New York, Jan. 3, 2015 — The New York-based Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) today announced that the organization will host the CARICOM Reparations Commission’s next meeting April 9-12 in New York. The CARICOM Commission is chaired by Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor Designate of the University of the West Indies. Inspired by the creation of the CARICOM Commission, a National African American Reparations Commission is being established as part of an effort to intensify the Reparations movement in the U.S.
The Commission will be dedicated to the memory of Queen Mother Audley Moore, one of the foremost proponents of Reparations in the history of Africans in America and a mentor to generations of Reparations activists. In addition to the CARICOM and African American Commissions, representatives of Reparations movements from Central and South America, Canada and Europe are expected to participate in what is emerging as a Pan African Reparations Summit.
The program/schedule for the Summit will include formal business sessions, a dialogue between leaders of the Caribbean Diaspora in the USA and the CARICOM Commission, meetings between the newly formed African American Commission and the Caribbean Commission, Rallies in Harlem (the symbolic Capital of Black America), Brooklyn (home to the largest Caribbean community in the U.S.) and a Tribute to Congressman John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus and Sponsor of HR-40, the Reparations Study Bill — which he has faithfully introduced in the Congress since 1989.
At the most recent Reparations Braintrust at the Congressional Black Caucus’s Annual Legislative Conference, Sir Hilary Beckles called upon participants to declare a “Conyers Decade of Reparatory Justice.” The tribute to Congressman Conyers will begin that process. There will also be special recognition of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) for decades of ground-breaking work on the issue.
Dr. Ron Daniels, President of IBW, said that the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) will develop a Reparations Program similar to the Ten Point Program that has been adopted by the CARICOM Commission. “The first step will be to devise an Interim Program that NAARC will take to the people in a series of town hall meetings to receive input before adopting the final program. The process of engaging people of African descent across the country, including young people, is incredibly important to strengthening the Reparations movement.”
Dr. Daniels reported that to date Dr. Conrad Worrill, Director of the Carruthers Center for Inner-City Studies, Northeastern University; Dr. Ray Winbush, Director of the Institute for Urban Research, Morgan State University; Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference; Professor Charles Ogletree, Executive Director, Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard University; Rev. Dr. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Pastor Emeritus, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago; Atty. Roger Wareham, December 12th Movement; JoAnn Watson, Former Detroit City Councilwoman; Atty, Nkechi Taifa, Criminal Justice Reform and Reparations activist; Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Political Economist and President Emeritus, Bennett College for Women and N’COBRA have already agreed to be members of NAARC. The Commission will ultimately have fifteen members. Under the leadership of Dr. V. P. Franklin, the Journal of African American History will serve as a resource to NAARC.
Sir Hilary Beckles has been eager to have Reparations Commissions form in various countries to build a global movement for Reparatory Justice. Commenting on the significance of the Reparations Summit in New York, he stated, “I am extremely excited that our sisters and brothers in the U.S. are moving forward with the creation of a Reparations Commission. We are reaching out to Reparations activists throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America to encourage them to attend the Reparations Summit in the U.S. It has the potential to be a milestone event.”
The activities for the CARICOM Reparations visit to the U.S. will conclude with Sir Hilary Beckles traveling to Detroit for a Reparations Rally — which will be the climax to the Tribute to Congressman John Conyers.
Hosting the Reparations Summit and the formation of NAARC will mark the launch of what Dr. Daniels describes as an initiative to broaden and deepen support for reparations among people of African descent and people of good will in the U.S. – including support for H-R 40.
“This is a modest effort which is intended to complement the sustained work that activists and organizations have been doing for years. But, it will not be without cost. In the spirit of the Honorable Marcus Garvey, we will have to depend on contributions/donations from the people to finance the work of NAARC,” said Dr. Daniels. Dr. Julius Garvey, the son of Marcus Garvey, and Emily Moore, a staunch IBW supporter from New York, have each stepped up with contributions of $1,000 to kick-off this people-based fundraising drive.
Don Rojas, IBW’s Director of Communications, said that observers are welcome to attend and participate in the forthcoming Reparations Summit. “This is the kind of event that can take off and provide impetus to the growing reparations movements in the USA and across the world So, as we are formalizing the program/schedule, we encourage those who are interested in attending to immediately go the IBW website www.ibw21.org to Pre-Register. Observers will be credentialed on a first come first serve basis.