Who We Are
In 2021, twenty-three organizations were selected by the John D. and Catherine T. Macarthur Foundation as part of its Equitable Recovery Grant Initiative. Believing in the utmost importance of capitalizing on this moment, the cohort, calling themselves the Global Circle for Reparations and Healing, began to meet regularly to develop strategies to amplify and support each other’s work.
To that end, the Global Circle believed it imperative for reparations advocates, scholars, artists, and activists from around the world to come together to dialogue, learn from each other, and hopefully strengthen opportunities for collective action to advance a reparations and healing agenda worldwide.
Three Initial Gatherings
To that end, the Global Circle believed it imperative for reparations advocates, scholars, artists, and activists from around the world to come together to dialogue, learn from each other, and hopefully strengthen opportunities for collective action to advance a reparations and healing agenda worldwide
A convening in Italy at which experts from around the world deepened their understanding of the role of the Global North in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and its legacies of colonialism, neocolonialism, racism, apartheid, genocide, and plunder.
Held in Bellagio, Italy at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center upon the invitation of Howard University Knight Journalism Professor and Creator of the 1619 Project, Nikole Hannah-Jones. That convening produced 15 Commitments to which attendees agreed will serve as the basis for global collective strategy development.
The Vatican Action
A meeting with the Roman Catholic Church on the issue of accountability for its role in initiating and facilitating the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
The Global Circle held a meeting at The Vatican in Rome, Italy with key Vatican Leadership. We issued a formal Reparations Presentment and discussed a plan for accountability for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in the initiation of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Out of this meeting, the cohort developed, with input from Vatican leadership, an engagement strategy and list of contacts of key individuals and groups from the Roman Catholic Church around the world. Follow up meetings will take place with the Vatican in early 2023.
A global summit bringing reparations and racial healing practitioners together to learn about the current reparations and racial healing landscape, increase the knowledge base to include information about practical steps currently being implemented internationally to advance reparations and healing, and lay the groundwork for relationships upon which to develop collective action.
Our Operational Framework
The Global Circle has developed an operational framework that will help the network achieve collectively developed objectives in 2023 and beyond. This operational framework builds on 2022 activities by creating six working groups addressing key issue areas identified by the Global Circle:
Work plan will focus on interventions related to international institutions (e.g. G20, UN Security Council, World Bank, WTO, IMF)
Will assess the political dynamics of strategic targets, conduct power analyses, conduct research and fact-finding on key political targets, and will support overall strategy with information gathered
Work plan will focus on the advancing the reparations narrative at the global level and providing framing that influences the discourse toward the goals of the Global Circle
Will focus on building relationships across continents, forging partnerships with key allies, and strengthening existing relationships to help advance collective strategy
e.g. The Vatican – Work plan will focus on advancing the Vatican Action as well as other interventions with religious institutions
Will develop a work plan for advancing the global inter and intra-community healing agenda
The Current State of the Movement
Although the need for reparatory and healing justice is stronger than ever, there are many gaps in knowledge, organization, resources, political will within governments, as well as unity in purpose and strategy within the movement. Yet, the momentum for reparations and healing is building. Energy is high, and the mission is clear. In the last three decades, a worldwide movement has emerged to increase advocacy for reparations and healing. This movement advocacy reached a turning point at the World Conference Against Racism (2001) and led to the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (“DDPA”).It provided the international human rights foundation for the current movement for reparations and healing. There is now a heightened global awareness that the many common challenges Black people face are rooted in historical crimes. Major institutions such as corporations; academia; governmental organizations, including the African Union; as well as established and new philanthropies are providing resources for reparatory and healing efforts. New organizations are forming and there is a growing number of grassroots healing initiatives focused on addressing historical trauma.
We are seeing increased engagement by youth, an increasing focus on reparations at the local level, growing acknowledgement of the societal-wide benefits of reparations and healing, increased academic involvement, and a growing use of the human rights framework.
What have we learned?
We have learned that: there are growing aspirations for unity in the movement; there is a desire to consolidate gains and knowledge; there is a recognizable fear of backlash, there’s a need for training in direct action; opportunities must be created for the Black world to work together to refine strategies, build bridges, and engender trust; there is a need to explore and understand the role of Africans in the slave trade; we must employ tried and tested, as well as new, healing approaches; there is an urgent need to confront the lie of white superiority and black inferiority; and, there is a need to create a technological platform for the development and implementation of a transcontinental plan of action for reparations and healing.
Our Value Statement
Recognizing the importance of reparations and healing as a global imperative, we, the Global Circle for Reparations and Healing are charging the Global African Reparations Movement to build upon the legacies established by social movements that produced outcomes such as the 1993 Abuja Proclamation and the 2001 Durban Declaration and Program of Action. While we are opposed to past colonialism, apartheid and slavery, we are also opposed to all current and contemporary forms of colonialism, apartheid, xenophobia and exploitation. We condemn the outright use of violence and terror designed to extract, exploit and advance the system of plunder.
We affirm the thrust of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action in declaring that massive harms committed by various European governments, institutions, corporations and families equated to crimes against African humanity. That the crimes of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, colonialism, apartheid and neocolonialism and the systems, structures and institutions established to perpetuate these harms have left a negative injurious legacy that impacts every aspect of the lives of people of African descent around the world, in the present day and stymies the capacity to be fully self-determining and accorded the rights owed by virtue of being human. We further hold that there is both a moral and legal obligation of the perpetrators of the crimes to engage in full reparations wherever the crimes were committed and the legacies persist
Our vision for Black people is expansionary and inclusive. We value the lives of Africans globally. We do not discriminate nor differentiate value of our Blackness based on geography, language, socioeconomic status, sexual identity, gender identity, religion or spiritual tradition. Our common bond is our belief in the full human rights and dignity of Black people around the world. We espouse a Pan-African vision that acknowledges a common bond upon which we can build relationships that allow us to work collectively toward our liberation and advance the cause of reparative justice and collective healing.
Our Network Criteria
Learn More About
The work of the GCRH consists of actions withn six strategic areas of the global reparations and healing movement. We call these area our Operational Framwork. To plan and achieve the goals within each area of action, the GCRH is led by a The Steering Committee and Working Group Leaders.