The Call

First Reparations Education and Mobilization Campaign Conference
at the City College of New York
Harlem, USA

November 2 - 4, 2001

called by the
Reparations Mobilization Coalition
122 West 27th Street, 10th Floor

New York, NY 10001

212.785.1027 or 718.270.6287

The Call

“The fight for reparations puts the struggle of African people
in a historical context and confronts racist resistance head-on.
We are not asking for favors or for charity,
we are demanding what is rightfully ours!”

Assata Shakur, July 2001


Sisters and Brothers!

In the US, people of African descent’s demand for reparations is quickly approaching momentous proportions. The call for reparations has long past the stage of “debate”. Everyday, the case for reparations is being discussed, in communities, academic and non-academic institutions, and media across the US. Black Reparations, as an issue, is now at the point of making a major qualitative leap to where a reparations strategy and plan of action must be developed such that it becomes our powerful movement for social change.

Reparations and the Historic World Conference Against Racism

On August 28 through September 7, 2001 in Durban, South Africa, people from all over the world, heads of states, official government delegations, non-governmental organizations, community-based human rights and activists organizations, labor, clergy and local elected officials among others will attend the United Nations World Conference Against Racism, Xenophobia and Other Related Intolerances (World Conference Against Racism). The World Conference Against Racism will focus on the centuries old struggle of people of color to rid themselves of the scourge of racist oppression in all of its many forms and expressions.

At the World Conference Against Racism, the issue of declaring the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Slavery, Colonialism as a “crime against humanity”, and the demand for reparations or “compensatory measures” for the African and African descendant victims, has taken center stage. We of the Reparations Mobilization Coalition believe reparations has emerged as the most pivotal and powerful of the important themes of the World Conference Against Racism because of the threat it represents to the present inhumane global capitalist beasts. These beasts cannot be confronted without linking the past to the present and without connecting the actual criminals to the crimes.

This is the basis for George W. Bush’s and US government’s opposition to the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, Slavery and Colonialism being declared “crimes against humanity” at the World Conference Against Racism. It is why they arrogantly and stupidly refuse to apologize for US government’s role in the perpetuation of the greatest crime in human history. We know that it is not the issue of Black Reparations for the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, Slavery and the on going damages of systemic racism, per se, that they oppose. The US and its partners in Western Europe have supported in the past and continue to support demands for the payment of reparations for other countries, people and groups. But here, at the World Conference Against Racism, the entire world knows that they are the purveyors of this great evil as well as the beneficiary of the great wealth derived from it.

That is why from the very inception of the World Conference Against Racism, the US has taken the lead in waging an all out war to thwart the major unifying trend that the demand for Black Reparations represents for all people who are making great strides in their fight to bring to the world justice for their own history and liberation struggles. The US also recognizes that the demand for Black Reparations is a guiding light within the global movement for justice and human rights as it advances to the next level. Many of those who have worked long and hard to make the World Conference Against Racism a success also see reparations as the cutting edge of the battle against global injustice and for full human rights for all people. They see the demand for reparations sounding the death knell to global systemic racism and white supremacy. They see the demand for reparations paving the way for people fighting to take back all that was stolen from those who have been unjustly enriched through centuries of pillaging and plundering.


On to the Reparations Mobilization Conference!

The November 2-4, 2001, First Reparations Education and Mobilization Conference held during Black Solidarity Weekend at City College in Harlem, NY, is coming on the heels of the World Conference Against Racism and will incorporate the spirit, energy and enthusiasm of the spreading reparations firestorm. The conference has as its primary agenda to organize, build a united front and a worldwide strategic alliance of peoples of African descent, oppressed people as well as all progressive forces united to make the world a place where all humanity can live with dignity, respect and in genuine peace.

Yet, before this movement can take off with full clarity of direction and purpose, a lot of work must be done to continue to inform and educate the tens of millions African descendents in the US as to the full scope and spectrum of issues that the demand for reparations calls forth. Specifically, work must be done to unite all of the various aspects of the Reparations Movement: legal/courts, legislative, labor, education, spiritual/religious, prison reform, and international alliances through education and mass mobilization.

Conference Objectives

On Black Solidarity Weekend, November 2-4, 2001, the First Reparations Education and Mobilization Conference will explore how the demand for reparations explodes the racist paradigm (status quo) and its institutional manifestation. Specifically, the conference will address the following:

· White supremacy and how it strategically represents our greatest weapon against racism. This racist paradigm has been the expression of a US system of justification where untold horrors and atrocities were and still are perpetrated for profit. This racist paradigm is an expression of a system of rationalizations for the continuing social degradation, dehumanization and demonization of African people. It is a system that has always collapsed class into race where racist dehumanization is applied broadly and demonization strategically.

