News Releases

Students at The UWI Five Islands Campus celebrate Black History Month

For Release Upon Receipt - February 21, 2020


On February 20, in observation of Black History Month, students of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Five Islands Campus in Antigua and Barbuda hosted a celebration aimed at drawing attention to the dynamism, plight and strides made by forefathers. The event, which included multiple presentations of artistic, musical dance and cultural expressions by the students, marked a significant milestone in the history of the Campus since its opening in September 2019, proving that The UWI spirit is conscious and alive at Five Islands.

Guild Representative, Mr Caleb Gardiner said the event helped bring the students together for a common University experience. “At the quad (campus quadrangle) we paid tribute to our ancestors through the talent of our students. We can compare the hard work of our descendants to the establishment of The UWI, Five Islands. If there is no struggle, there is no progress”, he said. He added that he is exceptionally grateful for the full participation the student body. “I was elated to see all of the students performing and supporting each other’s performances. The aim is to create a family-oriented feeling. We are few in numbers currently, but our unity and courage will raise the standards of The UWI”.

Performances at the celebration ranged from musical renditions on guitar, from the likes of Bob Marley, a vocal interpretation of Etana’s “I Am Not Afraid” to the singing of the Black National Anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. Spoken presentations included Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” along with pieces from other poets.

While students gathered and performed outdoors in the quadrangle, members of staff watched, sang and danced in support. Interim Director of Administration and Finance, Ms. Daniella Hickling, who sat among the students, said she was absolutely engrossed by the talent and oneness. “The presentation was a culmination of all that makes us Caribbean, from the poem by Maya Angelou, Still I Rise… and making an ancestral connection to the UWI’s motto: Oriens Ex Occidente Lux, which means Light Rising from the West. We understand our own role in Black History, the significance and presence of pride in what we do and how we live. Our Heritage is not due to skin colour but the radiance and vibrancy of our spirits”, Ms. Hickling stated. She added, “It was a day of light with brilliant pieces as well as spirited, cultural representations. I was indeed proud!”

As a symbol of the occasion, the students signed their names on a drawing of the African continent surrounded by flags of the Caribbean.




Notes to the Editor:


Photo Captions

FIC 1 – Students pose for a photo during Black History Month celebrations at The UWI Five Islands Campus. Interim Director of Administration and Finance, Ms. Daniella Hickling is third from right.

FIC 2 – A group of students perform an African Dance during Black History Month celebrations at The UWI Five Islands Campus. while other students and members of staff look on.


About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology with the Global Institute for Software Technology (GIST), the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development and The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018 and 2019. The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make these prestigious lists.  For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)