Black History Month for 2021 sees the launch of a series of webinars dedicated to British engagement with reparations for descendants of enslaved and colonised African peoples. The Racial Justice Advocacy Forum (RJAF) partners with the National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF) and Movement for Justice and Reconciliation (MJR) to facilitate leading Black Christian voices on the various aspects of reparation and its implications for both church and government.
The webinar series, I Will Repay: Church and Reparations, has three core aims:
- To articulate the various Christian positions around reparations
- To equip the church to speak with confidence on reparations
- To help solidify the Christian work around reparations.
These aims are geared towards action-based outcomes that build upon historical and current efforts in Britain, for example, a permanent memorial, a scholarship fund, strategies for church engagement, a service of lament.
One of the organisers of the webinars, RJAF’s Rev Wale Hudson-Roberts, said, “Over 50 years ago, Martin Luther King presented his ‘ I Have a Dream ‘ speech to a massive crowd in Washington. Reparatory justice was one of the themes he inspired and demanded his audience to reflect on. Yet many decades later, communities impacted by slavery and colonialism are still calling for reparatory justice; for justice to be done, reparation needs to be made.”
The Chair of the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation, Rev Alton P Bell added, “The legacies of colonialism and the enslavement of Africans in the Caribbean has left an indelible mark on their descendants. To redress this we need to achieve reconciliation across many stratas of society. This is a process which starts with acknowledgment of the wrongs of the past and end with recompense. This is reparatory justice. And we shall overcome since the arc of the moral universe is bendings towards justice.”
The webinar topics
Session 1: ‘I will repay: the Church and Reparations’ on Wednesday 6 October 2021 at 7.30pm, exploring the theological rationale’ with Professor Robert Beckford, Eleasah Louis, Rev. Ronald Nathan and Dionne Gravesande
Session 2: (TBC) The History of the Reparations Movement in Britain
Session 3: (TBC) Reparations and Education
Session 4: (TBC) Reparations and Decolonising Aid
Session 5: (TBC) Reparations and the Government
Session 6: (TBC) Rebuilding and Reconciliation
Session 7: (TBC) The Future of the Reparations Movement
Book now for Session 1 ‘I will repay: the Church and Reparations’ on Wednesday 6 October 2021 at 7.30pm
Who are the organisers?
The RJAF is comprised of representatives from historical churches in Britain such as the Baptist Union of Great Britain, The Church of England, the United Reformed Church and ecumenical bodies such as Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
The NCLF is dedicated to facilitating the black Christian voice in Britain and is represented by leaders from various black majority churches and black Christian organisations.
MJR generates research that identifies sites of colonial legacies that impact local communities in Britain. Undergirded by Christian values, MJR focus on solution and reconciliation.