One SXM members with Dr. June Soomer following meeting. L-R: Aishira Cicilia, Bakari Arrindell, Gabriel LeBlanc, Theophilus Thompson, Soshina Stephen, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, Dr. June Soomer, Cindy Peters, Anderson Percival. SoIL Café, (6/15/23). (Photo courtesy RA)

One SXM Pursues Closer Regional Collaboration; Arrindell Elected VP of Caribbean Studies Association

One SXM Pursues Closer Regional Collaboration; Arrindell Elected VP of Caribbean Studies Association

One SXM members with Dr. June Soomer following meeting. L-R: Aishira Cicilia, Bakari Arrindell, Gabriel LeBlanc, Theophilus Thompson, Soshina Stephen, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, Dr. June Soomer, Cindy Peters, Anderson Percival. SoIL Café, (6/15/23). (Photo courtesy RA)

The One St. Martin Association (One SXM) met at SoIL Café on Thursday with Dr. June Soomer, Chair of the University of the West Indies’ Open Campus Council, said One SXM president Dr. Rhoda Arrindell.

One SXM received “practical tips for regional collaboration” from Dr. Soomer during the informal meeting, said Dr. Arrindell. The association has been stepping up its regional outreach over the last few months.

It was reported last May that One SXM was “admitted provisionally as a member” of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, according to Dr. Hilary Brown, Program Manager, Culture and Community Development, CARICOM Secretariat.

One SXM members with Dr. June Soomer following meeting. L-R: Aishira Cicilia, Bakari Arrindell, Gabriel LeBlanc, Theophilus Thompson, Soshina Stephen, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, Dr. June Soomer, Cindy Peters, Anderson Percival. SoIL Café, (6/15/23). (Photo courtesy RA)
One SXM members with Dr. June Soomer following meeting. L-R: Aishira Cicilia, Bakari Arrindell, Gabriel LeBlanc, Theophilus Thompson, Soshina Stephen, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell, Dr. June Soomer, Cindy Peters, Anderson Percival. SoIL Café. (Photo courtesy RA)

The pursuit of “closer regional collaboration includes joining regional bodies and meeting with regional leaders like Dr. Soomer who is also St. Lucia’s former ambassador to CARICOM. This is a natural connection of the One SXM mission ‘to promote self-pride, self-reliance, dignity, patriotism, and self-determination’” in and for St. Martin, said Arrindell.

Dr. Soomer was in St. Martin for her June 13 presentation to the Committee for Constitutional Affairs and Decolonization of the Parliament of St. Maarten.

According to the territory’s parliament, the presentation focused “on the subject of Development Justice for the People of St. Martin, covering various topics, such as the right to decolonization, the right to development, the sustainable development framework, and reparatory justice.” Dr. Soomer is a St. Lucia Reparations Committee member.

“I am excited to discuss tips for Caribbean collaboration with Dr. Soomer on matters like reparatory justice and development as we move toward independence, which is at the foundation of the One SXM mission,” said One SXM member Anderson Percival.

In another example of Caribbean collaboration, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell was elected as the vice president of the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA), at the annual General Membership Meeting of the 47th conference, held in St. Croix, June 5 – 9.

At the CSA conference, Dr. Arrindell served on two panels on decolonization and presented a paper titled “Transforming Our Caribbean: The Impact of Intensified Activities by the Dutch State on the People of St. Martin.”

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