Conference on Conflict in Guyana held at Howard University
November 17, 2002
A conference themed 'Diaspora Forum on Guyana: Conflict Analysis and Resolution' was held last Thursday at the Ralph Bunche International Center, Howard University, Washington DC.
According to the Caribbean Voice, the forum was part of a collaborative, two- year project on 'Democratisation and Conflict Resolution in Guyana' between the Atlanta University Center (ACU) and the University of Guyana, and was co-sponsored by the Department of African Studies, Howard University. The conference was made possible through a small grant from funds received by the United Negro College Fund Special Programs Corporation from the United States Agency for International Development to conduct an International Development Partnerships Program.
The aim of the forum was to sharpen the focus of US-based Guyanese on the challenges and opportunities in Guyana. Four panels - Perspectives on Stratification, Political Rivalry and Ethnic Insecurities; Cultural Identities and Related Economic Pursuits: Nation Building or Stumbling Blocks?; Relations within the Diaspora and between Guyana and the Diaspora; and Strategies for Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution - constituted the forum's format.
Among the presenters were Dr Rishee Thakur, Dr Mark Kirton and Dr Clive Thomas of the University of Guyana, Annan Boodram, Editor in Chief of the Caribbean Voice newspaper and Dr Gary Girdhari, Editor of the Guyana Journal. Dr Cedric Grant of Clark Atlanta University, Director of the UG-AUC-UG Project, spearheaded the conference. Co-ordinators were Clarence Ellis of Ellis Associates, Maryland and Dr Randolph Persaud of American University, Washington DC.