What is Reparative Justice?

“If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out six inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out, that’s not progress. The progress is healing the wound that the blow made . . . ” Malcolm X

Reparative Justice is a way of thinking about justice (a mindset) that centers those who have been harmed, and focuses on repairing past harms, stopping present harm, and preventing the reproduction of harm.

Several institutions of higher education in the U. S. have pledged reparations, financial compensation to the people who have been harmed by their practices. However, what we are proposing is a much deeper, more nuanced application of justice. It is not a one-time check or public policy.

Informed by the work of BIPOC scholars and community activists, we are thinking of reparative justice as practices that redress systemic harms against BIPOC faculty and support their healing.