Reparations Now Symposium


New York, January 18, 2018 – The Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. a nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization Under Section 501(c)(3) is delighted to announce that Chairman of the Board of Directors José Francisco Ávila  will participate in The Edward V. Sparer Symposium Reparations Now  on Friday, January 19, 2018 at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

This year’s symposium will focus on reparations: legal and community activists’ struggle to get accountability for past crimes and enduring legacies of harm. The Reparations movements, both historical and modern, reflect a growing consciousness that today’s most powerful nations and institutions were constructed through the commission of grave and inhumane crimes. We will examine what kinds of harm get redress, who should be held accountable, and how to confront a legal system that may be ill-equipped to deal with foundational crimes against humanity.

Mr. Avila will participate in  the  The Caribbean Claim for Reparations Panel, which will examine reparations doctrine in international law and the complications of Caribbean and Garifuna claims.  The other panelists include: Natsu Taylor Saito, Law Professor at Georgia State University College of Law and  Verene A. Shepherd, Director of the Centre for Reparation Research at the University of the West Indies .

In  September 2013, Mr Avila participated in CARICOM’s first Reparations Conference,  held in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The Reparations conference was intended to bring together representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) governments, the national reparations Commissions/Committees, civil society groups from within CARICOM and its Diaspora, the University of the West Indies, and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the struggle for reparations for Native Genocide and Slavery in CARICOM member countries.

“I am honored to be able to participate in the Edward V. Sparer Symposium Reparations Now. As the only Garifuna Delegate in attendance at the  CARICOM’s first Reparations Conference and the Symposium,  I look forward to working with the CARICOM Reparations Commission along with Garifuna representatives from the Diaspora in seeking justice for the crime of genocide committed against our ancestors by the British. I also look forward to educating the Garifuna Diaspora, and enhance their awareness of the reparations issue.” said Jose Francisco Avila Chairman of the Board  of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.

Jose Francisco Avila, chairman of Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc.
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of SVG(4th from right),seen here in the company of renowned reparationist Livingston Bunny Wailer, is credited with initiating the first ever Regional Reparations Conference. Inset: Jose Francisco Avila, Chairman of the group’s Board of Directors of the Garifuna Coalition, USA, Inc., said it was an honour to participate in the Reparations Conference held recently in SVG.
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