The conversation about reparations for American chattel slavery is increasingly noticeable, compelling and urgent to many people and institutions in our country. The ABA is part of the conversation, in that ABA policy supports a commission to study reparations. Notwithstanding the many challenges of getting started, and the "slippery slope" arguments that can easily derail a productive dialogue, the conversation is progressing and gaining momentum. We have a wealth of new ideas, new language and new ways of describing our society, all of which are fortifying the work of reparations advocates and changing hearts and minds on this topic.
This panel brings together speakers who educate us about:
societal responses to gross human rights injustices around the world;
the US history of efforts to face, make amends and direct redress for chattel slavery;
a current-day example of a municipality or institution undertaking a reparations program;
an economic perspective; and
legal frameworks for reparations.
We are not debating whether to have a reparations conversation. We are having it. We are studying reparations. This conversation is action, to educate, memorialize, make whole and prevent continuing and future harm.