Reparations is a topic that stirs up a lot of opinions on what the United States owes the descendants of enslaved Africans. Does it owe land? Money? Does it owe anything at all? Join us for a panel discussion as we explore the varying concepts of what is owed and what reparations might look like as we discuss the Crafting Democratic Futures project. Housed in the U-M Center for Social Solutions, Crafting Democratic Futures aims to tackle the complex histories surrounding race by working with colleges and universities around the country to develop suggestions for research-informed, community-engaged racial reparations solutions.


The panel discussion was hosted virtually in collaboration with the U-M Detroit Center on January 17, 2022 from 12:30-2:00 pm.



Dr. Earl Lewis, moderator, is the founding director of the University of Michigan Center for Social Solutions. Also the Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History,
Afroamerican and African Studies, and public policy, Lewis is president emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2013-18).

Dr. Timothy K. Eatman serves as inaugural dean of the HLLC and professor of Urban Education at Rutgers-Newark. Prior to this  he held an appointment as Associate Professor of Higher Education in the School of Education at Syracuse University.   

Lauren Hood is a native Detroiter and AfroUrbanist working at the intersection of Black aspiration and city change. Applying a reparations lens to the work, Lauren employs the strategies of storytelling, visioning and relationship building to addressing a community’s past harms, present needs and future hopes & dreams.

Alize Asberry Payne is an Equity and Strategic Development professional working in Southeast, MI. Originally from San Francisco, Asberry Payne now serves as the first Racial Equity Officer for Washtenaw County. She brings a community-centered passion and professionalism to “equity work”, incorporating her experience as a community organizer, consultant, and strategist. 

Dr. Cynthia Spence is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Spelman College and Director of the UNCF/Mellon Programs. As Director of the UNCF/Mellon Programs, Dr. Spence creates, manages and oversees a suite of future faculty development and faculty career enhancement programs for UNCF (United Negro College Fund) students and faculty.  

Ricky White is Anishinabe from Whitefish Bay First Nations in Ontario, Canada. Over the last 22 years, Ricky has served as an Ojibwe Language and Culture Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Executive Director of Education, and Superintendent of Schools.  


A recording of the panel discussion will be posted here after the event.