Repair For Our World
ADVENT REFLECTIONS ON REPARATIONS
Advent is a time of expectation as the world awaits a Messiah who will “bring justice to the nations,” a Savior who will make that which is broken straight, bring in those who are cast out, and repair what is wrong. Though there are many elected leaders who want to white-wash U.S. history and forget about a legacy of enslavement and genocide, we must acknowledge past harms if we want to bring about repair. Advent is a time for us to repair past wrongs.
Towards that end, we are excited to feature the writings of five faith leaders and academics who have written reflections on the lectionary passages for each of the five Sundays of Advent (including Christmas morning) looking at Advent through the lens of Reparations. To establish a common understanding of what reparations is and addresses we are using the Reparations Now Toolkit from the Movement for Black Lives.
In creating this Advent reflection project, we worked in collaboration with Billi Wilkerson, the Managing Director of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University. Each week of writings also features the art of Anni Brink and we are grateful for her contributions. We hope through this study to support the movement for reparations for historic and current harms against Black people through education and advocacy. We hope this resource will be used by individuals and groups alike. On this site you will find the reflections for each of the Sundays as well as links to resources to better understand the movement for reparations.
After loving art as a child, Anni began making art as an adult in earnest in 1987, working as a painter, illustrator, and fabric artist. Since then, she has created hundreds of commissioned art pieces for churches, schools, and individuals. Her art has also been featured on greeting cards and book, magazine, worship bulletin, and devotional covers. She has displayed paintings in numerous art galleries and church and seminary galleries nationwide. In her work, Anni focuses on scripture as well as the life and teachings of Jesus; also on themes of justice, love, antiracism, and worship. Currently, she is making good news ARTcomix books for youth, focused on justice and the life and teachings of Jesus. For more about Anni and her work, see equitykingdom.com, annecbrink.com, and @goodnewsartsstudio (Instagram).
Bilqis Watts Wilkerson joined the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law (“the Center”) as Managing Director in Spring 2021.
As Managing Director, Bilqis is a change agent who will improve the way the Center operates. Bilqis is a subject matter expert in racial reconciliation and has been facilitating trainings and workshops on anti-racism, racial equity and inclusion since the early 2000s.
Bilqis is a 2020 graduate of Howard University School of Law. As a law student, she worked with the Center during her 2L and 3L year. She was a research assistant for the forthcoming 7th edition of the legal textbook, Race, Racism, and American Law. The text was originally written by Derick Bell, and was the first casebook published specifically for teaching race-related law courses.
As a student member of the staff, Bilqis helped coordinate the Mid Decade Summit an international conference organized to advance the interests of Afro-descendants around the world with the United Nations and leaders in civil society; she drafted the Center’s letter to the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights on Reparations for Afro-descendants in the United States; she coordinated logistics for the Movement Lawyering Conference with the Advancement Project; she collaborated to produce an Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court for Black Lives Matter protester DeRay McKesson; and many more projects.
Bilqis is the founder of the consulting firm Watts Wilkerson Associates. Her service to countless non-profit and community organizations, includes Public Allies, Congressional Black Caucus, the Offices of the Honorable Barbara Lee, the Servant Leadership School, and multiple school and local community groups. She is a leader, a manager and a capacity builder.