The focus of the meeting is on Returning to the Pan-African Repair of African Peoplehood: An Urgent Reparations Action Learning Task of the International Decade for People of African Descent.
The previous two ARTCoP meetings focussed on Educational Repairs (Reparations): Countering Reparations Movement Denial (Nov 2014) and ‘Educational Repairs as an Integral Aspect of Reparations (Oct 2014).
Rationale for the Theme of this ARTCoP Meeting
Given the declared ‘International Decade for People of African Descent’ Decade which commenced 1 January 2015 and ends on 31 December 2024, it is an opportune time to explore how best we can use this Decade and the resources that are available to address the everyday problems of Africans. Such problems were greatly exacerbated the loss of our peoplehood and the continuing attempts to derail and frustrate any attempts to regain that peoplehood. Given the fact that reclamation, restoration and renewal of identity and the attendant rights of persons and peoples is a reparations quest, Africans and people of African descent have a right to assert their right to African identity, Africa and her resources. The rememberment of Africans and people of African descent and repairing of ‘African identity’ links peoples of African heritage with Africa’s resources, and with other Africans, historically and culturally entitling Africans, by virtue of common cultural roots, history, political interests, and genetic lineage, have a right to belong and rightful claim to the Motherland, materially and psychologically.
Grassroots and establishment academia can play a role in recognising the knowledge production that has been developed in pursuit of African peoplehood assertion and reclamation in addition to creating space for discussions about the material entitlements and supporting the development of enabling programmes of action during this Decade, which go beyond mere academic lectures and conferences.
About The ARTCoP
The African Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) enhances grassroots community academic spaces for reparations scholar-activism.
ARTCoP was officially launched in February 2014. A Community of Practice is commonly understood to be a group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.
The aim of the ARTCoP is to provide a much-needed reparations movement supported space for critical reflection as a basis for taking more effective strategic action by supporting members of the International Social Movement for African Reparations (ISMAR) and their allies to strengthen and improve their movement-building activities enabling them to learn from, compliment and collaborate with each other to achieve common reparations-related objectives. Rather than seeking to privilege what academics and those located within formal institutions of education ‘know’ and can ‘teach’ activists about how to wage successful reparations campaigns, the ARTCoP seeks to learn from and build upon the thought, lived experiences and activism of reparations workers, advocates, activists, campaigners, the ISMAR and African & African Diaspora communities at large as co-producers of practical and theoretical knowledge relevant to effecting and securing reparatory justice.
Building on the intellectual tradition of scholar-activist and historian the late Walter Rodney, the ARTCoP advocates for an intellectual and political leadership of the ISMAR that is dedicated to the aspirations and empowerment of the masses; ‘grounds’ with the people on reparations; and that such ‘groundings’ will, as Rodney asserted, embrace the first and major struggle – the struggle over ‘ideas’ on reparations. One way in which ARTCoP seeks to achieve this is to harness and utilise the knowledge, expertise and researches of reparations focused grassroots intellectuals, academics and activist to challenge Eurocentric ideas, theories and visions of ‘repair’ in the process of advancing the goals of the ISMAR.
In addition, the ARTCoP seeks to bridge the divide between knowledge produced by establishment academics and policy-makers, which is more often than not, disconnected from realising the self-determined goals of the ISMAR, and the rich intellectual work and wisdom generated by those who have been involved in reparations social movement-building and organising processes at all levels. Despite the marginalisation of this knowledge and resultant prescriptions for action in educational institutions, such work has indeed laid an excellent intellectual foundation for the next phase of the movement for reparations.
Esther Stanford-Xosei on Behalf of ARTCoP
5:35pm Matters arising from previous meeting on 15th November 2014
• Update on member work tasks
• Update from the Manchester Branch of the ARTCoP
• Update on the ARTCoP supported UCL campaign, ‘Why is my curriculum white?’
• Update on the ARTCoP supported SOAS campaign ‘Our Communities Deserve Better Campaign’
6:00pm Report-Back by Dr Nathaniel Coleman, on the ‘Enriching Public Discourse – Empowering African People’ Reparations Project and the University College London (UCL) Centre for the Research into the Dynamics of Civilisation (CREDOC)-funded, meeting for The International Day for Reparations Relating to ‘Civilisation’ on 12th October 2014.
6:20pm Main Discussion: Returning to the Pan-African Repair of African Peoplehood: An Urgent Reparations Action Learning Task of the International Decade for People of African Descent.
7:20 pm A.O.B
7:30pm Meeting Close