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
VICCC w/Cultural Researcher Professor O.Davis
VICCC Fiyahbun Cultural Virtual Panel