UCLA's Ethnic Studies Centers to Host Two-Day Conference About Recognition, Reparations and Redress, and the Struggle for Social Justice
New calls for reparations are making headlines across the nation and around the globe. Mandated by international covenants governing crimes against humanity, the controversial and hotly debated issue of repairing the horrors of the past through some type of compensation has become increasingly discussed in ethnic studies scholarship.
UCLA's four distinguished ethnic studies centers - the Center for African American Studies, American Indian Studies Center, Asian American Studies Center and Chicano Studies Research Center - will host a two-day conference on this monumental topic. "The Struggle for Social Justice: A Symposium on Recognition, Reparations and Redress" will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., May 11 and May 12, at UCLA's Covel Commons, 330 DeNeve Dr. The symposium is free and open to the public.
Manning Marable, professor of history and political science and founding director of the African American Studies Institute at Columbia University, will be the keynote speaker on Friday, May 11. Marable is the author of 13 books including "What Black America Thinks," "Black Leadership" and "Black Liberation in Conservative America."
Since 1976 Marable has written "Along the Color Line," a syndicated commentary series on African-American politics and public affairs. The series is regularly published in more than 300 newspapers and magazines in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean and India. He is a prominent lecturer and interpreter of the politics and history of race in America. He regularly appears on media programs such as NBC's "Today Show," ABC's "Weekend News," PBS, Fox Network News, C-Span and National Public Radio.
The symposium will open at 9 a.m., with a blessing from the Gabrielino/Tongva tribe, followed by the first panel discussion, "Accounting for the Debt: Appeasement, Apology or Accountability?" The panel will be moderated by Kimberle Crenshaw, law professor, UCLA. The speakers are Mario Gonzalez, attorney for the Oglala-Sioux tribe; Jerry Kang, law professor, UCLA; and Roy Brooks, law professor, UC San Diego. Marable will give his keynote speech at noon.
At 1 p.m. the panel, "Global Movements: International Efforts to Achieve Redress," will be moderated by Elazar Barkan, professor in the critical studies department at Claremont University. The panelists are Melissa Nobles, political science professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Fernando Conceicao, founder, Brazilian Reparations Movement; Naseer Aruri, director, Trans-Arab Research Institute, Boston; Michael J. Kurtz, archivist, National Archives and Records Administration; and Richard Hovannisian, history professor, UCLA.
A breakout session at 2:30 p.m. will discuss war and conflict contexts with Peping Backlig, Filipino Veterans Association.
At 3:30 p.m. the panel, "Violation of Land Rights: Sovereignty, Dispossession and Displacement," will be moderated by Laura Gomez, law professor, UCLA. The speakers will be Haunani-Kay Trask, political science professor, University of Hawaii; Carole Goldberg, law professor, UCLA; Harold McDougall, law professor, Howard University; and Deena Gonzalez, history professor, Pomona College.
On Saturday, May 12, at 9 a.m., the first panel will be "Labor and Economic Injustice: Slavery, Indentured and Immigrant Labor," moderated by Cheryl Harris, law professor, UCLA. The speakers will be Joe Trotter, history professor, Carnegie Mellon University; Kimi Lee, executive director, Garment Workers' Center; Jennifer Lee, Young Koreans United of Los Angeles; and Lisa Duran, public administration professor, University of Colorado, Denver.
Ventura Guitierrez, a community organizer with Union Sin Fronteras, will host a breakout session at 11 a.m.
At 1 p.m. the panel, "Environmental Racism and Its Health Impact," will be moderated by Mary Pardo, Chicano studies professor, Cal State Northridge. The speakers will be Jenny Joe, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Arizona; Carlos Porras, executive director, Communities for a Better Environment; Elsa Lopez, executive director, Madres del Este de Los Angeles; and Robert Bullard, director, Environmental Justice Resource Center, Clark-Atlanta University.
The final panel, "Achieving Social Justice: What Form of Redress?" will be held from 3:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The panel will be moderated by Reynaldo Macias, director of UCLA's Cesar Chavez Center for Interdisciplinary Instruction in Chicana & Chicano Studies. The speakers are Dolores Huerta, co-founder and vice president, United Farm Workers union; Susan Shone Harjo, president, Morning Star Institute, Washington, D.C.; Tom Hayden, former state senator; Mitchell Maki, social welfare professor, UCLA; and Adrienne Davis, law professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The event is expected to function as a forum to help scholars, community members and policymakers recognize the gravity of the historical and political processes that have inflicted cultural subordination, psychological damage and socioeconomic marginalization on populations of color.
All symposium attendees must register in order to attend the event free. Non-registered attendees will be charged $10. Registration is available online at: www.sscnet.ucla.edu/reparations. For more information, call (310) 206-5384.
Media interested in covering the event, please contact Marisa Osorio at (310) 206-3986.