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Brief: Slavery Reparations Discussion Scheduled for St. Thomas

June 22, 2007 — The African-Caribbean Reparations and Resettlement Alliance (ACRRA) will host the territory’s third Reparations Roundtable next week at Palms Court Harbor View on St. Thomas.
The discussion will begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The St. Thomas roundtable is the first in a series of meetings planned to set a V.I. agenda for the second official delegation set to carry out the territory’s reparations mission in Denmark this fall and to select delegates that will travel as a part of the team, according to a news release from ACRRA. The organization previously hosted two round-table discussions on St. Croix.
"The June 28 meeting is set to be the first comprehensive community discussion on reparations ever to be held on St. Thomas," the news release said. The meeting is free to the public, and will include presentations by guest speakers and community leaders.
In addition, Delegate Donna M. Christensen will host a conference call at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday for V.I. leaders to begin the process of planning support and participation in the reparations delegation set for this fall.
Christensen long supported the V.I. reparations movement, the news release said: "Since November 2004, she has participated in several local meetings and discussions on the topic and has taken many strong positions on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands. In April 2005, Christensen traveled as a delegate in the inaugural mission to Denmark to initiative reparations discussions. Now, first among her colleagues, the delegate is again answering the call for Virgin Islands leaders and elected officials to step up to the reparations plate."
In recent months calls, for reparations for slavery and crimes against humanity have come from leaders in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica and Guyana, the news release said. They have announced intentions to pursue reparations from European nations responsible for slavery.
Since 2005, Virgin Islanders have worked with the Danes on a reparations model. A new memorandum reached this June in Copenhagen between ACRRA and the Danish Institute for Human Rights places a current focus on fostering government-to-government reparations dialogue between Denmark and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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