Panel Discussion: Seeking Justice & Reparations for the Land
Join us for a panel discussion on Feb. 14th, from 4:30-6:30pm CST, on the topic Seeking Justice & Reparations for the Land. This panel will explore the justice of reparations for those harmed. Panelists include Dr. Paula Owens Parker, author and program associate for the Katie Canon Center of Womanist Leadership at Union Presbyterian Seminary and Christian Harris, Chairperson of the Oak Park Reparations Task Force and Executive Director of the Oak Park based non-profit Walk-the-Walk, focused on land reparations. Lite refreshments and snacks will be served. This panel will be held in person in Room 350 on the LSTC campus or virtually.
Rev. Dr. Paula Owens Parker
Rev. Dr. Paula Owens Parker is a Presbyterian minister (PCUSA), and adjunct professor and program associate for the Katie Geneva Cannon Center of Womanist Leadership at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, VA. She is the senior program developer of Roots Matter LLC: a program that identifies ways to heal generational trauma in families and communities. Dr. Parker is the creator of RAPHA: A Course in Contemplative Healing Prayer; a spiritual director and board member of the Spiritual Directors of Color Network; and a certified facilitator of Emotional Emancipation Circles (EEC) for Community Healing Network. Dr. Parker is the author of Roots Matter: Healing History, Honoring Heritage, Renewing Hope (2016) and has many published articles. Her favorite quote: “Trauma travels through family lines until someone is ready to heal it. Your ancestors and descendants celebrate every time you do the work.”
Mr. Christian Harris
Christian Harris is a Chicago native, who grew up mostly in the western Chicago suburb of Oak Park, IL. Always a community minded advocate, Christian has a strong dedication to his community and served 6 years on the OPRF Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was elected to the Oak Park Library Board. He also sits on the Board of Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly in Chicago and The North Avenue District Board. In 2018, Harris co-founded grassroots group Walk the Walk along with Danielle Morales and Chris Thomas to address barriers to equity in the western suburb. In 2020, the group began working on a reparation’s initiative for the Oak Park Village Board. Walk the Walk has given presentations to local community groups, city governments on reparations and the history and importance of reparative justice. In 2021 he was appointed to the Oak Park Reparations Task Force focused on preserving Oak Park history and advocating for reparative justice for Black residents who’s lost their land due to discriminatory laws and anti-black sentiments in Oak Park. Today, Harris chairs the task force of nine members from the Oak Park community, where he continually focuses on and speaks about reparative justice.