The Love Foundation in collaboration with the US Embassy hosted a forum commemorating the celebration of Black History Month in the US, and the similarities in challenges faced in Belize. The discussion took place last night as nine young persons between the ages of 14 and 21 engaged in talks on slavery, women empowerment, faith, racism and sexism. Each participant was required to watch the 2-hour movie, “Harriet”, which was based on a true story of how one determined slave escaped from her owners and proceeded to free others. According to the Love Foundation’s Executive Director, Deborah Sewell, the show is part of the foundation’s mandate to give young persons a voice in the future of Belize. Meanwhile the Charge d’ Affaires Keith Gilges thanked the participants and explained the importance of understanding the history of the black people.
Deborah Sewell, Executive Director, The Love Foundation: “The movie Harriet is not just a movie about a brave, determined woman. It is a movie about woman who in the 1800’s transcended the gender limitations at one point she was called Moses because no-one could fathom a five foot tall black woman having the intelligence and bravado to accomplish what she did.”
Keith Gilges, Charge d’ Affaires, US Embassy Belize: “This has been a long time in the works and I’m glad to see that it finally happened tonight. We originally planned to show the movie Harriet which depicts the life of a heroic US abolitionist Harriet Tubman last March to 2,000 high schoolers in person at the Princess Theater in Belize City as part of our Black History month and Women’s History Month celebration. Unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic had other ideas. One year later we are very happy to have found a new way to bring together young people to discuss the legacy of Harriet Tubman in an ongoing struggle for racial and gender equality even if we are doing so under a very different set of circumstances that we originally planned.”
The 75-minute program sought the views and opinions of young persons on the changes they want to see in their community and country as well as the actions they would want to take to tackle issues of racism, sexism and other challenges faced. The participants came from various secondary and tertiary schools.