HEAL VICCC Recovery Project

by University Of The Virgin Islands
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HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
HEAL VICCC Recovery Project
VICCC HEAL Project Bamboula. St. John
VICCC HEAL Project Bamboula. St. John

From November 2020 to the present (March 2021), the University of the Virgin Islands continues to maintain virtual and online learning while limited administrative operations in compliance with U.S. public health and related safety protocols. The Heritage Education Arts Legacy (HEAL) VICCC Recovery Project [HEAL VICCC RP] deliverables continue to be limited during this reporting period.  The continuation of virtual programs among institutional and community stakeholders are part of the appreciative inquiry activities implemented by VICCC@UVI.  Caribbean Cultural Heritage Education virtual events linked to strengthening outcomes for sustainability methods for disaster preparedness, recovery, and related activities via cultural creative arts and more in compliance with COVID19 physical distancing and public health protocols continue to be exercised.   Partnerships with community-based education, safety management, and cultural heritage preservation management organizations utilizing virtual and limited physical engagement platforms increased with select programming from November 2020 to March 2021. Continuation of work in virtual environments and select physical environments include 1) Strategic resource management planning session; post-disaster and public health policy awareness sessions; and related stakeholders webinars with students and select VI community stakeholders; 2) Virtual educational collaborations in support of existing disaster preparation, awareness and recovery continued with national institutions; 3) Virtual planning sessions to strategize improved fund development procedures for the project; and 4) Digital/virtual media presentations and messaging on HEAL VICCC RP continued.


The latter part of November 2020 marked the closure of the annual Hurricane Season 2020 with recurring trauma blended with increasing trauma experienced by many VI community members due to COVID19.  Project activities continued with seasonal programs exploring creative, innovative, and holistic approaches for Bamboula (creative cultural conversations) to decrease tension, stress, and anxiety associated with continued delays in disaster recovery complicated by new social protocols created by the health pandemic.  The HEAL VICCC RP team continued to manage, collaborate, and organize focus groups, visual arts exhibitions, hurricane/pandemic recovery discussion sessions, blended with educational entertainment, and monthly intergenerational webinars. In this reporting period, virtual programs integrating creative science, technology, and arts programming that increased awareness of disaster recovery and preparedness with sensitivities and awareness to VI Caribbean cultural heritage perspectives and legacy narratives were implemented.  Highlights for community-centered cultural activities- primarily virtual- included interactive discussions and public service announcements (PSAs) in alignment with VI seasonal/annual observances, heritage hikes/educational tours that included yet were not limited to: David Hamilton Jackson Month (November); VI Liberty Day (November 1); VICCC Anniversary (November 9); Cape of Arrows (November 14); Martin L. King/Community Service Day (January 15); African/Black History Month (February); VI History Month (March); International Women’s Month (March); VI Youth Art Month (March) and other regional cultural heritage and historic observances.


During this reporting period, multiple changes due to increased COVID19 protocol restrictions increased delays of deliverables revised and reorganized for HEAL VICCC RP.  Planning for virtual presentations on public health safety protocols, disaster preparation, and awareness, along with creative discourse on sharing information on recovery, confidential counseling referrals, and related sanitization processes engaged in.  Reorganization of virtual presentations on disaster recovery, safety, increased sanitization practices, and COVID19 protocols were prioritized during this reporting period causing delays of original deliverables for HEAL VICCC RP. Confidential recovery and trauma counseling referrals to UVI and VI community agencies with expertise to support community clientele implemented.  80%+ of our virtual program participants continued to express they were experiencing on-going trauma, stress, and anxiety disorders due to experiences post- IrMaria (2017) and the pandemic’s new normal in 2020-2021.  Shipping to the VI continued to be delayed and disaster preparedness, recovery, and pandemic safety resources for VI families demanded reorganization and new strategies to provide HEAL VICCC RP support.  Project activities continued to be halted or rescheduled due to abrupt cancellations during a majority of this reporting period due to fluctuating government shutdowns due to COVID19.  Creative virtual and limited physical educational excursions/exchanges of information continued to be shared as part of the quest for HEAL VICCC RP to remain engaged during this reporting period with new approaches for support for our VI community intended in the future.

