MU to welcome Jamaican prime minister for Black History Month

Jamaican Prime Minister, the Most Honorable Andrew Holness, will be the distinguished lecturer for Black History Month at Mizzou.

Jan. 31, 2020
Contact: Liz McCune, 573-882-6212,

Jamaican Prime Minister, the Most Honorable Andrew Holness, is paying a visit to the University of Missouri in honor of Black History Month. As the Black History Month distinguished lecturer, the prime minister will be giving two presentations open to both students and the public.

MU’s Department of Black Studies arranged Prime Minister Holness’ visit as a part of the university’s theme for Black History Month: Black Vote. Black Liberation.

“As the head of state for a predominantly black country, Prime Minister Holness is a shining example of excellence for the black community at MU, and beyond,” said Daive Dunkley, associate professor in MU’s Department of Black Studies. “We are honored to welcome him to our campus and learn from his accomplishments.”

The prime minister’s first presentation, “Democracy, Youth Leadership, and the Future of Our World,” is from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Monsanto Auditorium. This forum is free and open to students, ID required. His second presentation, also free and open to the public, is a lecture on “The State of Constitutional Democracy in Jamaica and the Caribbean.” It is at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in Bush Auditorium. Registration required. (Please note that for security, bags will not be permitted at either event.)

“At MU, Black History Month is filled with engaging presentations and opportunities for our community to celebrate black history and achievement,” MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright said. “We are honored that Prime Minister Holness is visiting our campus and grateful for all he has to share with us.”

Prime Minister Holness, 47, is Jamaica’s ninth prime minister, the youngest Jamaica has seen. He is the first prime minister born after Jamaica gained independence in 1962 and is currently serving his second term.

"We are proud to celebrate Black History Month with programming that reinforces the university's commitment to inclusion and diversity,” said NaTashua Davis, interim vice chancellor of the Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. “The visit from the Honorable Prime Minister Holness sets the tone for continued events and activities that will inspire and inform both our campus and broader community. Our sincere thanks to the Black History Month committee for providing this wonderful opportunity for global engagement.”

MU is hosting events all throughout Black History Month, including:

  • 2020 Visual Art & Design Showcase – 5 - 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in Jesse Auditorium
  • Reverencing Toni Morrison: Thinking, Writing and Loving Morrison – 1:30 - 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, in Memorial Union South, third floor
  • Black History & Culture Trivia Night – 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, in the Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia

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