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20th Anniversary — When Federal Reparations Have Yet To Be Realized, Local Institutions Step Up

From California to North Carolina, people are making reparations a reality.

November 9, 2023

Since its introduction in 1989, support has grown for HR 40, the federal legislation to establish a commission to study slavery and discrimination in the United States from 1619 to the present and make recommendations for how to repair harm done to descendants of enslaved Africans.

HR 40 has nearly 200 cosponsors… But it has not made progress in congress since Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) brought it forward. As this legislation stands still, organizers, scholars and local civil servants are developing programs and plans to provide various forms of reparations for African descendants in their communities.

In this Pecha Kucha-style event, speakers will present about the work they’re doing in their cities and states to ensure reparations becomes a reality. We’ll also hear about the wider, national landscape for this work.

During the 20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year festival, you will hear from dozens of speakers who are making change happen around issues such as reparations, community development, public health and more. Festival programming explores the solutions that we want to see spread from one city to the next. Anyone working for greater justice and equity in cities will be able to take inspiration from this festival into 2024. Purchase a single ticket now to all of the events for just $50, or pay what you wish by registering for each event individually. Everyone who donates will receive a copy of our annual Solutions of the Year special issue magazine.

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Moderator & Speaker:
Trevor Smith, Director of Narrative Change, Liberation Ventures

Trevor Smith (he/him) is a writer, researcher, and strategist focused on racial inequality, wealth inequality, reparations, and narrative change. He is currently the Director of Narrative Change at Liberation Ventures, a field builder fueling the movement for Black-led racial repair. He is also the creator, curator, and editor of Reparations Daily (ish), a newsletter dedicated to uplifting the latest reparations-related news from across the globe. His research and writing on reparations have been published in academic journals like The Review of the Black Political Economy and major media outlets like Business Insider, USA Today, and TIME Magazine. He received his B.A. in Journalism from American University and his Masters in Public Administration from New York University.

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Christine Edwards, Community Engagement Consultant, Civic Innovator, Founder and Business Advocate
Christine Edwards is a civic firebrand that has immersed herself in the art of helping urban communities reach their highest levels of growth, empowerment, and success.

A communicator by profession, leader by vocation and entrepreneur by passion, Christine’s work involves using her voice to foster civically engaged communities through collaboration, partnership and digital communication. Embodying the essence of her core message, she founded Civility Localized (formerly known as Amplify Charlotte), which delivers community engagement outreach services, data collection and analysis, and resources for small businesses pursuing local government contracts.

Christine has worked alongside numerous local organizations to effectively tackle all forms of social, racial and economic issues including racial equity in government, the digital divide, and affordable housing. She previously served as Community Relations Coordinator for Mecklenburg County and has also served as Director for Community Programs at the James L. Knight School of Communication at Queen's University of Charlotte, where she oversaw and championed community organizing through the use of everyday digital tools. Christine also served in several roles in local government including Charlotte Water, the City of Charlotte Manager's Office and the Office of Neighborhood and Housing Services. A long-time Charlottean and graduate of UNC Charlotte & UNC Greensboro, Christine’s Public Administration and Urban Management education coupled with her dynamic skillset have allowed her to expand her focus into other capacities including project management, capacity-building initiatives, and digital communication, and now leading a team of community engagement professionals in her company.

When she’s not serving her community, Christine can be found exploring the world through travel, enjoying Southern foods, or nurturing her love for policy theory by watching it play out in everyday life.

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Kamm Howard, MBA
Kamm Howard is a national and international reparations scholar and activist working for over 20 years building grassroots movements to obtain reparations for African descendants in the United States. From 2006-2022, he served as the National Co-Chair of The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, or N’COBRA.  While at N’COBRA, he assisted in forming the vision and developed, led, and implemented many significant actions pushing forward and keeping alive the fight for redress and repair for the intergenerational harm inflicted on black people and the anti-black policies sanctioned by local, state, and federal governments affecting us to this day.  In 2022,  Howard founded Reparations United to further his mission for obtaining reparations.  He provides advisory and leadership to coalitions and activists in the movement.  Currently, he serves as a Commissioner of the National African American Reparations Commission where he led in revising the federal legislation H.R. 40.; a bill to establish a commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans.  Also, he sits on the Board of First Repair – founded by Robin Rue Simmons of Evanston, Illinois, Global Black started by Dr. Amara Enya, and he sits on the advisory councils of the Advisory Council of the African American Redress Network (AARN) and the Descendants of the St. Louis University Enslaved, or DSLUE.

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Justice Gatson, Founder & Social Justice Doula Reale Justice Network
Justice Gatson (she/they) is from Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up on the Eastside. She earned a degree in Mass Communications from Bennett College, an HBCU in Greensboro, North Carolina. Justice is a former radio show producer and host. Justice is a former organizer for the ACLU of Missouri working on the policy team. She is the co-vice president of the Midwest region for the National Lawyers Guild and is a Legal Observer Supervisor who enjoys giving “Know Your Rights Training”

She is a Social Justice Doula, community organizer, president of the Kansas City Public Television community advisory board, and director of the Reale Justice Network. Her work centers on the experiences of Black survivors who are impacted by the dynamics of domestic, intimate, sexual, and state violence. She is leading efforts to create a healing and empowerment center for and by Black survivors of violence.

Justice is a founding member of the Missouri-Kansas BIPOC Reproductive Justice Coalition and as a birth, labor, and postpartum doula, justice works to make positive advances in the realm of Black perinatal and infant health. Justice is also a socialpreneur who operates a training center and social justice communications and consulting firm. She formed “Social Justice Doulas International” and coined the term “Social Justice Doula” (SJD), which describes a trained professional who supports community members affected by all forms of social injustice, generational trauma, and historical violence.

Justice is the former co-chair of the KC Reparations Coalition and was instrumental in the work done to establish the Mayor's Reparations Commission. She is the current chair of the Kansas City Reparations Now Coalition, focusing on reproductive injustices. She was recently appointed as an advisor to the Mayors Reparations Commission.

Justice has been awarded and recognized for her community service and advocacy, presented as a Keynote Speaker, and interviewed by numerous media outlets. Justice is a budding filmmaker and was recently featured in a documentary, Bails & Bonds, which can be viewed at docucourse.org. Justice believes that those closest to the pain are also closest to the solutions and we must center the voices and experiences of multi-marginalized communities in order to achieve equity and justice.

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Nicole Carty (she/her) is the Executive Director of Get Free
Nicole Carty (she/her) is the Executive Director of Get Free, a youth-led movement focused on repairing past harms, removing ongoing barriers to equality, and realizing a future where freedom is for all. She is a movement strategist, digital organizer, campaigner, and trainer born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and has over a decade of experience studying and supporting movements to further racial, gender, and economic justice.
 

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    20th Anniversary Solutions of the Year magazine

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