VICCC HEAL Project- PSAs on WSTX Radio
VICCC HEAL Project- PSAs on WSTX Radio
VICCC HEAL Project Prof. Olasee Safe Hikes
VICCC HEAL Project Prof. Olasee Safe Hikes

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VICCC Media Working Women's Coalition of STX
VICCC Media Working Women's Coalition of STX

From June 2020 to the present, the University of the Virgin Islands has remained on shutdown and all instruction remains on virtual learning and operations.  The Heritage Education Arts Legacy (HEAL) VICCC Recovery Project [HEAL VICCC RP] deliverables have been reduced significantly. Virtual programs with institutional and community stakeholders have been engaged in.  Caribbean Cultural Studies education programs linked to strengthening outcomes for sustainability methods for disaster preparedness, recovery, mitigation techniques, and more in compliance with COVID19 physical distancing protocols have been exercised.   Partnerships with community-based social development, education, safety management, and cultural heritage preservation management organizations within virtual platforms increased with select programming proposed for implementation in autumn 2020 pending COVID19 restrictions. Continuation of work in virtual environments include 1) The strategic resource management and inclusive disaster preparedness and related training with the VI Developmental Disabilities Council; 2) Educational collaborations for resource development (virtual) for disaster management and mitigation resources with regional universities; and 3) Digital/virtual media presentations and messaging on HEAL VICCC RP.

With June marking the opening of Hurricane Season 2020, the recurring trauma experienced by VI families heightened throughout this reporting period. Virtual exchanges and group meetings for the HEAL VICCC RP team were creatively engaged in during continued focus groups, visual arts exhibitions, hurricane recovery discussion sessions, blended with educational entertainment, and community Bamboula (creative cultural conversations) on a monthly basis to intergenerational participants- just not at the same proactive pace as pre-COVID19. Virtual continuation of creative science, technology, and arts programming encouraging increased awareness of disaster recovery and preparedness from unique VI Caribbean cultural heritage perspectives and legacy narratives for this reporting period included educational exchanges in compliance with government shutdowns and restrictions during select observances for Caribbean American Heritage Month (June); VI Freedom Week and VI Emancipation Day (June/July); Edward Wilmot Blyden Day (August); Virtual Orientations for VICCC@UVI (August/September); West Indies Solidarity (September); Coal Laborers Heritage (September); Hispanic American Heritage Month (September/October); International Day of Peace (September); Fireburn Heritage (October); and other regional cultural observances.

Reorganization and virtual presentations on disaster recovery, safety, increased sanitization protocol, and COVID19 protocols prioritized during this reporting period delaying original deliverables for HEAL VICCC RP. Confidential recovery and trauma counseling referrals continued with UVI and community organizations with expertise in those areas using virtual and physical distancing protocols as allowable. 85%+ of our virtual program participants inclusive of those with our community partners expressed on-going trauma, stress, and anxiety disorders due to experiences from IrMaria 2017 that were further compromised by COVID19.  Reordering of sustainable disaster preparedness and comprehensive recovery kits for families pending on or before the end of hurricane season 2020. Project activities were virtually halted for a majority of this reporting period due to fluctuating government shutdowns. With the creative use of virtual platforms, holistic services, referrals, and expanded community stakeholder support for mental health care and disaster preparedness continued to be part of the quest for HEAL VICCC RP to navigate and thrive in the midst of a pandemic.

VI Cultural Heritage Community Safe Gathering
VI Cultural Heritage Community Safe Gathering
VICCC w/Cultural Researcher Professor O.Davis
VICCC w/Cultural Researcher Professor O.Davis
VICCC Fiyahbun Cultural Virtual Panel
VICCC Fiyahbun Cultural Virtual Panel
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Heritage Site for Bamboula Gathering for HEAL VI
Heritage Site for Bamboula Gathering for HEAL VI

