The University of the West Indies (UWI), has officially launched the Centre for Reparations Research (CRR), months after it was established.
The launch event was held at the UWI Mona campus in Jamaica on Tuesday October 10, 2017, and featured keynote speaker, Samia Nkrumah, the daughter of the late President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah and co-founder of the “Africa Must Unite” movement.
Director of the Centre for Reparations Research at the UWI Mona, Professor Verene Shepherd, said that she was excited to launch the centre which was established in February 2017, four years after CARICOM Heads of Government mandated its creation.
The idea was to have a department that could support the CARICOM/Global Reparatory Justice Movement and advance the claim to Europeans for various forms of reparation for native genocide, African enslavement, deceptive indentureship, colonialism and its legacies.
Each CARICOM country has set up a CARICOM Reparation Commission (CRC) and National Committees on Reparation to support the Centre’s establishment.
The launch and at least two more activities are taking place during Heritage Month in Jamaica and Black History Month in the United Kingdom.
Wednesday, the school held a symposium that gave speakers and attendees an opportunity to reiterate their “outrage at what Columbus’ invasion unleashed on the region.”
According to the day’s featured speaker, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, “This conference is informed by the question: Can the Caribbean achieve econo-mic development without reparatory justice?”
Attendees were not only expected to discuss reparations within the context of history, human rights, the right to development, ethical and moral obligation, legal justification and political responsibility in the post-colonial age, but examine government responses to reparations, and compare different national/transnational political contexts.