Black British Christian Forums Unite To Produce A Series Of Webinars On Reparations

Equipping the Church and Engaging the Government

London— September 2021 Black History Month 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, 1) To articulate the various Christian positions around reparations, 2) To equip the church to speak with confidence on reparations, 3) 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.

Session 1: ‘I will repay: the Church and Reparationson Wednesday 6th October 2021 at 7.30 PM, 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

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.

Reverend Wale Hudson- Roberts, RJAF

 Forum partnership

The partnering forums cover the broad spectrum of Black and Brown Christian voices in Britain. 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.

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 ends with recompense. This is reparatory justice.  And we shall overcome since  the arc of the moral universe is bendings towards justice.

– Chair of the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation

Written By: Richard Reddie

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