Our global community transformed drastically in March 2020- life and our community outreach projects will not be the same...again.  Progress and positive growth even in uncertain times of the COVID19 pandemic in March 2020 continue to expand community narratives and outreach programs of the Heritage Education Arts Legacy (HEAL) VICCC Recovery Project [HEAL VICCC RP]. #Healing #Recovery #Repair #Resilience remains integrated with the Caribbean Cultural Studies education programs linked to strengthening outcomes for sustainability methods for disaster preparedness, recovery, and mitigation techniques as the hurricane season closed during this reporting period. Focus on intergenerational HEALing to assist youth, families, and visitors to AyAy St. Croix in creative and innovative ways despite slow post-IrMaria improvements in the general community. Cultural Heritage Education events, seasonal exhibitions, and sustainable interactive programs in November during VI Indigenous Native Amerindian Heritage Month were featured. Partnerships with community-based social development, education, safety management, and cultural heritage preservation management organizations were featured. Partnerships were strengthened with inclusivity of our UVI students and our wider VI community with 1) The strategic resource management and inclusive support services of the VI Developmental Disabilities Council; 2) The indigenous heritage preservation and educational work of O’pia Taino International; 3) The educational reinforcement materials for disaster management and mitigation resources with regional universities; and 4) The PSAs and media blitzes on WUVI Radio and select programming on other St. Croix-based media networks providing HEAL VICCC RP messaging for the wider community.

What will you need to prepare for the next hurricane or earthquake in St. Croix? This is one of several questions that the HEAL VICCC RP team shared during continued focus groups, visual arts exhibitions, hurricane recovery discussion sessions, blended with educational entertainment, and community Bamboula (creative cultural conversations) on a monthly basis to intergenerational participants. Creative science, technology, and arts programming encouraging increased awareness in disaster recovery and preparedness continued to be integrated with the culture, history and educational heritage VI-based cultural heritage legacy narratives that extended from previous reporting periods that included: October 1- Contract/Fireburn Day; October 12- Indigenous Peoples Day; November 1- VI Liberty Day; November 14- Cape Of Arrows/Salt River Bay Remembrance; December/January- St. Croix Annual Festival; February 26- Afrakan Black History Month-Social Justice to Heal; March 16- Queen Mary Ascension Day; March- VI History/Women’s Month; and multiple seasonal AyAy St. Croix based cultural heritage awareness activities with the public, parochial and private K-12 schools during this reporting period. Sessions on benefits and usefulness of solar energy and resources integrated into activities. HEAL VICCC RP continued to use cultural heritage narratives and visual arts presentations that supported cultural tradition stewards/trailblazers and heritage events linked to strategies of empowerment and awareness for our participants and the wider community to embrace our mantra of #HealRecoverRepair with practical application. 

Disaster preparation and safety sessions in VICCC and related spaces continued. Confidential recovery and trauma counseling referrals continued with UVI and community organizations with expertise in those areas. 75%+ of our event participants expressed they continued to suffer from post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders caused by their experiences during Hurricanes IrMaria of 2017. Sustainable and comprehensive disaster preparedness and recovery kits for families developed for the opening of hurricane season in June 2020 along with continued Bamboula gatherings and town hall meetings. Holistic services, therapy, and resource support referrals were still requested with priorities surrounding resources for emergency utilities, mental health care, and disaster preparedness even after two-plus years after Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Life realities changed the global community in March 2020 that demanded the project and delivery methods be reorganized to ensure the safety and security for all involved. The COVID19 pandemic of 2020 inclusive of #StayAtHome directives, transitioning to physical distancing and virtual engagements for all project activities, and global protests for justice against police brutality in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and other revolutionary movements, impacted implementation of culminating programs and activities for the HEAL VICCC RP that still continue to #RemainInspired in the quest to navigate and thrive.

HEAL Discussions at ABHM February 2020
HEAL Discussions at ABHM February 2020
HEAL Culture Heritage Exhibit at VI AgriFest 2020
HEAL Culture Heritage Exhibit at VI AgriFest 2020
UVI Students Engage/Exhibit HEAL
UVI Students Engage/Exhibit HEAL
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JanJay Donating to VICCC Post-IrMaria
JanJay Donating to VICCC Post-IrMaria

