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~Panel To Discuss 'The Case for Reparations' at Wellesley College Oct. 22~

For immediate release:
October 8, 2003

Arlie Corday,

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Wellesley College's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee will present a panel discussion, "The Case for Reparations," on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 4:30 pm in Collins Cinema.

Panel members include some of the leading American thinkers on the topic: Sam Anderson, education director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at City University of New York – Brooklyn (Medgar Evers College), is the author of Science and Independence: The Third World Confronts Science and Technology and is a member of the board of the Reparations Mobilization Committee. Deadria Farmer-Paellmann is an attorney for a class action lawsuit against corporations that benefited financially from slavery; and Ray Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Affairs at Morgan State University, is the author of Should America Pay? Slavery and the Raging Debate on Reparations.

"Because the discussion of reparations for slavery is increasingly in the public discourse, both nationally and internationally, it's important for all of us to be informed about the issue," said Wellesley College Professor of Africana Studies and Sociology Judith Rollins, who serves as chair of the MLK Committee. "The debate began almost 150 years ago, when General Sherman's plan to give land in the Carolinas and the Sea Islands to newly emancipated African Americans was being implemented, only to be reversed by President Johnson."

In 1867, Rep. Thaddeus Stevens' bill for reparations was rejected by the U.S. House of Representatives. Similarly, Rep. Tony Hall's 2000 resolution for Congress to apologize for slavery was also rejected.

"Yet, the issue won't go away," said Rollins. "In recent years, not only has it garnered more support in the U.S., but it's now being discussed in other countries and has even received support from the U.N. at the 2001 Conference Against Racism."

The panel discussion aims to examine the arguments for and against reparations as well as the forms of reparations being proposed.

Co-sponsors of the event include Africana Studies, History, Political Science, Economics, Philosophy and Sociology departments; Peace and Justice Studies; Harambee House; the Committee on Lectures and Cultural Events; and the Office of Equal Opportunity at Wellesley College. For more information, call 781-283-2569.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries.


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