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Nova Southeastern to host April 8-10 symposium exploring homophobia in the Caribbean

News release from Nova Southeastern University:

FT. LAUDERDALE-DAVIE, Fla. – A symposium exploring homophobia in the Caribbean will be held at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) on April 8-10.  

The three-day symposium, featuring presentations, speakers and debates, will be held on NSU’s campus in the Health Professions Division’s Assembly Building at 3200 South University Drive. The event is free and open to the public.

“Homophobia is a multifaceted phenomena that touches upon varying perceptions of nationalism, independence and civil rights,” said Jane Cross, director of the Caribbean law programs at NSU’s Shepard Broad Law Center and one of the organizers of the symposium. “Several Commonwealth Caribbean countries retain pre-independence sodomy laws, which remain in effect due to both constitutional provisions and social, cultural and religious attitudes. Over the last decade, discrimination and violence against gays have increasingly become a focus of human rights efforts in the region.” 

The schedule for the symposium is:

Thursday, April 8 (7 to 9 p.m.): Issue Identification

Presentation and discussion on Caribbean history and attitudes toward homosexuals in the region. Panelists include:

  • Charlene Smith, executive director of the Inter-American Center for Human Rights (IACHR) and professor of law at NSU’s Shepard Broad Law Center
  • Jason Campbell, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at NSU’s Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Jane Cross, program director of the IACHR, director of Caribbean law programs and associate professor of law at NSU’s Shepard Broad Law Center.
  • Kathy Gonzalez, an attorney from Trinidad and Tobago

Friday, April 9 (7 to 9 p.m.): Lyrical Assault

Camille Nelson, a visiting professor of law at Hofstra University, will give a presentation titled “Dancehall Music’s Role in Perpetuating Homophobia.” Nelson has written on Jamaican Dancehall music, which is similar to American hip-hop music and often includes homophobic lyrics.

Saturday, April 10 (11 a.m.): Panel Discussion

A panel discussion on homophobia in the Caribbean. Panelists include:

  • Rev. Robert Griffin, Minister at the Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale
  • Maurice Tomlinson and Jason McFaralane, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG)
  • Camille Nelson, visiting professor of law at Hofstra University
  • Shahabudeen Khan, critical skills instructor at NSU's Shepard Broad Law Center
  • William Adams, dean of the Western University College of Law (moderator)

More information on the symposium is available by calling 954-262-6329. The symposium is being presented by the Inter-American Center for Human Rights at NSU’s Shepard Broad Law Center.

About the Shepard Broad Law Center: Located in the heart of Broward County, the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University integrates a solid foundation in traditional legal subjects and a pioneering clinical program that sets it apart from other law schools. The school offers full full-time day and part-time evening programs, as well as Master of Science degrees in health law, education law, and employment law. Additionally, the Shepard Broad Law Center offers a wide variety of international and comparative learning opportunities including courses, clinical opportunities, and law programs abroad. The Shepard Broad Law Center is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. 

About Nova Southeastern University: Situated on 300 beautiful acres in Davie, Florida, Nova Southeastern University is a dynamic fully accredited institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs of distinction from preschool through the professional and doctoral levels. NSU has more than 29,000 students and is the seventh largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally. The university awards associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, doctoral, and first-professional degrees in a wide range of fields, including business, counseling, computer and information sciences, education, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, dentistry, various health professions, law, marine sciences, early childhood, psychology and other social sciences. For more information visit www.nova.edu.

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