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Sir Hilary urges reparative justice over buried history

BOSTON, Feb 23, CMC – The Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir Hilary Beckles has a recommendation for Harvard University at a time when the prestigious American educational institution is debating ways controversial history is remembered on campus.

Sir Hilary, who is chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Committee, believes the best way is to confront the thorny past head on.

Becklles
Sir Hilary Beckles

“There’s no point in burying the legacy and memories,” said Sir Hilary as he delivered the keynote address at the Harvard Law School, on reparatory justice for Caribbean countries that facilitated the slave trade.

“Let us bring everything to the surface and find a way forward through all of this,” said Sir Hilary, said, adding that the “West will be on trial” until it amends for the role its former colonies played in facilitating slavery.

CARICOM leaders in 2013 appointed the Reparations Committee to establish a case for reparations and Sir Hilary made reference to the 10-point plan he has developed alongside a commission of inquiry to best “formulate a strategy for reparative justice to move the society forward.

“Reparative justice is not about black people standing on the street corners expecting charities from white folks. This is about building of bridges across lines of moral justice,” he said, calling on Western world leaders to atone for their countries’ wrongdoing by investing in housing, education, healthcare, social justice, and infrastructure development in the Caribbean.

Sir Hilary also urged President Barack Obama to use his global influence to push the world towards increased reparative justice and that he hopes the next time he is invited to Harvard Law School, it would be for the opening ceremony of an “Obama Center for Reparative Justice.”

While he did not delve deeply in to the current protests at the Law School, Sir Hilary urged young people to ensure they are learning in ethical environments.

Harvard History professor Sven Beckert, who moderated the event, linked Sir Hilary’s remarks to current issues at the university.

“This is not just a story from longtime ago, but a story that is very local and very much about this University as well,” Beckert said.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

by STAFF WRITER

BOSTON, Feb 23, CMC – The Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Sir Hilary Beckles has a recommendation for Harvard University at a time when the prestigious American educational institution is debating ways controversial history is remembered on campus.

Sir Hilary, who is chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Committee, believes the best way is to confront the thorny past head on.

Becklles
Sir Hilary Beckles

“There’s no point in burying the legacy and memories,” said Sir Hilary as he delivered the keynote address at the Harvard Law School, on reparatory justice for Caribbean countries that facilitated the slave trade.

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“Let us bring everything to the surface and find a way forward through all of this,” said Sir Hilary, said, adding that the “West will be on trial” until it amends for the role its former colonies played in facilitating slavery.

CARICOM leaders in 2013 appointed the Reparations Committee to establish a case for reparations and Sir Hilary made reference to the 10-point plan he has developed alongside a commission of inquiry to best “formulate a strategy for reparative justice to move the society forward.

“Reparative justice is not about black people standing on the street corners expecting charities from white folks. This is about building of bridges across lines of moral justice,” he said, calling on Western world leaders to atone for their countries’ wrongdoing by investing in housing, education, healthcare, social justice, and infrastructure development in the Caribbean.

Sir Hilary also urged President Barack Obama to use his global influence to push the world towards increased reparative justice and that he hopes the next time he is invited to Harvard Law School, it would be for the opening ceremony of an “Obama Center for Reparative Justice.”

While he did not delve deeply in to the current protests at the Law School, Sir Hilary urged young people to ensure they are learning in ethical environments.

Harvard History professor Sven Beckert, who moderated the event, linked Sir Hilary’s remarks to current issues at the university.

“This is not just a story from longtime ago, but a story that is very local and very much about this University as well,” Beckert said.