• VIYAC Editorial Board

President & Co-Founder, Genevieve Whitaker Selected for United Nations Fellowship

We are extremely proud of our Co-Founder and President for being selected to serve as 2016 Fellow for the United Nations Human Rights (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights) Fellowship for People of African Descent. As an organization we remain committed the cause for civic engagement of Virgin Islands youth to include their understanding of the human right to self-determination in the context of decolonization.

What is the International Decade for People of African Descent?

Objectives of the Decade

The main objectives of the International Decade are as follows:

Promote respect, protection and fulfilment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by people of African Descent, as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Promote a greater knowledge of and respect for the diverse heritage, culture and contribution of people of African descent to the development of societies;Adopt and strengthen national, regional and international legal frameworks according to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and to ensure their full and effective implementation.

Programme of Activities implementation

The Programme of Activities for the Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent, which was endorsed by the General Assembly, is to be implemented at several levels.

At the national level, states should take concrete and practical steps through the adoption and effective implementation of national and international legal frameworks, policies and programmes to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance faced by people of African descent, taking into account the particular situation of women, girls and young males in the following areas:

  1. Recognition

  2. Justice

  3. Development

  4. Multiple or aggravated discrimination

For more information about the Decade, including how to apply for the fellowship, events and other activities of the Decade be sure to go to:

And if you would like to learn more about the UN process, contact us at: as Genevieve will return home to offer trainings for various individuals and groups interested in learning about their human rights and the mechanisms to address those rights being violated as well as to promote the Programme of Action of the Decade.

Virgin Islands' Recognition of the Decade

The Virgin Islands Legislature (31st) sponsored by Senate President, Myron Jackson, Bill No. 31-0079, "A Resolution petitioning the Governor to join with the Legislature in developing a comprehensive program with focus on education and awareness of the contributions of people of African descent throughout the Caribbean." VIYAC has reached out to Senate President Jackson to seek the bill becoming an actual law. Senate President Jackson and President Whitaker made contact during the Fellowship indicating that he will work with his colleagues to see that the measure is past at the next legislative Session.

Here are a few photos of Genevieve of her fellowship experience.

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