· The systemic abuse of power by the police in the United States. This is made very real through the systemic police abuse of power, the thousands of police murders and countless cases of police brutality; in the still overwhelmingly segregated and unequal educational institutions; in the higher levels of unemployment and poverty; in miserable housing conditions and killing disparities in healthcare; and in the mass criminalization of Black people particularly Black youth.

· The criminalization of people of African descent…specifically our youth. Today, more than one million people of African descent reside in US prisons and jails. This is half of the total US inmate population. We got there largely as a result of the racist application of laws where Blacks and Latinos are treated and sentenced much more harshly than whites for committing the same or lesser offenses.

· Systemic, economic and political disenfranchisement of people of African descent. With the exception of the most wealthy among us, our housing has always been a product of enforced poverty, stemming from the application of group stigma and systemic discrimination which was often supported by acts of racist terror.

In addition, the Reparations Mobilization and Education Conference will focus on the following:

· Exposing the cultural genocide inflicted upon people of African descent. This will start from a look at the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and reveal how cultural genocide worked way through slavery to the present.

Cultural genocide is the systematic destruction of historical memory, ancestral connectivity, tradition, indigenous language, religion and art through the imposition and use of myriad repressive techniques and methods, terror, brutality, fear, slave codes, and racist laws.”

· Reparations uncovers the emotional, psychological, and medical damages inflicted upon people of African descent. We will show how slavery and pervasive societal racism plays out every day in our community through the incidence of diseases and our overall mental well being.

· Reparations exposes the super exploitation and plunder of Africa’s natural and human wealth first by the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and then by colonialism. It reveals how exploitation led to the underdevelopment of Africa with capitalism’s more than five centuries of robbing Africa of its capacity to feed, educate and provide for the health of its people. The scourge of AIDS could not be killing millions of African people today if Africa had not been and is still being raped, plundered and ravaged by capitalist Europe and the US.


We, the Reparations Mobilization Coalition unite with the City College of New York Black Studies Department, Seton Hall University Africana Studies Department, Black Workers for Justice, Race Relations Institute at Fisk University, African and African Descendant Caucus of the World Conference Against Racism, the Black Radical Congress, the Reparations Coordinating Committee, the South African Reparations Movement, NCOBRA, Reparations Central, the December 12th Movement, the National Black United Front, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Uhuru Sasa Black Student Union at Brooklyn College, Brown University Students for Reparations, the African American Institute for Research and Empowerment, and others for a worldwide CALL to mobilize millions of Africans and African descendents for the Just and Righteous Demand for Reparations.

Our conference will underscore the potential and breadth of the global reparations movement.

An essential aspect of the conference will be strengthening our links to work with African and African descendants worldwide, to advance the reparations movement until victory.


List of conference endorsers (in formation):

Pam Africa, Prof. Abdul Alkalimat, Attny. Adjoa Aiyetero, Asha Bandele, Amina Baraka, Amiri Baraka, Ras Baraka, Charles Barron, Elombe Brath, Conteh Brima, Bob Brown, Prof. Dennis Brutus, Vinie Burrows, Prof. Jan Carew, Kathleen Cleaver, Ron Daniels, Thulani Davis, Prof. Charles deJognh, James Early, Attny. Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, Tom Feelings, Larvester Gaither, Attny. Jimmie Garrett, Attny. Joan Gibbs, Lord Anthony Gifford, Assemblyman Roger Green, Prof. Gerald Horne, Prof. Martin Kilson, Woodie King, Prof. Kwando Kinshasha, Father Lawrence Lucas, Prof. Clarence Lusane, Rosemari Mealy, Esq., Tony Medina, Prof. C. J. Munford, Prof. Anthony Monteiro, Gil Noble, Imari Obadele, Ahmed Obafemi, Gwen Patton, Councilman Bill Perkins, Louis Reyes Rivera, Don Rojas, Dr. Carlos Russell, Sergio Martins, Prof. Margarita Samad-Matias, Prof. Sonia Sanchez, Tyree Scott, Art Serota, Assata Shakur, Attny. Esmeralda Simmons, Brenda Stokely, Honorable Dudley Thompson, Dinizulu Tinnie, Askia Toure, Asiba Tupahachee, Prof. James Turner, Rev. Lucius Walker, Attny. Efia Wangaza, Joel Washington, Jitu Weusi, Bernard White, and Gwen Patton Woods.

Reparations Flyer : download and print to distribute  (pdf format)