http://rjrnewsonline.com/local/uwi-seeks-research-collaboration-with-britain-as-part-of-reparations-agenda?utm_source=rjr&utm_medium=newsUWI seeks research collaboration with Britain as part of Reparations agenda
Sir Hilary Beckles, recently appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), is pushing for greater collaboration between this regional institution and universities and other research facilities in Britain, as part of a renewed approach to reparations and reparatory justice.
Professor Beckles, who also chairs the Caricom Reparations Commission, sees technology transfer as one of the key components of the agenda to be pursued, in discussions with Britain and other European countries which benefited from slavery and colonialism in the Caribbean.
In a recent interview with RJR's Earl Moxam, he characterised the UWI as an institution ideally placed to be involved in such a partnership.
"If you go back to the very beginning; the UWI was conceptualised after the labour rebellions of the 1930s, and the British Government said that there ought to be an institution of higher learning in these colonies. And so the UWI really, in fact, began as almost a first step in reparatory justice; that there needed to be an institution to facilitate the intellectual development of Caribbean peoples, and the British Government made a grant available, and the UWI emerged in that context."
Therefore, he said, "the institution itself is a part of this journey towards reparatory justice. It would be perfectly consistent therefore for UWI to continue to be a part of that dialogue."
The Caricom Reparations Commission, in its ten-point plan of action, in pursuit of reparatory justice for slavery, highlights the public health crisis associated with hypertension and type two diabetes - "...the direct result of the nutritional experience, physical and emotional brutality, and overall stress profiles associated with slavery, genocide, and apartheid."
Asked how the UWI plans to address this problem, the Vice-Chancellor said there was an obvious need to conduct greater biochemical research, in order to come up with the appropriate solutions:
"We have the science; we do not have the money to invest in the tremendous cost involved in laboratories and all that is required. The British multi-nationals that produce the chemicals and the drugs for hypertension and diabetes research, they are in a position to partner with our medical faculty so we can find indigenous solutions to some of these problems. So, we have the problem, which is inherited from the historical legacy; we have the science, but we don't have the technology and the capital. So, how do we solve that? There has to be a culture of partnering. The reparatory justice movement is about partnering to solve specific recognizable problems that Caribbean peoples are faced with."
You may listen to that segment of the interview, which focuses on reparations, by clicking on the audio icon above.