SUNY Launches Year of the Caribbean with Lecture by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles

Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. March 24, 2017. Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles was the featured speaker at the 2017 Boyer Family Lecture during SUNY Empire State College’s annual All College conference on Wednesday, March 22, in New York. The event kicked of the Year of the Caribbean at the SUNY Empire which is the first theme of a new initiative designed to explore a topic intensively through a variety of activities at the college…

Vice-Chancellor Beckles’ address explored Reparatory Justice and Economic Development: Critical Support for the Social Growth Paradigm in the Caribbean.

According to Vice-Chancellor Beckles, “Reparations lead to democracy and democracy is founded on the notion of inclusion. The greater the inclusion of more people into the center of decision-making—black, brown, women, etcetera—the stronger the democracy.”

He noted that the 21st century democratic movement will integrate many marginalised people and that role of education will be to make the community part of the democracy via the “education pipeline” that will help people become part of the economy and make contributions, including the New York State, where many have chosen to live. In the case of Caribbean people, he added, “In the last 50 years, we have come to see the United States as part of our own survival, as people from the Caribbean move to the U.S. and to New York state, and many individuals and corporations from the U.S. see the Caribbean as important to their survival as well, as a core of economic development.”

Photo courtesy: SUNY Empire State College

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