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HomeNewsLocal newsNew National Advocacy Group for U.S. Territories Begins Outreach in Virgin Islands

New National Advocacy Group for U.S. Territories Begins Outreach in Virgin Islands

Co-Presidents Adi Martínez Román and Neil Weare (Photo courtesy of Right to Democracy)

Right to Democracy, a new national organization focused on confronting the undemocratic colonial framework governing U.S. territories, will hold a series of events in the U.S. Virgin Islands next week that the public is invited to attend.

Co-Presidents Adi Martínez Román and Neil Weare will seek to engage the local community and share more about their new approach. The first event will be in St. John on June 20, followed by events in St. Thomas on June 21 and St. Croix on June 23. They will also speak on June 22 as part of the Virgin Islands Bar Association Mid-Year Meeting in St. Croix. Right to Democracy is also currently hiring for a Virgin Islands Community Director position based in the Virgin Islands.

Adi Martínez Román (Photo courtesy of Right to Democracy)

“I am looking forward to learning more about how communities in the U.S. Virgin Islands are impacted by the unbalanced political relationship the United States has with each of the territories and to draw parallels to my own experience in Puerto Rico,” said Adi Martínez Román, who prior to co-founding Right to Democracy led the Resiliency Law Center and FURIA, Inc., two community-based organizations in Puerto Rico.

“Every time I meet with friends and colleagues in the Virgin Islands, I come away with renewed energy and ideas to challenge the undemocratic colonial framework that unfortunately continues to govern the Virgin Islands and other territories,” said Neil Weare, who grew up in Guam and led Equally American prior to co-founding Right to Democracy.

Neil Weare (Photo courtesy of Right to Democracy)

Right to Democracy is building a movement to confront and dismantle the undemocratic colonial framework that impacts 3.6 million people in U.S. territories – 98 percent of whom are people of color. Its vision is that people in U.S. territories should have power and agency over the decisions that impact their lives – there should be no colonies or second-class citizens in the United States.

Details are provided below for each event, which will include drinks and light appetizers:

  • St. John: Tuesday, June 20, 5:30-7:30 pm at Bajo el Sol Gallery, Cruz Bay. More info here.
  • St. Thomas: Wednesday, June 21, 5:30-7:30 pm at Villa Santana, Charlotte Amalie. More info here.
  • St. Croix: Friday, June 23, 5:30-7:30 pm, Caribbean Museum of Arts in Frederiksted. More info here.

Martínez Román and Weare will also present on the Law of U.S. Territories: and Disaster Resilience and Recovery as part of the Virgin Islands Bar Association’s 2023 Mid-Year Meeting June 22 at the Carambola Beach Resort. Registration information is available from the VI Bar here.

Right to Democracy’s Advisory Board includes former Virgin Islands Congresswoman Donna Christensen and former Virgin Islands Bar President Nesha Christian-Hendrickson.

“Right to Democracy offers an exciting new approach to bring each of the territories together in order to challenge the Supreme Court’s Insular Cases, which established the racist colonial framework that continues to govern our islands,” said former Virgin Islands Congresswoman Donna Christensen, who serves on the Advisory Board of Right to Democracy.

“We’re looking for ways to engage Virgin Islanders wherever they may live to help ensure a future for our people where we have a say in the decisions that impact our lives,” said Christian-Hendrickson, who serves on the Board of Right to Democracy.

Right to Democracy is also looking to hire a Virgin Islands Community Director to help lead its outreach and engagement in the U.S. Virgin Islands as it prepares for a series of structured community dialogues throughout the Virgin Islands this summer. More information is available here.

To learn more about the event details and job positions, visit righttodemocracy.us or email info@righttodemocracy.us.

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