Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Erica Licht

Research Projects Director | Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project (IARA), Harvard University
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Erica Licht has been engaged in racial equity and organizational change research and training for over 15 years. She is currently Research Project Director at the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project (IARA) at Harvard University. Prior to IARA, Erica served as Assistant Director at the Center on Culture, Race, and Equity at Bank Street College, and as Fellow with Race Forward/GARE. Her career has focused on collaborative community and institutional change programs globally, including Center for Creative Leadership in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Lemann Foundation in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and AVP International in Lagos, Nigeria. She co-hosts the podcast Untying Knots.

Twitter: @erica_licht

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Getting at the Root: Global Racial Justice, Truth Telling, and Accountability

In the wake of George Floyd and other Black Americans' murders by police in 2020, and subsequent uprisings, growing calls for a national truth commission and other reparative measures swelled in the United States. Yet, these demands and even their implementation are not new. Global examples of truth and repair mechanisms provide vital information for the prospects and limits of these processes.

While there are numerous examples of truth telling initiatives globally, and even locally in the United States, the value of these approaches has sometimes been overestimated or glorified, preventing us from gaining a comprehensive understanding of their true impact in addressing systemic oppression, as well as the challenges and limitations of their adoption.

In this session, the facilitators will share from their work at the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project to investigate, document, and explore global justice, truth telling, and accountability processes around the globe including in Northern Ireland, England, South Africa, Rwanda, and Canada, as well as local U.S. examples in Greensboro, NC, and the state of Maine.

In the second part of the session participants will be divided into small groups, assigned a case study, and invited to practice designing a truth commission, including choosing mechanisms that would be effective for addressing societal harm, and integrating strategies from their own racial justice organizing.

By exploring international examples and tools for action, we will expand our collective understanding of what societal restoration can look like, and propose recommendations for true justice and accountability.

Speakers: Erica Licht, Gloria Ayee