The mission of the Racial Justice Ministry is to “raise awareness and understanding of and engagement with racial identity and racism, including our individual and collective opportunities to achieve racial justice.” This document is intended to raise awareness and understanding of reparations by providing a collection of print and video resources. As you consider the issue of reparations, consider these questions:

  1. What does the term “reparations” refer to?
  2. What are the arguments for and against reparations?
  3. What would be the purpose (or purposes) of reparations?
  4. What might reparations in the US look like? What form (or forms) should reparations take? Is it only about money? Is it only about payments to individuals?
  5. Does the US have any past experience with reparations?

A definition

A textbook definition of reparations is “the act of making amends, offering expiation, or giving satisfaction for a wrong or injury” (Note 1). The International Center for Transitional Justice describes reparations as “meant to recognize and address the harms suffered and acknowledge the wrongdoing.” Reparations have both material and symbolic benefits and can take multiple forms, including “financial compensation, restoring civil and political rights, erasing unfair criminal convictions, physical rehabilitation, and granting access to land, health care, or education.” Reparations are sometimes “provided to victims’ family members, often children, in recognition that providing them with a better future is an important way to overcome the enduring consequences of the violations” (Note 2).

Print Resources

Audio and Video Resources