Symposium Program


Presentations will be in English or French, with simultaneous translation available. Learn more about presenters here.
(Please note that there will be time for Q&A following every session)

Monday March 22, 2021

09:00 – 10:20am EDT (Boston)/14:00 – 15:20 CET (Brussels)

Welcome remarks
Amah Edoh, Assistant Professor, MIT Anthropology
Liliane Umubyeyi, Research Coordinator, Avocats Sans Frontières
Chantal Van Cutsem, Executive Director, Avocats Sans Frontières
Melissa Nobles, Dean, School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, MIT

Keynote lecture
Lebohang Liepollo Pheko, Senior Research Fellow and Political Economist, Trade Collective; Lancet Commissioner, Lancet Commission on Reparations and Redistributive Justice

10:30am – Noon EDT/15:30 – 17:00 CET
Provocations: What should justice look like?

Social reforms
Mame-Fatou Niang, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies, Carnegie Mellon University
Public space
Brian Kwoba, Assistant Professor of History, University of Memphis
Language and education
Michel DeGraff, Professor of Linguistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Environmental justice
Malcom Ferdinand, Researcher, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
Foreign policy
Shada Islam, Policy expert, New Horizons Project

Moderator: Amah Edoh, MIT Anthropology


Tuesday March 23, 2021

09:00 – 10:45am EDT (Boston)/14:00 – 15:45 CET (Brussels)
Learning from past and ongoing movements for reparations

Reparations claims from the Caribbean
Verene Shepherd, Professor Emerita of Social History, University of the West Indies
Reparations claims to France for slavery
Magali Bessone, Professor of Political Philosophy, Université Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne
Restitution of human remains and artifacts to African countries
Ciraj Rassool, Senior Professor of History, University of the Western Cape
State of the reparations debate in the US
Dreisen Heath, Advocate, US Human Rights Watch
Transitional justice for reparations claims?
Pablo de Greiff, Senior Fellow and Director of the Transitional Justice Program, New York University of Law

Moderator: Liliane Umubyeyi, Avocats Sans Frontières


Wednesday March 24, 2021

09:00 – 10:45am EDT (Boston)/14:00 – 15:45 CET (Brussels)
Supranational opportunities for justice

Birgit Van Hout, Regional Representative for Europe, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, Member of European Parliament
Ayisha Osori, Executive Director, Open Society Initiative for West Africa
Elisa Novic, Transitional justice expert, Avocats Sans Frontières
Moderator: Liliane Umubyeyi, Avocats Sans Frontières

11:00am – 12:30pm EDT (Boston)/16:00 – 17:30 CET (Paris)
France Roundtable
*Roundtable in French, with simultaneous translation into English*

Maboula Soumahoro, Associate Professor of African-American and Black Diasporas studies , Université de Tours
Fania Noël, Co-founder of Coordination Action Autonome Noire; PhD candidate in Sociology, The New School for Social Research in New York
Sihem Bensedrine, Journalist and former President of the Truth and Dignity Commission in Tunisia
Nourredine Amara, Historian; Research Fellow at the Abdallah S. Kamel Center at Yale Law School (2021-2022)
Moderator: Abdellali Hajjat, Associate Professor of Sociology, Université Libre de Bruxelles

11:00am – 12:30pm EDT (Boston)/15:00 – 16:30 GMT (Londres)
United Kingdom Roundtable

Kehinde Andrews, Professor of Black Studies, Birmingham City University
Rosebell Kagumire, Writer and activist, curator and editor of AfricanFeminism
Esther Stanford-Xosei, Coordinator General, Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign
Martin Mavenjina, Program Advisor, Transitional Justice, Kenya Human Rights Commission
Kavita Modi, Associate solicitor, Leigh Day Firm
Moderator: Nabeelah Shabbir, Senior Research Associate, International Centre for Journalists

*Please note that France and UK roundtables run concurrently*


Thursday March 25, 2021

09:15 – 10:45am EDT (Boston)/14:15 – 15:45 CET (Brussels)
Belgium Roundtable
*Roundtable in French, with simultaneous translation into English*

Dido Lakama and Juliette Nijimbere, Representatives, Collective of Congolese, Burundian and Rwandan organizations of the Belgian Civil Society
Séverine de Laveleye, Member of the Special Commission in charge of examining Belgium’s colonial past
Mutoy Mubiala, Associate Professor of International Law and Human Rights, University of Kinshasa
Christophe Marchand, Founding Partner, JusCogens Law firm
Mireille-Tsheusi Robert, President, BAMKO NGO
Moderator: Fiona Nziza, Head of the Global Citizenship Education and Decoloniality Program, Louvain Coopération

11:15 – 12:45pm EDT (Boston)/16:15 – 17:45 CET (Berlin)
Germany Roundtable

Angelo Camufingo, Free anti-racism and education consultant
Sarah Imani, Legal advisor, European Centre for Constitutional and Human rights
Jennifer Kamau, Co-founder, International Women* Space
Mahret Kupka, Curator, Spokesperson of the Neue Deutsche Museumsmacher.innen
Peggy Piesche, Literary and cultural studies scholar; Co-founder, ADEFRA (Schwarze Frauen in Deutschland/Black Women in Germany)
Moderator: Elisabeth Kaneza, Founder, Kaneza Foundation; PhD Candidate in law, University of Potsdam


Friday March 26, 2021

09:15 – 11:00am EDT (Boston)/14:15 – 16:00 CET (Brussels)
Intercountry strategy session

Participants from Belgium, France, Germany, and United Kingdom roundtables.
Moderator: Rokhaya Diallo, Journalist, Author, Director

11:15am – 12:30pm EDT (Boston)/16:15-17:30 CET (Brussels)
Open discussion forum

Open discussion forum moderated by Amah Edoh and Liliane Umubyeyi.

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