Our team’s principle focus as we continued programming and preparation of Heritage Education Arts Legacy (HEAL) VICCC Recovery Project [HEAL VICCC RP] included expanding the integration of themes of healing, recovery and repair within our St. Croix community.  HEAL VICCC RP continued to use educational programs linked directly to the Caribbean Cultural Studies education programs as seasonal themes for teaching sustainable methods for disaster recovery and mitigation techniques- especially in light of the current hurricane season from June to November annually. Emphasis on intergenerational HEALing continued to focus upon helping our youth, our families and our visitors to our AyAy St. Croix community to respectfully share and care for one another on this road of healing, resilience, recovery and preparation post-IrMaria. Continued partnership events included annual fall equinox meetings in alignment with National Public Lands Day with National Park Service in Christiansted, St. Croix Maroon Sanctuary observances and heritage hikes in August and September respectively.   Our team continued with the #HEALRecoverPrepare mantra throughout our community and educational site based events! One of our HEAL VICCC RP event participants shared the following in September 2019: "Thank you VICCC for helping us to help ourselves in understanding options for handling rains, many hurricane warnings and making our disaster home kits absent of terrifying fear of our safety on St. Croix-especially during the 3+ hurricanes that came so close to St. Croix we were scared to death!  Your programs keep us informed on how to heal and recover as best we can." 

The HEAL VICCC RP team continued to host focus groups, informative visual arts exhibitions, hurricane recovery resource networking, edutainment events (educational entertainment) and community Bamboula (creative cultural conversations) on a bi-monthly basis to intergenerational participants. Disaster preparation via culturally-infused STEAM programming were integrated with the culture, history and educational heritage of several VI US historical ancestral icons and historic events celebrated and commemorated in this quarter’s programming included: VI Freedom Week and VI Emancipation Day [June 26-July3];  Edward Wilmot Blyden Day [August 3]; West Indies Solidarity Day [September 2]; David Hamilton Jackson and U.S. Public Lands Day [September 28]; and related AyAy St. Croix based cultural heritage awareness activities with public, parochial and private K-12 schools during this reporting period. HEAL VICCC RP continued to use cultural heritage narratives and visual arts presentations on each of these cultural tradition stewards/trailblazers and heritage events linked to strategies of empowerment and awareness for our participants and wider community to embrace our mantra of #HEALRecoverPrepare with practical application.  Solar powered batteries and lights along with portable water purification and testing kits were requested by participants for future reporting periods. 

Heritage tours to St. George Botanical Gardens with botanist and ecologist Professor Olasee Davis; Disaster preparation and safety (mold/mildew remediation) work sessions in WUVI Radio studios; informal gatherings at UVI with VI Governor Albert Bryan and students on related recovery and sustainability efforts and more provided during this reporting period.  Select community supporters helped with resource and counseling recovery for groups and individuals remained available for program participants as requested with post IrMaria trauma certified professionals.  An average of 85% of our event participants have expressed they experienced some spectrum of trauma during the two category five hurricanes devastating the Virgin Islands (US) in September 2017 with therapy and resource support still essential in 2019. The HEAL VICCC RP community-centered gatherings contributed to be shared on AyAy St. Croix programs inclusive of WUVI Radio at the University of the Virgin Islands http://wuvi.uvi.edu [experienced post-hurricane warning damages in September/October 2019 that intefered with select programming], WSTX Radio http://wstxradio.com, and other social media networks with public service announcements and related media support being broadcast to increase AyAy St. Croix and VI community awareness of post-disaster counseling, anxiety and stress management, preparedness strategies support and more in harmony with the Project's #HEALRecoverPrepare focus. Creating more comprehensive disaster preparedness and recovery kits for families was recommended for inclusion in future Bamboula gatherings.  

WUVI Radio Broadcaster Shane W.Durand Post-IrMaria
WUVI Radio Broadcaster Shane W.Durand Post-IrMaria
Group HEAL Session in Restored VICCC Suites
Group HEAL Session in Restored VICCC Suites
VICCC HEAL Tour w/Olasee Davis @SGBVG
VICCC HEAL Tour w/Olasee Davis @SGBVG
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Culture Creatives STEAM Symposia & Recovery Circle
Culture Creatives STEAM Symposia & Recovery Circle

