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Reparations for Black Americans: The Road to Racial Equality in California and Beyond

April 15, 2021 @ 4:00 pm 5:30 pm PDT

In 2020, California established the nation’s first state task force to study and make recommendations on reparations for the institution of slavery, the atrocities that followed the end of slavery, and the ongoing discrimination against freed slaves and their descendants from the end of the Civil War to the present. Although the movement for reparations extends to the eighteenth century, it has gained new momentum in recent years.  Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) first introduced legislation to create a national task force to study reparations in 1989. The current version of the bill, H.R. 40, has at least 169 co-sponsors in the House, but has yet to achieve majority support. 

Join us on April 15, 4pm Pacific Time (7pm Eastern) for a conversation with some of the country’s leading experts and advocates for reparations, to discuss these questions and more.

– How does the movement for reparations fit into efforts to close the racial wealth gap and promote racial equality?
– Why study and discuss reparations in California?
– What are the connections between the California task force and national debates about reparations? 
– What might reparations for Black Americans at a federal level look like in the 21st century? 


William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen, co-authors of From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century

Anne Price, President of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, U.S. Representative for California’s 13th congressional district

Moderated by Chris Benner, Director of the Institute for Social Transformation 

Limited number of FREE books available to event registrants (priority given to UCSC students).

William A. Darity Jr. and A. Kirsten Mullen are co-authors of the 2020 book, From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century, which makes a powerful case for Black reparations and offers a detailed roadmap for an effective reparations program.

Co-sponsored by:
The Institute for Social Transformation, Center for Racial Justice, and Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UC Santa Cruz.


William A. Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, Economics and Business, and Director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University.  Darity’s research includes a focus on inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, the economics of reparations, the Atlantic slave trade and the Industrial Revolution. He is a past president of the National Economic Association and the Southern Economic Association.

A. Kirsten Mullen photo by: Justin B. Cook

A. Kirsten Mullen is a folklorist and the founder of Artefactual, an arts-consulting practice, and Carolina Circuit Writers, a literary consortium that brings expressive writers of color to the Carolinas. Mullen’s research focuses on race, art, history and politics. She was a member of the Freelon Adjaye Bond concept development team that was awarded the Smithsonian Institution’s commission to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She is a past president of the North Carolina Folklife Institute.

Anne Price

Anne Price is the first woman President of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. She has worked in the public sector on a wide range of issues including child welfare, hunger, workforce development, community development and higher education.  Anne was one of the first national leaders to examine narratives about race and wealth. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Nation, The Washington Post, The Mercury News, The Wall Street Journal, Citylab, O Magazine, and other publications.  Anne holds a BA in Economics from Hampton University and a Master’s Degree in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the Milano School of Management and Urban Policy in New York City.

Barbara Lee

Congresswoman Barbara Lee was born in segregated El Paso, Texas. As a single mother raising two sons, she attended Mills College in Oakland, and later received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1998, she was elected to serve California’s 9th congressional district (now the 13th) in a special election. Currently, Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. As Co-Chair, Rep. Lee works to ensure that committees reflect the diversity, dynamism, and integrity of the Democratic Caucus. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking African American woman in the U.S. Congress.

Chris Benner

Dr. Chris Benner is the Director of the Institute for Social Transformation. He is also Dorothy E. Everett Chair in Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship, Director of the Everett Program for Technology and Social Change, and a Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Rooted in an urban political ecology approach, his research examines the relationships between technological change, urban and regional development, and structures of economic opportunity.  


April 15, 2021
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm


Institute for Social Transformation

Photo above is of the Memorial Corridor at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice (from Wikimedia Commons by Soniakapadia, CC BY-SA 4.0)