News Releases

The National Symposium on Understanding and Reconciling Race Relations in Trinidad and Tobago

For Release Upon Receipt - August 28, 2020

St. Augustine

In recent times, we have witnessed a display of   race hostilities that enveloped Trinidad and Tobago during the election period and is continuing. It is certain that these incidences of racist conduct have deep underpinnings in our diverse society. If not managed properly, racial tensions could deteriorate and have far-reaching, damaging impact on our pluralistic society. A national conversation, focusing on understanding and healing, is sorely needed and this should be hosted in an empathetic, balanced and objective environment. In response, the Faculty of Law of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) St. Augustine Campus and the Catholic Commission for Social Justice, (CCSJ), will collaborate to host a Virtual National Symposium - A Time for Healing - Understanding and Reconciling Race Relations in Trinidad and Tobago. It will be held on August 30 at 1 p.m. and can be accessed through the UWI St Augustine Facebook page  

The National Symposium will bring together scholars and thought leaders on the subject of race. Importantly, a safe space to actively involve the public has also been created. This is through a special web-link to harness contributions from the public, both before the event. Persons who have personally experienced racism or discrimination are asked to send their testimonials using this web-link  

Panelists include UWI Professor Emerita Rhoda Reddock, UN CEDAW Committee, Justice Donna Prowell-Raphael, Judge Equal Opportunity Tribunal, Kwasi Mutema , Chair, NJAC, Dr. Bishnu Ragoonath, UWI, Council for Responsible Political Behaviour, Mr. David Abdullah, activist, Dr. Raymond Ramcharitar, writer and cultural historian, Dr. Sheila Rampersad,  Dr. Kadija Khan, psychologist and Prof. Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Dean, Law and former Rapporteur, Persons of African Descent and Against Discrimination, OAS. The event will be moderated by CCSJ Chair, Ms. Leela Ramdeen. Various faith communities will participate through prayer.   

The Symposium is open to the public and is free of charge.   

Play your part in healing the nation and moving forward in Unity.  




About The UWI  

For more than 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI 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 across five campuses: Cave Hill in Barbados; Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda; Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago; and an Open Campus. Times Higher Education has ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018 and 2019. The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.   

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 Studies Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). 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. For more, visit  

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