Racial Justice Advocacy Forum launches website to explore slavery reparations
The Racial Justice Advocacy Forum (RJAF) launched a new website on 10 February 2022 that captures all the work taking place in Britain and Ireland to address the issue of Transatlantic slavery-related reparations
The RJAF, which was established in 2020 by the Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), seeks to advocate on behalf of, and with, Black and Brown Christians on racial justice matters, including reparations.
Over the last decade, conversations linked to slavery reparations have gained real traction in the USA, the Caribbean, Africa and in Britain, as those regions come to terms with the history and legacy of a practice that transformed the demographics and economics of the world. History also reveals that certain British churches and their missionary agencies played a key role in slavery and abolition, a reality which now sees them grappling with how to reconcile this alongside the clamour for reparations.
Since its launch, the RJAF has hosted two groundbreaking webinars featuring some of the keenest minds from across the globe, exploring reparations from a theological and economic perspective.
The Revd Wale Hudson Roberts, a Baptist minister and founder member, says: ‘These forums and our ongoing work aims to provide the churches, para-church organisations and Christians with the theological tools and confidence to engage with the reparations discussion.
'The latter is paramount given the historic churches’ role, and the expectation that they will engage in what is considered a justice matter.’
The RJAF will host a further webinar in early March 2022 exploring reparations within the context of education, and a recording of this, and the two aforementioned webinars, will be located on the website, alongside a plethora of theological and historical material that will further educate, inform and encourage all those who are keen to engage in the important conversations surrounding reparations.
Alongside its reparations work, the RJAF has been busy responding to other public policy matters affecting Black and Brown people in Britain. In April 2021, the RJAF produced an in-depth response to the controversial Sewell Report into race inequality in Britain, which was commissioned after the murder of George Floyd in the USA in May 2020. In tandem with its report, the RJAF also hosted a webinar which further delved into Sewell’s much-maligned response.
The RJAF will also be working with partners such as the Joint Public Issues Team and the Evangelical Alliance in responding to the Government’s impending Nationalities and Borders Bill.
CTBI’s Richard Reddie said, ‘Akin to the reparations situation, the RJAF is keen to make representations alongside and on behalf of Black and Brown Christians to address matters that impact Britain’s diverse communities. It is important that we proactively speak up and speak out on racial justice matters.’