The Past, Present, and Future of Reparations

On February 19th, the N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change held its 50th Anniversary Colloquium to explore a topic that lies at the heart of America’s identity, but is too often ignored by the legal world: reparations for Black Americans. For hundreds of years, the law has maintained racial injustice and curtailed meaningful remedies for reparative justice in the United States. This Colloquium brought together scholars, legal practitioners, community activists, and policymakers to imagine the possibilities—and limits—of the law in facilitating truth, reconciliation, and meaningful reparations.

Panel 1: Setting the Stage for Reparations


  • Katherine Franke | Columbia University
  • Nkechi Taifa | The Taifa Group & Justice Roundtable
  • Robert Westley | Tulane University
  • Moderated by Norrinda Hayat | Rutgers Law

Panel 2: Current Efforts to Fight for Reparations


  • Queen Mother Mashariki Jywanza | National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America
  • David Ragland | Truth Telling Project of Ferguson
  • Joyce Hope Scott | International Network of Scholars and Activists for African Reparations
  • Moderated by Deborah Archer | NYU School of Law

Panel 3: Future Possibilities: Paving the Path Forward


  • Jennifer Bellamy | American Civil Liberties Union
  • Kesi Foster | Movement for Black Lives
  • Jessica Gordon Nembhard | John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  • Moderated by Vincent Southerland | Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law

The NYU Review of Law & Social Change thanks our generous co-sponsors for their support:
  • Alternative Breaks
  • American Constitutional Society
  • Center on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law
  • Christian Legal Fellowship
  • Law Students for Economic Justice
  • Law Women
  • National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America
  • National Lawyers Guild (NYU and NYC Chapters)
  • Prison Reform and Education Project
  • RISE Indivisible