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Scholars examine Caribbean impact on Black history

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Professor Rex Nettleford, Vice Chancellor Emeritus, University of the West Indies (UWI), and Erica Williams Connell, daughter of Dr. Eric Williams, Former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago this Wednesday keynote the 2008 Caribbean Lecture Series being presented by Macalester College Caribbean Students Association in collaboration with Jamaica Minnesota Organization. Professor Rex Nettleford, Vice Chancellor Emeritus, University of the West Indies (UWI), and Erica Williams Connell, daughter of Dr. Eric Williams, Former Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago this Wednesday keynote the 2008 Caribbean Lecture Series being presented by Macalester College Caribbean Students Association in collaboration with Jamaica Minnesota Organization.

Photo: Professor Rex Nettleford

Nettleford and Williams-Connell speak to the theme, "Caribbean Impact on Black History" at 5pm Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 at Weyerhaeser Chapel, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul.

Rex Nettleford, a preeminent Caribbean scholar, trade union educator, social and cultural historian and political analyst is a former Rhodes Scholar. After an undergraduate degree in history at the UWI, he studied politics at Oxford. He is the founder, artistic director and principal choreographer of the internationally acclaimed National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica and is regarded as a leading Caribbean authority in the performing arts.

Nettleford was a founding governor of the Canada-based International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and International Trustee of the AFS Intercultural based in the USA. He was Chairman of the Commonwealth Arts Organization and is a director of the London-based News Concern. He was member of the Executive Board of UNESCO. He served as one of the Group of Experts (ILO) monitoring the Implementation of Sanctions and other Actions against Apartheid and as member of the West Indian Commission. He is a member of the Castles and Fort Trust Fund – Ghana (Central Region).

Nettleford served as a consultant on cultural development to UNESCO and OAS and Cultural Advisor to the Government of Jamaica, and was Rappoteur of the International Scientific Committee of UNESCO's Slave Route Project
Professor Nettleford is editor of Caribbean Quarterly and the author of "The Rastafarians in Kingston, Jamaica" (with F R Augier and M G Smith); "Mirror, Mirror: Identity, Race and Protest in Jamaica"; "Manley and the New Jamaica"; "Roots and Rhythms"; "Caribbean Cultural Identity"; "Dance Jamaica: Self-Definition and Artistic Discovery"; "The University of the West Indies: A Caribbean Response to the Challenge of Change" (with Sir Philip Sherlock); and "Inward Stretch, Outward Reach: A Voice from the Caribbean".

Erica Williams Connell is the daughter of Eric Williams, Trinidad and Tobago's late first Prime Minister and noted historian; Williams-Connell was educated in her native land, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as in England and Switzerland.
Despite employment in other fields, and for the last 27 years since her father's death, she has spearheaded the establishment of the Eric Williams Memorial Collection (EWMC) at The University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago campus.

The Collection, Williams' Research Library, Archives & Museum, was inaugurated in 1998 by former US Secretary of State, Colin L. Powell. It was named to UNESCO'S Memory of the World Register in 1999 and is regularly featured on the itinerary of important visitors to Trinidad and Tobago such as various regional Prime Ministers, the Vice President of India, Rudolph Giuliani and Nobel Laureates (Economics) Amartya Sen and Harry Markowitz. It also hosts school field trips for local, regional and international groups.

Williams-Connell resides in Miami but remains fully involved in institutionalizing the numerous projects that continue to drive the Collection's objectives, among them: an Eric Williams "Schoolbags" Essay Competition in 155 schools in 17 Caribbean countries; an annual University of Sheffield (UK)/EWMC seminar; a three-time award&
 

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