Feb. 5, 2004 – Nicholas C. Cooper-Lewter, author of "Black Grief and Soul Therapy" and "Soul Theology: The Heart of American Culture," will conduct a lecture Friday night on the University of the Virgin Islands St. Croix campus that will be teleconferenced to the St. Thomas campus. His topic is "Let the Healing Begin."
A licensed counselor and psychotherapist, Cooper-Lewter for the last 20 years has been a pastor, professor, lecturer, workshop facilitator and consultant at universities, seminaries, churches foundations and institutes across the United States. He is currently a visiting professor at the University of South Carolina College of Social Work.
The Friday night lecture is one of several presentations Cooper-Lewton is making on St. Croix this week in celebration of Black History Month. His visit to the territory is in collaboration with the UVI Cooperative Extension Service, the University of South Carolina College of Social Work, Per Ankh Inc. of St. Croix, and Kingshill Lutheran Church.
Shaped by early traumatic experiences in his life — the death of his mother and of the aunt who raised him, and witnessing the effects on loved ones of segregation in the American South — Cooper-Lewter searched for a reason for what he believed to be the self-destruction of the black race. "No one talks about the multi-generational suffering of the black people," he says
His mission today is to spread a message of hope and healing. He seeks to change the mindset of African-American people who, as he says, "were lied to, told that we as a people must bear a cross."
"I am here to bring a gift — that we are perfect in love," he said.
His lecture will take place in the theater of the Melvin Evans Center on the St. Croix campus, with teleconference hookup to the St. Thomas campus in Room B-101 of the Business Administration Building. The program will include poetry spoken prior to the lecture, and a discussion and book signing afterward.
Cooper-Lewter holds a master's degree in social work and a doctorate in psychology. He has studied at the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies in Claremont, Calif. He is a master of the martial arts and founder of Kung Ling, an Asian-African form of Kung Fu.
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