When Slavery Remembrance was founded in 2016, it was done so with the obvious purpose of shining a light on this painful piece of history, which was too often sidelined, and remembering and honouring our ancestors. But it was also done so with a clear understanding that you can’t tackle racism without tackling its roots and that the birthplace of the anti-Black, Afri-phobic racism we see today was the Transatlantic Slave Trade/African Holocaust. In other words if ever wanted to make real headway on ending racism we had to deal with the skeleton in the closet we had all been avoiding.

At the time of founding Slavery Remembrance, we had no idea that just a few months down the line the world would be on fire with the Black Lives Matter movement. Now once again as the world is on fire against anti-Black, Afri-phobic racism, we are ready to take the next step in our journey.

One of the flyers for our very first memorial in 2016

We have always said that our national memorial, Sankofa Day, is the first steps on the journey of collective healing and reconciliation from this traumatic piece of our shared history. It’s now time to take the next steps, this year we are introducing our International REPAIRations Conference on Truth, Justice and Healing.

Institutional, systemic and structural racism are why racism has permeated and flourished throughout society for so long. Such racism has allowed non-Black institutions and organisations to lead, guide and control the narrative on conversations on anti-Black, Afri-phobic racism. To ensure real, effective and lasting change it is important that the conversation is placed firmly back in the hands of the experts so that Black voices are not only heard but Black organisations are leading at this critical time.

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