Ground-breaking Reparations Study Tour and Racial Healing held in Barbados
Professor Sir Hilary Beckles
Press Release
July 28, 2023
Ground-breaking Reparations Study Tour and Racial Healing held in Barbados

A ground-breaking study tour on Reparations and racial healing wraps up in Barbados today, July 28.

The activity was organised by the University of the West Indies (The UWI), in association with the Open Society Foundations, the African Union Economic Social and Cultural Council (AU-ECOSOCC), the Caribbean Pan African Network (CPAN) and the Government of Barbados for the ground-breaking Reparations and Racial Healing Study Tour which began on July 24, in Bridgetown, Barbados.

The UWI said in a release that the distinctive study tour is the result of the landmark decision of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government, in February 2023, calling for a Common African position and Programme of Action on Reparations, and serves to underscore the strategic relevance of Africa taking its place as a leading voice for reparations by coalescing with ally nations in the Caribbean community.

Prominent African leaders and dignitaries convened in Bridgetown to unveil Barbados’ commitment to becoming a leader in the global reparations’ movement, a position recently highlighted in the TIME Magazine headline story ‘Slavery Reparations are Coming – A Historic Global Movement Gains Power in Barbados. The study tour also significantly marks the beginning of an intercontinental campaign process advocating for reparations and healing on both the African and global stages. Unified Ambassadors and representatives gathered on a unified front to call for reparations for historical crimes. The work agenda included strategy sessions, knowledge-sharing dialogues, plenaries, collective advocacy, exploration of approaches for racial communal healing, and critical reflection on addressing harms suffered within Africa and throughout the Diaspora. The tour’s schedule also included delegates participation in Barbados’ Day of National Significance events and visits to noteworthy historical locations.

Distinguished attendees will include ambassadors and representatives from selected Member States of the African Union, Pan-African academics, advocates, and campaigners who have dedicated their efforts to reparations, healing, and Pan-Africanism, the release further states.

Among those present for strategic engagements with the visiting delegation will be Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor, The University of the West Indies and Chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission who is internationally recognised as a leader in the global reparations movement through his relentless advocacy and academic contributions.

The study tour culminates in a pivotal news conference which will present key outcomes and learnings from the Caribbean experience, and propose a roadmap for continued cooperation between the African Union and CARICOM regarding reparations advocacy and campaigning in the global arena.

It will also address wider the pressing issues of global racial and reparative justice delving into the power of reparations, the unprecedented alliance between the African Union and CARICOM, and the bridging of continents—Africa and the Caribbean.