I draw your attention to the fact that the BVI is broken. We have achieved a level of growth and development in about sixty years, beginning with the opening of Little Dix Resort on Virgin Gorda in 1963, which has taken most countries centuries to achieve. We are struggling to adjust ,individually and collectively to the rapid changes which we have not been able to digest and internalize effectively. Our brokenness is rooted in our growth and development. We did not have a national plan to guide our development. Each government decided to follow a path that would secure their success at the next general election. During the first half of the last century BVI society was inclusive but that changed with immigration during the second half of the century and the changing demograhics diluted that inclusiveness. In the absence of clearly articulated societal goals the society grew at the will of each government characterized by a see-saw of construction and demolition. A contributor to our brokenness today. In that growth and develpment the subject of this Wheatake was overlooked. Such issues should be a significant component of the education of young people. I have voiced my concern about this many times but if you are not in the arms of the government "croppo smoke yo pipe." Where I had authority to do something I did by developing a Virgin Islands Studies Programme, at the H. Lavity Stoutt Comminity College, which has lost its way in recent times. A country invests in tertiary institutions to help the cointry to understand its self where it came from where it is and where it intends to go. When those institutions become political footballs as HLSCC has become, it cannot perform that role professionally, effectively and efficiently. We need to invest in our tertiary institution to help our brokenness. It takes more than earning credits to address the greater Territorial needs.
The following principles articulated by the University of Waterloo are worth considering for future action:
1. Acknowledge individuals have unique and particular needs in learning and the work environment.
2. Respect each individual's right to express and present themselves relative to their religion, culture, ethnic background, gender-identity, physical and mental ability.
3. Promote inclusivity by reasonably adjusting procedures, activities, and physical environments.
4. Focus on capability of individuals without assumptions and labels.
5. Be inclusive in all forms of communication.
6. Serve all with sensibility, respect, and fairness.
You can also seek guidance ftom the bible in addressing inclusiveness as a factor to be addressed in our brokenness:
Jesus tells us according to Luke 14:13-14 "When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
The apostle Paul told the Galatians in 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."He says the same to us today.
Good inclusive leaders are individuals who are aware of their own biases and actively seek out and consider different perspectives to inform their decision-making and collaborate more effectively with others.
If we are to heal the CoI element of our brokenness, we need to be mindful that all of us are in the same boat, and the halliard is in the hands of the captain. If the boat sinks, all of us will be affected. Keep the hands off the halliard.
- Dr. Charles H Wheatley