Skip to content
Loading Events

More than Money: Reparations & Restorative Justice – Online Event

10/10/2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Thank you to all those who joined us for this event. A recording of the event is here:



The global protests following George Floyd’s brutal murder by US police in 2020 forced conversations about systemic racism and its impact on marginalised communities and sparked debates on the legacy of colonialism and the inter-generational trauma that many recognise as a legacy of the ‘slave’ trade[1].

Under scrutiny, some institutions and individuals finally agreed to return some precious artefacts that had been violently plundered by colonisers.  Others, such as Britain’s Trevelyan family, publicly acknowledged that their fortunes were a direct result of the slave trade and took steps to apologise and atone for their ancestors’ role(s) in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Institutions and individuals pledged to intensify efforts to expose and dismantle structures that uphold systemic racism.

Why Reparations? Why Now? 

In 1833 after the trade in enslaved Africans was abolished, Britain’s government paid compensation to the tune of £20 million to those who ‘lost property’ (in the form of enslaved Africans). Estimates on the value today of the 1833 compensation range from £17 billion to £100 billion. The Black population of Haiti were trafficked there as slaves. When they finally gained independence, France demanded – and received – reparations. The first annual payment alone was six times Haiti’s annual revenue.[2] The payment was later reduced to 90 million francs in 1838, equivalent to $32,535,940,803 in 2022, with Haiti paying about 112 million francs in total. No objections were raised when this compensation was paid.  NO compensation to those who were enslaved, their families, communities or descendants.

This raises several questions. Why was no compensation offered to those who suffered due to the ‘slave’ trade? How did this inhuman and exploitative trade and the wider global system of imperialism affect our lives today?  Should we step up efforts to ensure that discussions on reparations and the legacy of Empire explicitly include all those whose lands were expropriated and labour systematically exploited?  Is it time to move the focus away from ‘aid’ (which implies charitable, philanthropic assistance) to ‘reparations’  (which recognises that millions or people are powerless today because of historical exploitation and injustice?) What forms should ‘reparations’ take?  How can we ensure they are ‘just’?


PLEASE NOTE:  to avoid curtailing time available to our speakers, we ask that you submit your questions via the Q+A during this webinar. LIDC staff will ensure questions reach our moderator. Please understand that it may not be possible for all questions to be addressed in the time available. 

Attendance is free but registration is essential. Please register here

About our speakers:

Priya Lukka is an economist who has worked over 25 years in the non-profit and International Development sector. She has worked with policymakers, philanthropists and activists to improve outcomes for groups of people most marginalised by the economic system. Her work has involved contributing to an understanding of the impact that policies on debt, trade and tax. She writes on a range of issues including global economic governance and climate colonialism. Priya was Chief Economist at Christian Aid, worked as a Financial Services Regulator, and she is a board advisor for a number of organisations working for social justice. Her work involves her moving between activist, NGO, and multilateral institutional spaces considering new ways of remedying injustices that are a legacy of colonial periods using approaches of reparations. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher looking at colonialism and repair at the University of Leeds. Her ‘X’ handle is lukka_priya


Joseph Harker is Senior Editor, Diversity and Development at The Guardian. He is also co-lead of the Guardian’s Legacies of Enslavement project – which examined the links between the Guardian’s founder and transatlantic slavery, issued an apology, and drew up a £10m+ restorative justice action plan.

Joseph is a former Deputy Opinion Editor. And for 20 years he has run the Guardian’s Positive Action Scheme, which offers enhanced work experience to aspiring journalists who are ethnic-minority or have a disability: many have gone on to have successful media careers. Before joining the Guardian, Joseph was Editor and Publisher of the weekly newspaper Black Briton, and prior to that he was Assistant Editor at The Voice. His ‘X’ handle is @josephharker


Onyekachi Wambu is a Nigerian-British journalist and writer.  His publications include Empire Windrush – 40 Years of Writing about Black Britain (ed) and Under the Tree of  Talking – Leadership for Change in Africa (ed). He has directed television documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4 and PBS. He is currently Director, Special Projects, for the African Foundation for Development’s (AFFORD), an international organisation that aims to expand and enhance the contributions the African diaspora make to African development.

In 1988, 40 years after they first arrived in the UK, Onyekachi Wambu edited one of the first books on the Windrush Generation. In June 2023 his new anthology Empire Windrush: Reflections on 75 Years & More of the Black British Experience is a further literary consideration of Windrush, alongside the troubled preceding 500 years relationship of slavery, empire and colonisation. Find more about this important text here


John Dower is an award-winning Director, tutor and mentor working in Film, TV and Games. He has directed many short films that have been viewed at Film Festivals worldwide, over 80 episodes of Television dramas (incl. BBC’s “EastEnders” & “Casualty”) and Cinematic scenes on high-profile games including James Bond “007 Legends”, “GTA V” online and “F1 2023”. He is a trustee of the Directors Charitable Foundation and cofounder of training company The Mocap Vaults.

In 2016 he discovered via the UCL Legacies of Slavery database that at abolition in 1833, his Trevelyan ancestors had owned plantations in Grenada and received “compensation” for 1,004 enslaved people. This began a 7-year process which culminated in 104 members of the Trevelyan family signing an apology to the people of Grenada which John and his cousin Laura Trevelyan read out at a special Reparations Commission meeting in February of this year in St Georges, Grenada.  Since then, John has dedicated much of his time to campaigning for reparative justice and was a founder member of . His ‘X’ handle is @JohnDower

About our Moderator: 

Fareda Banda is a Professor of Law at SOAS. She holds two Law degrees from the University of Zimbabwe and earned her doctorate at Oxford University. She is the author of ‘African Migration, Human Rights and Literature,’ available here.






[1]  (The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database confirms that at least 12.5 million Africans for whom records were kept were crammed, chained, and naked, in holds to be shipped -as cargo- to the New World. 10.7 million survived long enough to disembark in North America, the Caribbean and South America.)

[2] We also be mindful that discussions on reparations tend to centre on people of African descent and that imperialism was a global project.  Indigenous people on land that was colonised in the Americas, in Asia, Polynesia also suffered the ravages of settler colonialism.

This event will be recorded. By signing up for LIDC’s event, you agree that we will collect your data and contact you for the purposes of the event only. Your personal information will be deleted after the event. You can email to cancel your registration and have your data deleted at any time.

Register for this free event here

More information
Money Poverty

Register here


Charine John, LIDC.

Scroll To Top