PHILIPSBURG–University of St. Martin (USM) will host an evening of public dialogue on the meaning of Saint Maarten Day, the history and future of the island’s people and their cultural and socio-economic development, this Friday.
Guest keynote speakers for this event entitled “Soualiga: One island, one people, one destiny,” include Daniella Jeffry, who will talk about the people of Soualiga from a historical perspective, and Rhoda Arrindell, who will offer some reflections on the content of the annual November 11 observance.
USM is hoping to attract a crowd from both the North and the South sides of the island on Friday evening. “If we use the word Soualiga to refer to the entire island, and we make a call to civil society organisations from both the French and Dutch sides to mobilise for this event, I think we can stimulate a broad and fruitful dialogue”, said USM President Antonio Carmona on Monday.
“It is important to emphasise that although we are divided into two territories, the people of Soualiga are one – and we want to talk about development holistically, looking beyond the borders.”
Following the introduction and the keynote lecture, French-Dutch national Claire Elshot-Aventurin of the Windward Islands Chamber of Labour Unions will offer her reactions to the keynote talks to kick off public participation.
The doors of USM’s seminar room will open at 6:30pm and the lecture will start at 7:00pm. Refreshments will be provided by the SXM Anti-poverty Platform, a coalition of civil society organisations and groups dedicated to socio-economic justice.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/82355-usm-to-host-reflection-about-saint-martin-day