The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica W.I. Monday, July 24, 2023—The University of the West Indies (The UWI), the Open Society Foundations, the African Union Economic Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC), the Caribbean Pan African Network (CPAN) and the Government of Barbados have partnered for the ground-breaking Reparations and Racial Healing Study Tour taking place from Monday, July 24, to Friday, July 28, in Bridgetown, Barbados.
The distinctive study tour is the result of the landmark decision of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government, in February 2023, calling for a Common African Position and Programme of Action on Reparations, and serves to underscore the strategic relevance of Africa taking its place as a leading voice for reparations by coalescing with ally nations in the Caribbean community.
Prominent African leaders and dignitaries will convene in Bridgetown to unveil Barbados’ commitment to becoming a leader in the global reparations movement, a position recently highlighted in the TIME Magazine headline story ‘Slavery Reparations are Coming – A Historic Global Movement Gains Power in Barbados.’ The study tour also significantly marks the beginning of an intercontinental campaign process advocating for reparations and healing on both the African and global stages. Unified Ambassadors and representatives will gather on a unified front to call for reparations for historical crimes.
The work agenda will include strategy sessions, knowledge-sharing dialogues, plenaries, collective advocacy, exploration of approaches for racial communal healing, and critical reflection on addressing harms suffered within Africa and throughout the Diaspora. The tour’s schedule also includes delegates’ participation in Barbados’ Day of National Significance events and visits to noteworthy historical locations.
Distinguished attendees will include ambassadors and representatives from selected Member States of the African Union, Pan-African academics, advocates, and campaigners who have dedicated their efforts to reparations, healing, and Pan-Africanism. Among those present for strategic engagements with the visiting delegation will be Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor, The University of the West Indies (The UWI) and Chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission who is internationally recognised as a leader in the global reparations movement through his relentless advocacy and academic contributions.
UWI Pro Vice-Chancellor of Global Affairs, Sandrea Maynard is also slated to co-moderate a roundtable discussion covering the topics of the historical struggles for reparation in Africa & CARICOM; knowledge production & the role of academia in the campaign for reparations; and intercontinental movement building for reparations & reuniting the African continent with its Diaspora communities. The study tour will culminate in a pivotal news conference which will present key outcomes and learnings from the Caribbean experience, and propose a roadmap for continued cooperation between the African Union and CARICOM regarding reparations advocacy and campaigning in the global arena.
It will also address wider the pressing issues of global racial and reparative justice delving into the power of reparations, the unprecedented alliance between the African Union and CARICOM, and the bridging of continents—Africa and the Caribbean. At the news conference, Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles is carded to deliver a statement on behalf of Civil Society and the Pan-African Leadership.
Other key presenters include HE Francia Marquez, Vice-President of the Republic of Colombia; HE Youssouf Mondoha Assoumani, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Union of Comoros and Chair of the Permanent Representatives Committee of the African Union; HE David Comissiong, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Barbados to CARICOM; Dr. Hilary Brown, Program Manager for Reparations, CARICOM Secretariat; and Mr. Kyeretwie Osei, Head of Programs, AU-ECOSOCC.
The news conference will take place on Thursday, July 27, 2023, at 9:00 am (AST) at the Conference Room, Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management, The UWI, Cave Hill Campus, and is available for public participation by live stream via UWItv at www.uwitv.global, www.facebook.com.uwitv or Flow Evo cable channels.