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Unity Day Group Hopes for a Better St. John

Feb. 6, 2006-The V.I. Unity Day Group wants to be part of the solution, and the fledgling group held a public meeting Monday at the Legislature building in an effort to bring St. John's various groups together for the good of the island.
Unity Day Group President Ronnie Jones told more than a dozen people gathered for the meeting that while St. John has a lot of organizations, their members don't interact. He said rumors about various groups are rampant, often untrue and often pit mainly white groups against those that are primarily black.
"Many of us have something to share with each other," he said.
He said problems come up because black people are not always treated kindly by "Caucasians" when they go to the mainland. "But they don't get treated kindly by black Americans," he said.
Lorelei Monsanto, the group's vice-president, said that Unity Day Group members will attend other groups' meetings so everyone can work toward bettering St. John.
Monsanto said she planned to join the Friends of the V.I. National Park even though she's been in an adversarial position with the park for years.
She said the group must learn how to address issues the proper way instead of "hooping and hollering" when problems arise.
The Unity Day Group has formed committees to work on various issues facing the island, including education, racial issues, health care, crime, property and taxes, land use, roads, housing, business and community relations, and political action.
The Unity Day Group initially formed to serve as hosts for the contingent of St. Croix, St. Thomas and Tortola residents who took the ferry to St. John for the Oct. 1, 2005, rally that unsuccessfully sought answers in the alleged rape of St. John resident Esther Frett.
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