By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
Students, teachers, community activists and many others gathered at the Library of African and Indian Studies on Friday afternoon for an open day, celebrating the anniversary of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD).
The event marked the 47th anniversary of UBAD’s formation, but also the 16th anniversary of the offshoot organization the UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF).
Pambana Bassett, library coordinator, greeted attendees, explaining the organization’s history, philosophy and significance to Belize in the past and present.
Bassett explained that while UBAD took on an aggressive advocacy role through protesting and other public initiatives, the UEF uses education to achieve the same result, which is to instill into people of African and Indigenous descent, a sense of pride and an awareness of self.
“We are very certain of one thing, we need to have education that comes from our perspective as African and Indigenous people,” Bassett said.
The library offers services such as after-school tutoring, computer-assisted literacy and numeracy in collaboration with Restore Belize, guide course work, as well as helping students and adults with resume writing.
UBAD was formed on February 9, 1969 by Lionel Clarke and Evan Hyde. It was at the time the only organization catering specifically to those of African and Indigenous descent.