The National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC) has appointed psychologist Dr. Cheryl Grills to its National Reparations Commission.
NAARC is comprised of activists, scholars and leaders in civil rights, human rights, labor, and faith.
Grills is a professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University and a past national president of the Association of Black Psychologists. She is also a charter member of the California Reparations Commission, the first statewide commission charged with “investigating the history of injustice and brutality against Black people, with a special consideration for African Americans who are descendants of persons enslaved in the United States,” according to a press release.
“I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams making reparations both a personal and professional matter,” Grill said in a prepared statement. “The work of unveiling, decolonizing, and redressing the history of our enslavement and post enslavement oppression in America is long overdue.”
She added, “It is an honor to serve as a commissioner on the NAARC, bringing the tools of psychology to the reparations discourse to ensure that our mental health and well-being as individuals and as a community are a central part of the process of repair.”
NAARC Convener Ron Daniels said, “In addition to her expertise addressing the psychological aspects of the cross-generational trauma from enslavement, Dr. Grills’ role as Commissioner for the nation’s first state Reparations Commission in California will bolster NAARC’s standing as an authoritative body for the reparations movement.”
Dr. Julianne Malveaux, inaugural dean of the College of Ethnic Studies, Cal State, LA, is also NAARC commissioner. She said of Grills’ appointment, “I am delighted that Dr. Cheryl Grills will be joining NAARC as a Commissioner. Her expertise is an invaluable addition to our team. Enslavement has had myriad reverberations in contemporary life, from the wealth gap to health disparities to educational access. Though less frequently addressed, the psychological impacts of enslavement are also significant. Given her expertise and extensive background, I expect that Dr. Grills will help us address the psychological repair that must take place in our communities. I could not be more excited about this accomplished leader’s participation in NAARC.”
Grills founded Imoyase Community Support Services, a 30-year-old nonprofit providing action research, program evaluation, and strategic technical assistance to social justice and social service community-based organizations.
Established in 2015, NAARC, has developed a 10-point plan for reparations for people of African descent in the U.S.
According to the organization’s website, the points include:
- A formal apology and establishing an African Holocaust Institute
- The right to land for social and economic development
- Funds for cooperative enterprises and socially responsible entrepreneurial development
- Resources for the health, wellness, and healing of Black families and communities
NAARC does not include direct monetary payments by the federal government to Native Black Americans.
Recently, top reparations scholar Dr. Sandy Darity called out the reparations plan presented by NAARC, saying NAARC’s plan won’t result in pure reparations. Darity also criticized the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA) and the proposed federal HR40 reparations study bill.
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Other members of the NAARC include honorary members:
- Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright,
pastor Emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL
- Professor Charles Ogletree, executive director emeritus of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard University.
NAARC sitting members include:
- Adjo Amouzou, Independent International Consultant, Sterling, VA
- Bill Fletcher, Labor and Social Justice Activist, former President, Trans-Africa Forum, Washington, D.C.
- Dr. V.P. Franklin, Former Editor of the Journal of African American History, Author of the Young Crusaders (2021), New Orleans, LA
- Justin Hansford, Esq., Executive Director, Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center, Washington, D.C.
- Kamm Howard, National Co-Chairperson, National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations In America, Chicago, IL
- Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Political Economist and President Emeritus, Bennett College for Women, Washington, D.C.
- Montague Simmons, Co-Chairperson, M4BLs Reparations Policy Table, St. Louis, MO
- Robin Rue Simmons, Founder and Executive Director of FirstRepair, Former 5th Ward Alderman for the City of Evanston, IL
- Nkechi Taifa, Civil/Human rights lawyer and long-standing reparations advocate. President, The Taifa Group LLC, Washington, D.C.
- Rev. Dr. Robert Turner, Pastor of the Historic Vernon AME Church, Tulsa, OK
- Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq., President/CEO, National Congress of Black Women, Washington, D.C.
- Jasiri X, Hip Hop Activist, Founder of 1Hood Media, Pittsburgh, PA
- Dr. Ron Daniels, President, Institute of the Black World 21st Century, New York, NY
- Don Rojas, Director of Communications and International Relations for the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, Baltimore, MD
Photo: Dr. Cheryl Grills, professor of psychology at Loyola Marymount University, has been appointed to the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC).