justice has been the establishment of its Centre for Reparation Research, which "broadly seeks to foster public awareness around the lasting and adverse consequences of European invasion of indigenous peoples’ lands, African enslavement and colonialism in the Caribbean."

The CAIHR connection

This initiative emerged out of conversations held between the Caribbean Institute for Health Research, The UWI, and leaders of the largest Afro-Caribbean Churches in the United Kingdom, who are desirous of forging an alliance with The University of the West Indies to stage a signature Diaspora Education and Empowerment initiative premised on The University’s formidable body of research and scholarship on West Indian History.