The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has urged the National Council on Reparation to move quickly to finalise the national policy – the Roadmap to Reparation.
Addressing members of the Council at a retreat on Saturday, Minister Grange congratulated them on the work they’ve been doing but told them that the time had come to step up the pace.
According to Minister Grange, the Council must “seize the moment of the global movement and momentum in favour of the alignment of our local and global human experiences with the human right we have to equality and equity.”
In this regard, the Minister urged the Council to remain singularly focused on developing the Roadmap to Reparation.
Minister Grange said:
“We need a roadmap for legal and diplomatic actions which will bring us monetary reparation. The crafting of a petition is an important start and many thanks to the Council for the tremendous work done in this regard. And I have to single out members [Frank] Phipps and [Anthony] Gifford; and also Mike Henry, though not a member of the Council. Thank you for being so passionate and focused on achieving this goal.
We need that roadmap that will extinguish a debt we have never owed.
We need that roadmap that will see restitution made and institutions established that will show the greatness of our people who were stolen from Africa and in whose name, we will lay our claim for reparation including Repatriation to the Continent…
We need the roadmap to ease of cultural exchange, strategic engagement, strong linkages for commerce, trade, travel, and celebration of each other, with each other.”– Minister Olivia Grange
Minister Grange said the Roadmap to Reparation must also engage young people from dormancy to full participation in the reparations movement. In this regard, the Minister announced that she would soon assume joint chairmanship of the Council, along with Mrs Laleta Davis Mattis, and would also be expanding the membership of the Council to include the youth, the Attorney General’s Chambers and members of the Diaspora.
The Minister said it was critical that Council ended its weekend retreat with a clear strategy for moving forward with achievable goals.
She urged the Council to continue to “work impatiently for justice for the atrocities committed against our ancestors, and those which flow from this history and persist against our people today…”
The National Council on Reparation is an advisory Council in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. It was established after the Jamaican Parliament unanimously passed a resolution moved by the Honourable Mike Henry to pursue reparations from the British Government, to compensate descendants of Africans, who were enslaved by them.