FAIRNESS & JUSTICE
Is the United States ready for a truth and reconciliation commission?
U.S. Representative Barbara Lee opened the annual Truth and Transformation Conference, organized by the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. At an Institute of Politics Forum, Lee argued for a U.S. truth and reconciliation commission to weigh the legacy of slavery in the United States: “It’s not about accusing people. This is about telling the truth because that’s the only way to move forward.” Lee has been working on legislation to create the first U.S. Commission on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation. She was introduced by HKS Professor Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the IARA Project, who said, “Most of what we are committed to is understanding how to understand the past, how to reckon with that past as the benchmark for measuring progress in the future. What debts are owed, what conversations need to be had, what kind of community do we need to build in order to have a better future?”
Also see: Keynote address to IARA conference by Alvin Warren MC/MPA 2013, a leader of the Santa Clara Pueblo, on returning land to native nations