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Addressing Historical Injustices: Recommendations to Church Commissioners

“Independent Oversight Group Launches Recommendations to Church Commissioners to Address Legacy of African Chattel Enslavement”

Diahanne RhineyEditor in Chief

London, March 4, 2024, 10:00 AM: Today marks a pivotal moment in the Church of England’s journey toward reconciliation and restitution as an independent Oversight Group, appointed by the Church Commissioners for England, unveils its comprehensive report and recommendations aimed at addressing the enduring legacy of African chattel enslavement.

Formed with a mandate to devise strategies for healing and repair, the Oversight Group has conducted extensive research and consultations with affected communities, historians, and stakeholders. The resulting report represents a significant step forward in acknowledging historical injustices and charting a path toward justice and reconciliation.

Key Recommendations:

  1. Adequate Funding: The Oversight Group highlights the inadequacy of the initial £100 million earmarked by the Church Commissioners, given the scale of the moral sin and crime of African chattel enslavement. Instead, the Group recommends a target of £1 billion or more to adequately address the multifaceted impacts of this historical injustice.
  2. Accelerated Timeline: Recognizing the urgency of the matter, the Oversight Group calls for an accelerated timeline for the delivery of the impact investment fund. Rather than the originally envisaged nine years, the Group proposes a swifter implementation process to ensure timely support for affected communities.
  3. Full Acknowledgment and Apology: In a historic move, the Oversight Group calls upon the Church of England to fully acknowledge and apologize for the harms caused by its historical denial of the humanity of Black Africans, deliberate actions to dismantle diverse African religious belief systems, and facilitation of practices that undermined the spiritual connection of Africa and the African diaspora with their cultural heritage.

Proposed Fund:

The Oversight Group recommends the establishment of the “Fund for Healing, Repair, and Justice,” a transformative initiative aimed at addressing the deep-rooted inequities stemming from African chattel enslavement.

This fund will prioritize investments in Black-led businesses focusing on education, economic empowerment, healthcare access, land ownership, and food security. Additionally, grants will be provided to support community-based initiatives aimed at addressing systemic inequalities and fostering social cohesion.

Community Ownership:

Crucially, the Oversight Group advocates for the ultimate ownership and management of the fund by Black communities. By centering the voices and experiences of those most affected by African chattel enslavement, the Group seeks to ensure that the fund’s initiatives are rooted in community-driven solutions and priorities.

Bishop Rosemarie Mallett, Chair of the Oversight Group, emphasizes the profound significance of this initiative in addressing persistent inequalities and fostering healing and reconciliation. She underscores the need for sustained commitment and collaboration to address the far-reaching impacts of African chattel enslavement and build a more just and equitable society.

Acceptance and Commitment:

The Church Commissioners for England have welcomed the report in full, recognizing the Fund as a critical step toward acknowledging and addressing historical injustices. While acknowledging that no amount of money can fully compensate for the past, the Commissioners affirm their commitment to supporting the process of healing, repair, and justice.

Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the theological and humanitarian imperative of the Fund. He urges continued collaborative action to address the appalling evil of Transatlantic chattel enslavement and build a more inclusive and equitable future.

Looking Ahead:

As the Church of England prepares to implement the recommendations outlined in the report, it signals a significant shift toward accountability and restitution. The establishment of the Fund represents the most substantial act of acknowledgement and repair yet made by any UK institution complicit in the historical injustices of African chattel enslavement.

The journey toward healing and reconciliation is ongoing, but today’s announcement marks a crucial milestone in acknowledging the past and forging a path toward a more just and equitable future.

For those interested in delving deeper into the report and recommendations, the full document is available for viewing at


Black Wall St. MediaContributor



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