Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, will today appear before a US congressional sub-committee to share his expertise on Reparations.
Sir Hilary has been invited by Texas Democrat representative Sheila Jackson Lee to appear before the House Judiciary Sub-committee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
Following the hearing, he will deliver the closing address at a public forum where he will place the Congressional event in a global context.
Sir Hilary's participation in the US Congress follows his contribution at the British House of Commons in 2014, and his delivery of the keynote address at the sitting of the United Nations General Assembly to launch the International Decade (2015 to 2025) for People of African Descent.
The widely respected scholar was appointed Chairman of the newly established CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) in 2013.
The mandate of the Commission is to prepare the case for reparatory justice for the region’s indigenous and African descendant communities “who are the victims of Crimes against Humanity (CAH) in the forms of genocide, slavery, slave trading, and racial apartheid”.
The CRC subsequently created a ten-point reparation plan and has been leading the way internationally in the pursuit of those goals.
The Reparations issue has caught on in the current US presidential election cycle with several candidates for the Democratic Party’s nomination being asked to state their position.