UWI join forces with UK Black Churches to enter BLM debate at virtual Symposium, November 12th 2020

Three of the leading Black churches in the UK, the Church of God of Prophecy (UK), the New Testament Church of God and the New Testament Assembly have joined forces with The University of the West Indies (UWI) to launch a year-long project covering, History, Heritage and Identity.

It will begin with a virtual Symposium to be held on 12 November. It comes at a time of simmering disquiet within the Black community, resulting in protests and debates following the death of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and across the world.

Criticisms have been voiced over what many saw as the relative silence of Black-led churches in the UK.

The brainchild of Bishops Wilton and Tedroy Powell of the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP), it followed the public announcement from the Church of England’s Racism Action Commission on the state of race relations in the UK. Following an approach to the Caribbean most prestigious university, The University of the West Indies (UWI), a partnership in the staging of the Symposium was born.

“After listening to the public announcements from the Archbishop of Canterbury on the state of race relations in the UK, we felt the voice of the Afro-Caribbean Churches and Caribbean scholars through The University of the West Indies could greatly contribute.” Stated, Bishop Powell.

Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, the Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission and renowned historian, will deliver the keynote presentation that draws upon the University’s significant body of research and scholars. He will be joined by Professor Donna Hope, a noted UWI academic on Caribbean Culture and Identity and Dr Luz Longsworth, The UWI’s Pro Vice-Chancellor on Global Affairs.

Dr Luz Longsworth
Dr Luz Longsworth

“At a time when the debate on race and social injustice is uppermost in the minds of people in the UK and the world, this is an insightful conversation that The UWI is pleased to lead, and to build bridges through knowledge and understanding to embrace the correct history of slavery, colonialism, struggle and survival in the West Indies”, remarked Dr Longsworth. “It is a compelling story that can inspire the world” she added.

The Symposium is the first stage in a conversation with the Church of England’s leaders as well as those in positions of power at a time when the debate on race is uppermost in the world and the UK.

The media and general public are invited to attend this virtual symposium. REGISTER for the event at this link: https://bit.ly/3ktXdxi.