Genevieve Whitaker is the President and Co-Founder of VIYAC and has led the organizations civic literacy initiatives heavily centered on civics curriculum reform, advocacy and decolonization of the Virgin Islands of the United States. She has served in various capacities in the government, private and nonprofit sectors. She is an internationally recognized speaker on political rights, specifically an advocate for the decolonization of the Virgin Islands (U.S.). In terms of Genevieve’s professional and educational background, she is the Chief Executive Owner, The Whitaker Consultant Group, LLC (litigation and legal research, internet marketing, nonprofit advocacy and political management company); served as an Assistant Professor (part-time), University of the Virgin Islands (courses taught: Business Law, Elections Participation, Crime Prevention, Juvenile Justice, Communications & Leadership). Genevieve also serves as the Deputy Supervisor (St. Croix district), Elections System of the Virgin Islands (elected in April 2016 and served until running for political office (Virgin Islands legislature in 2018) on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Elections Assistance Commission Standards Board).
And in terms of her educational background, Genevieve is Certified Public Manager, National Certified Public Manager ® Consortium and obtained her Master’s Degree in Political Management (electoral politics), George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management; earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law, serving as a Public Service Fellow and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and World Affairs (Honors Program Distinction) from The University of Tampa and is a trained mediator. Genevieve also holds Executive Education Certificates, “Women & Power: Leadership in a New World”; “Digital Government: Tech, Policy, & Public Service Innovation” from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, an Executive Education Certificate, “Women Transforming Leadership” from Oxford University Said School of Business, an International Humanitarian Law Certificate from the International Committee of the Red Cross, Santa Clara University Law School and a Certificate in International Human Rights Law University, Oxford University/ George Washington University School of Law.
Key accomplishments and accolades • In December 2016, served as a United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)-UNGeneva Fellow for the International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD) •In October 2017, selected among 15,000 applicants from around the world to be one of the 400 attendees of the Obama Foundation Inaugural Summit which brought together hundreds of civic leaders from the U.S. and 60 Countries •Former President Obama featured Genevieve on his Instagram page, highlighting her passion and activism •In November 2017, selected as a United Nations NGO delegate to the OHCHR’s 2017 IDPAD Second Regional Meeting, advocating for advancement of Virgin Islanders’ rights under the U.S. flag in accordance with U.S. and international law demanding an end to second-class citizenship of Virgin Islanders Featured Alumna, The University of Tampa 2017 UT Journal Spring Issue •Received Public Service Recognition Award from Stetson University College of Law’s Advocacy Board for her exemplary service locally and worldwide & Genevieve was one of the three outstanding graduates of the Class of 2007.
Mr. Dominic Latty is Vice-President and Co-founder of the Virgin Islands Youth Advocacy Coalition (VIYAC), a non-profit organization incorporated in 2009 committed to youth civics-related initiatives. Dominic, who holds a Juris Doctorate from Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, D.C., also holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Africana Studies and Computer Science from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Dominic is also owner of USVI wholesaler Beaudiere Imports, which was specializes in distributing natural snack products and beverages throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands. The son of a Jamaican father and American mother, Latty was born and raised on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and continues to live on the island. Latty continues to divide his time between his business, legal and legislative consulting and VIYAC-related activities.
Hadiya Sewer is the Vice-President of Development and Outreach of VIYAC and currently is a Visiting Scholar in the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University. She holds a Bachelors in Sociology from Spelman College as well as a Master’s and Ph.D. in Africana Studies from Brown University. As an Africana philosopher, her interdisciplinary research interests include structural racism, American colonialism, feminism, environmental justice, and radical political theory. Her dissertation, “Possession: an Ethnographic Phenomenology of American Colonialism in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands,” uses the U.S. Virgin Islands as a case study to trace the conceptions of freedom and the human that exist in this part of the dependent Caribbean. As a multigenerational St. Johnian with ancestry on St. John predating the 1750s, Hadiya’s work is motivated by the questions, “what does it feel like to be colonized today?” and “what are the processes by which colonialism is normalized and accepted?” Given the devastating impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Hadiya is particularly interested in land rights, climate justice, and self-determination in the face of anthropogenic climate change. Hadiya also serves as the Co-Founder and President of St.JanCo:the St. John Heritage Collective, a startup community land trust that aims to preserve the history, identity, and culture of St. Johnians.