Several times a year we hold webinars or record videos that highlight issues that concern us, issues that we believe need to be addressed if we are to see a kinder, fairer and more sustainble world.
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The momentum has been building and the voices getting louder. Reparations is an issue for our time. Or is it?
The transatlantic slave trade was so 19th century (and a few centuries before that!) - surely it's time to move on? Or if it's not, isn't an apology enough? Isn't it time to forgive and forget?
Our expert panel members share their stories and views as we define what we mean by reparations, explore what is happening now, and what they might look like. Finally, we will discuss what might need to happen at a government, corporation, family and personal level, if the call for reparations is to be heeded.
After we have heard from our panel, you will have a chance to put your individual questions to all three.
Professor Robert Beckford, is the Director of the Institute for Climate and Social Justice at the University of Winchester, UK. Robert is an activist scholar, working interdisciplinarily to address, confront and overturn injustice in African mainland and diaspora communities. Robert is a BAFTA Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose credits include the hard-hitting 2005 Channel 4 documentary The Empire Pays Back that focused on the case for reparations. Among Robert’s most recent media projects are an independent film project funded by the Movement for Justice and Reconciliation, exploring the meaning of reconciliation in response to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (‘After Noah: Christianity, Slavery and Reconciliation 2022’). Also a BBC World Service documentary on the environmental impact of colonialism on Barbados (2022).
In autumn 2022, Robert hosted the first national symposium for global majority peoples in Britain advocating climate and social justice. In 2023, he turned a long-running family argument into a BBC Radio 4 series dealing with the experiences of the Caribbean immigrants who came to the UK as part of the Windrush Generation. Robert recently contributed to The Brattle Report on reparations (2023) - the most comprehensive global calculation for reparations ever compiled.
Alex Renton is an award-winning writer, campaigning journalist, broadcaster and historian. He has written for publications including Newsweek, The Guardian, The Observer, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail and Prospect magazine. In 2022, Alex presented and co-wrote the award-winning BBC Radio 4 series In Dark Corners, based on investigations into child abuse and cover-up in boarding schools, and his book Stiff Upper Lip: secrets, crimes and the schooling of a ruling class.
Alex is the author of Blood Legacy - reckoning with a family's story of slavery that explores what inheritance – political, economic, moral and spiritual - has been passed down to the descendants of slave owners and the enslaved. Blood Legacy was longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction in 2021. He is a co-founder of Heirs of Slavery.
John Dower is an award-winning director, teacher and mentor working in Film, TV and Games. His credits include Best Film at Cannes Short Film festival for The Day After Stonewall Died and over 80 episodes of Television drama including Silent Witness, Casualty and EastEnders for BBC1 and Wolfblood for CBBC/ZDF. He has directed Cinematic scenes for GTA V online, F1 2023, Space Marine 2 and 007 Legends. He is a Co-founder of and tutor for The Mocap Vaults – the worldwide Performance Capture School and a Trustee of the Directors Charitable Foundation.
After discovering his ancestors’ involvement in Transatlantic Chattel Slavery in 2016, he convened and coordinated the Trevelyan Family’s apology to the people of Grenada presented in St George’s, Grenada in February of this year. He is a co-founder of Heirs of Slavery and an advocate and campaigner for reparatory justice.
John and Alex's ancestors were among those who received compensation from the UK government when slavery was abolished.
There is no charge for these tickets and our panel members are all offering their time free of charge. But we are using this event as a fundraiser for The Cowrie Scholarship Foundation . The Foundation's aim is ‘to fund 100 disadvantaged Black British students through UK universities in the next decade’. Please consider donating to The Foundation when you book your ticket.
White Allies Network Events
The White Allies Network is a service provided by the Deeper Leaders' Collective and regularly holds online events. For more information about the Network and its past and future events, click here.
Recordings of past White Allies Network events can be found on the Deeper Leaders' YouTube channel here.
(Click on image above to view a recording of this event)
Schedule: 0-6m 30s - Intro to topic and panel
6m 30s - 53m - Panel answers the 3 core questions
53m - 1hr 1m - Launch of the White Allies Network
1h 1m - 1hr 21m - Panel respond to questions from the chat
On the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death, we asked leading black academic, Prof Robert Beckford, a black counsellor and author, Suzann Douglas and James Clarry, the white COO of one of the world's oldest banks: ‘Has anything truly shifted?’
We asked them:
Q1. How did the death of George Floyd impact you, personally? And has anything shifted for you personally since then? Q2. What has shifted in the world around you: in your organisation/the work that you do/your sphere of influence?
Q3. What needs to happen next to ensure the catalyst towards change offered us by George's tragic death is not wasted?
Before we took questions for the panel from the chat, we also launched a new initiative from the Deeper Leaders Collective: a White Allies Network (www.whiteallies.com)
Open Mike Session - the last 20 minutes was dedicated to questions from the chat and an open mike session where participants put their questions directly to members of the panel.
We didn't charge for tickets for this event - all three panel members waived their usual appearance fees as their personal contribution towards the vital work of Blueprint for All (formerly The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust). They do fantastic work with young people and communities to create an inclusive society in which everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity or background, can thrive. Participants made voluntary donations and helped us exceed our £1000 target to raise £1155.
(Click on the image above to access this recording, which is 32 minutes long).
We’ve had legislation to combat discrimination, training to combat bias, reviews and targets to improve representation. And we’ve seen some improvements.
But in 2021, in the UK and in many countries across the world, female representation at the most senior levels is still way behind and career progression still isn’t a level playing field. For many, the initiatives introduced to address the issue can feel patronising and tokenistic.
This is not a ‘women’s issue’. And it’s not about fixing the women or blaming the men. It’s a fundamental leadership issue for organisations, with the possibility of enabling new and exciting ways forward through a greater balance.
In this webinar, Dr Sue Congram of the EB Centre shares from her research and work on engendering balance, with Avivah Wittenberg-Cox of 20-first joining her in the chat. (The recording of Avivah's presentation was only available to us for 30 days after the event). See Avivah's various TED talks on You Tube to hear more of her approach.
(Click on the image above to view the webinar recording. It is 60 minutes long)
In 2015, the UK government passed the Modern Slavery Act aiming to combat Modern Slavery. Since then, other governments have followed suit and citizens of many countries have become more aware that slavery is not only a past but a very real and present problem that touches us all. But has any of this made any tangible difference to the lives of those blighted by slavery, violence and exploitation?
On the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2020, this webinar explored these questions with the help of an expert panel. We heard:
An up-to-date global picture of the state of modern slavery from the world’s largest anti-slavery organisation
from Alianore Smith from International Justice Mission
An independent progress report on the UK Government’s approach to tackling modern slavery by the report’s author
from Peter Grant from Agulhas Consulting
How leaders can build on their organisations’ modern slavery statement to really make a difference and
How individual citizens can play their part in eradicating modern slavery
both from Adrian Lock, Founding Director of Deeper Leaders
How chocoholics can help end modern slavery
from Nicola aka ‘The Countess of Cocoa’, UK & Ireland Marketing Manager, Tony’s Chocolonely