The Centre for Reparation Research University of the West Indies.

PositionOrganization overview

The Centre for Reparation Research (http://www.reparationresearch.org) was approved in 2016 and established in February 2017. Its establishment was prompted by the UWI (University of the West Indies) Vice Chancellor's engagement with the Heads of Government of Caribbean Community (CARICOM), an organization of fifteen Caribbean nations and dependencies whose main objective is to promote economic integration and cooperation among its members, to ensure that the benefits of integration are equitably shared, and to coordinate foreign policy, established in 1973. CARICOM, especially after Heads agreed in 2013 to join the long-standing movement for reparatory justice, pioneered by enslaved African people and sustained by Rastafari and civil society, and to request that the UWI supported the research agenda of the movement. Thus, the Centre, directed by historian Verene A. Shepherd, seeks to build awareness and conduct research that will advance the claim for reparation for native genocide, the enslavement of African people, deceptive indenture, colonialism and its legacies, in support of the CARICOM and the Global Reparatory Justice Movement.

Origins

At that July 2013 meeting, Heads also agreed to establish a CARICOM Reparation Commission (CRC) and National Committees on Reparation in each country to establish the moral, ethical and legal case for the claim for reparation from the former colonial European countries, for the nations and people of the Caribbean Community for native genocide, the transatlantic trade in enslaved African people and a radicalized system of chattel enslavement, and Asian indentureship.

The expectation was that the CRC would comprise the Chairs of the National Committees and a representative of the UWI; and that it would report directly to a Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Reparation, chaired by the Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Freundel Stuart.

To date, all directives of CARICOM have been carried out. There are approximately 12 National Reparation Committees/Commissions/Councils whose Chairs/co-Chairs (in the case of Jamaica) are members of the CRC; and the CRC is chaired by Vice Chancellor of the UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. The three Vice Chairs of the CRC are Professor Verene Shepherd (Jamaica), Mr Jomo Thomas Chambers (St Vincent & the Grenadines and Dr Armand Zunder (Suriname). The CRC hosts Conferences and Seminars; and recently launched a Regional Relay and Youth Rally. The National Committees...

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