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Emancipation Now: VI History Month Celebration 2023

Learn more about this year's V.I. History Month Theme, "Emancipation Now: Understanding History, Living the Legacy, and Creating a Just Future for All Ah We." Plus, teachers and students can win great prizes from VIYA when they participate in this year's activities! See below. 

The Virgin Islands Department of Education's Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education is placing significant emphasis on the topics surrounding emancipation and post-emancipation in celebration of March being designated as Virgin Islands History Month through the use of the theme "Emancipation Now: Understanding History, Living the Legacy, and Creating a Just Future for All Ah We."

This year marks the 175th anniversary of the Emancipation Revolt in the Virgin Islands in 1848. Part of this year's VI History events are conversations about our legacy after emancipation. Teachers and students will learn more about current issues and historical events related to the 1848 Acts of Equity and how they have affected the lives of Virgin Islanders today. 

The Division has already engaged teachers in professional development opportunities during Black History Month through collaborations with the Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources State Historian George Tyson and State Historic Preservation Office Director Kevin Krigger on the built heritage of the Virgin Islands. These collaborations took place in both the St. Croix and St. Thomas Downtown Historic Districts, expressing and re-narrating the significance of African skills and ingenuity in the building arts in the former Danish West Indies, now the  Virgin Islands of the United States.

Further, classroom presentations will be given all across the Territory by the several other divisions of the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR), such as the Libraries, Archives, and Museums Divisions, as well as the Coral Reef Program. The University of the Virgin Islands Professor Olsee Davis has already delivered a virtual presentation to educators on "The Struggles of the Maroons in the Danish West Indies," On March 17th, he will lead a hike for educators. Ayana O. Flwellen, co-founder and president of the Society of Black Archeologists, is continuing her work in the Virgin Islands, which began with the Smithsonian's Slave Wreck Project and her organization's Little Princess Archeology Project. 

Lastly, teachers can join the 2023 Virgin Islands History Month door/corridor challenge for a chance to win prizes thanks to a collaboration with Viya, the largest provider of telecommunications services in the Virgin Islands. As part of Viya's ongoing commitment to the Virgin Islands Department of Education, the company will give six Mifis, each with a free year's worth of service, to the three educators in each school district whose Emancipation-related door decorations receive the most votes on the VIDE) social media page. Likewise, the Virgin Islands Month Built Heritage Challenge will allow three students from each school district to win a brand new Samsung or iPhone and one year of free mobile coverage if they participate in the competition. To take part in the challenge, students have to go to historical places and take a picture of themselves there. This is to show the built heritage of the Virgin Islands. 



DOWNLOAD COORDINATES:  pdf USVI Built Heritage Coordinates - Student Contest (5.74 MB)









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St. Thomas

1834 Kongens Gade, St. Thomas, VI 00802
Phone: 340-774-0100

Curriculum Center:
Mon – Fri:  8AM – 5PM


St. Croix

2133 Hospital Street, Christiansted, St. Croix, VI 00820
Phone: 340-773-1095

Curriculum Center:
Mon – Fri:  8AM – 5PM

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