It is all about #HEALRecoverPrepare! Planning and creative engagement within our Virgin Islands (VI US) community continues to intensify as we navigate beyond our Post IrMaria Hurricane recovery journey. Our team’s primary focus and thrust of the Heritage Education Arts Legacy (HEAL) VICCC Recovery Project [HEAL VICCC RP] includes integrating transcultural Caribbean Cultural Studies education programs as seasonal themes for teaching sustainable methods for disaster recovery and mitigation techniques. The intergenerational HEALing continues to focus upon helping our youth, our families and our visitors to our tranquil shores to respectfully share and care for one another on this road of healing, resilience, recovery and preparation. The annual summer solstice in June complements the community-wide anxiety of the annual start of hurricane season in the Virgin Islands Caribbean. #HEALRecoverPrepare is the mantra! The HEAL VICCC RP team has hosted focus groups, visual arts exhibitions, edutainment events (educational entertainment) and community Bamboula (creative cultural conversations). Several VI US historical ancestral icons have been commemorated in this quarter’s programming starting in April with Hubert Harrison, MaryAnn Golden Christopher and Delta Dorsch; In May with Gene K. Emanuel, Leona Brady Watson and Eulalie Rivera; and in June with Barbara Christian, Yosef ben Jochannan (Alfredo Johannes) and Janice Pemberton Tutein. Cultural heritage narratives and visual arts presentations on each of these cultural tradition stewards and trailblazers have been linked to strategies of empowerment and awareness for our participants and wider community to embrace our mantra of #HEALRecoverPrepare

Group and individual counseling support resources have been made available for attendees that have experienced any post IrMaria trauma by certified counselors. An average of 75% of our event participants have expressed they experienced some spectrum of trauma during the two category five hurricanes impacting the Virgin Islands in September 2017 that continue to impact their daily lives in 2019. These community-centered gatherings have contributed to the creation of design and implementation plans for media outreach on WUVI Radio http://wuvi.uvi.edu , WSTX Radio http://wstxradio.com and other social media networks highlighting ways to increase our Virgin Islands community’s awareness of post-disaster counseling opportunities and preparedness strategies to reduce anxiety and stress. #HEALRecoverPrepare

April 2019 provided a time for our team to plan and strengthen our implementation design framework for achieving the goals and objectives of this project. Our team hosted symposia on “Culture, Creatives and S.T.E.A.M.” at the University of the Virgin Islands campuses on St. Croix and St. Thomas with highlights on the use of VI-seasonal commemorations and heritage with support from our community partners and alliances: Music In Motion School of Higher Dance Education, MACISLYN Bamboula Dance Company, Inner Changes for Girls and Boys Academy, Sankofa Saturdays Youth Enrichment Program, St. Croix Foundation for Community Development, Per Ankh Khamniversity and other trailblazers within the Caribbean and Americas. May 2019 featured programs to #CommemorateLiberateOrganizeMemorialize annual VI African Heritage Week celebrations inclusive of official community-wide cultural heritage events with highlights of an exceptionally exquisite visual arts exhibition by Emmanuel Phillips of EFex Photography curated by Opi’a Taino International. 200+ attendees shared in this cultural creative industry and educational opportunity for counseling and sustainable disaster recovery resources to distribute hurricane and related disaster recovery and preparedness resources to our community while having an enjoyable experience. June 2019 activities complemented National Caribbean American Heritage Month and VI Freedom Week with intergenerational gatherings integrating innovative and simplistic disaster mitigation strategies. Techniques for strengthening and creating communication trees to increase safety and security before, during and after disasters impact our community were highlights of each of our programs and events. The HEAL VICCC RP team included disaster recovery and preparedness information with links to VI community agencies with resources gathered for sustainable and compassionate care pouches for participants to #HEALRecoverPrepare!

Dance Education Beyond Trauma Circle
Dance Education Beyond Trauma Circle
Healing Drums Beyond Trauma By AyAy Baobab
Healing Drums Beyond Trauma By AyAy Baobab

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Organization Information

University Of The Virgin Islands

Location: Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas, St. Thomas Virgin Islands (US) - Virgin Islands
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @UVI
Project Leader:
Chenzira Davis Kahina
Kingshill St. Croix, VI Virgin Islands
$1,000 raised of $25,000 goal
 
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