CARICOM chairman to deliver feature address at reparations forum
Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will address an international forum in reparations in the United States next month.
Gonsalves will deliver the feature address at the April 19 forum titled “Revitalizing the Reparations Movement,” organized by the New York-based Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW).
IBW described Gonsalves as “one of the leading voices in the Americas demanding that the former European colonial powers pay reparations to Caribbean and South American countries for centuries of African enslavement, native genocide and colonial exploitation”.
The forum will be held in collaboration with the Center for Inner City Studies and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference.
IBW said among the specially invited guests will be Detroit’s congressman John Conyers, Sr., dean of the US Congressional Black Caucus, and sponsor of HR-40, the Reparations Study Bill and Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam.
“A primary goal of the forum is to revitalize the reparations movement in the USA by revisiting the Durban Resolution on the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, presenting an update on HR-40 and examining the status of CARICOM’s reparations initiative,” IBW said.
“We are delighted and honored to have Prime Minister Gonsalves keynote this critical forum on reparations, a subject of fundamental historical justice that is near and dear to the hearts of Black people around the world,” said IBW?s president Dr. Ron Daniels.
Director of Chicago’s Inner City Studies, Dr. Conrad Worrill, said “our ancestors will be pleased that the reparations movement is being re-energized from the Caribbean islands.
“In demanding reparations, CARICOM is vindicating the vestiges of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade,” he added.
CARICOM leaders at their inter-sessional summit in St, Vincent and the Grenadinesearlier this month discussed the reparation issue and hope to have a meeting with European leaders in June.
The leaders unanimously adopted a 10-point plan that would seek a formal apology for slavery; debt cancellation from former colonizers, such as Britain, France, Spain and the Netherlands; and reparation payments to repair the persisting “psychological trauma” from the days of plantation slavery.