International Black Reparations Summit to meet in New York

4/2/2015, 10:56 a.m.
The Institute of the Black World 21st Century, a leading research, policy and advocacy group with offices in New York ...
Charles Ogletree

The Institute of the Black World 21st Century, a leading research, policy and advocacy group with offices in New York and Baltimore, announced that it is holding their International Reparations Summit at various sites across New York City, April 9 to April 12.

Speakers at the conference include professor Sir Hilary Beckles, vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies and chair of CARICOM’s Reparations Commission; civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, professor Charles Ogletree of Harvard University; and Mireille Fanon Mendes France, president of the Frantz Fanon Foundation and chair of the U.N. Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent and daughter of Frantz Fanon, the Black liberation theoretician and psychiatrist from Martinique.

Ron Daniels

Ron Daniels

During the summit, U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., the most senior member of Congress and the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, will be honored for authoring HR 40, the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act,” and for his 50 years of service on Capitol Hill.

“We are delighted that the Institute of the Black World can be a clearinghouse for ideas and strategies on how to pursue reparations for historical crimes and injustices against people of African descent in the U.S. and across the Americas,” said Dr. Ron Daniels, the Institute’s president. “The courageous decision by nations in the Caribbean to demand reparations from the former European colonialists for native genocide and African enslavement and the formation of a CARICOM Reparations Commission is re-energizing the Reparations Movement in the U.S. and throughout the Pan-African world.”

Scores of reparations advocates, Pan-Africanists and social justice activists from across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean will take part in the New York summit. Leaders of national reparations commissions, committees and task forces from 11 CARICOM nations will interface with leaders of the recently formed European Reparations Commission and with members of the National African-American Reparations Commission, which will be formally launched during the conference.

The NAARC will comprise some of the leading scholars, activists, attorneys, economists and historians in Black America. In the months ahead, the NAARC will hold a series of town hall meetings across the country designed to solicit ideas from African-American communities on what should constitute a comprehensive program that advocates for reparations for the historical crimes of slavery and segregation.

“The main purpose of the International Summit is to advance the public discussion and debate around reparations issues and to provide a platform for advocates from around the world to dialogue, learn from each other, strategize collectively, support and reinforce each other’s campaigns, build bridges across geographical and linguistic barriers and co-ordinate action plans,” said Don Rojas, IBW’s director of communications. “The international nature of this summit is unprecedented in the long and all too often ignored and marginalized history of the reparations movement in the Americas.”

The conference, whose opening and closing public sessions are to be webcast and audiocast live by WBAI-Pacifica Radio and Sirius XM, will be held in three of New York City’s five boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.