CURB To Present At World Conference In Detroit

October 16, 2018

A World Conference being held in Detroit, Michigan from Wednesday, October 24 to Friday, October 26 “will find out how Bermuda is using restorative practices to address historical and contemporary harm from past oppression and abuse,” with Lynne Winfield and Hashim Estwick of Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda [CURB] invited to present at the event.

A spokesperson said, “A World Conference being held in Detroit, Michigan from October 24 to October 26 will find out how Bermuda is using restorative practices to address historical and contemporary harm from past oppression and abuse.

“The World Conference, under the auspices of the International Institute of Restorative Practices, is being hosted by Black Family Devolopment, Inc, and will be attracting attendees from across North America, South America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.

“Lynne Winfield and Hashim Estwick of CURB have been invited to present at the 2018 World Conference ‘Strengthening the Spirit of Community’ following the successful presentation by Cordell Riley and Lynne Winfield at the Canada Conference in April 2018. The World Conference will hear how Bermuda is addressing its legacy issues arising out of a history of 218 years of slavery, 137 years of segregation, and the post-segregation and discrimination that followed.

“CURB President, Lynne Winfield, explained CURB would be presenting on the topic ‘Healing a People: How Restorative Practices can help repair the harm of an island’s dark past.’ The presentation would cover the need for healing and reparation in an island whose dark history of slavery, segregation and colonial oppression and its resultant legacy issues continue to affect the majority Black population today.

“The presentation would include why restorative practices methodology was chosen, and how it is helping those who attend to confront and repair this harm to create a more equitable, healthy and socially stable society moving forward.”

Ms. Winfield said, “The aim of the truth and reconciliation process is to create a narrative and behavioural change, build community and relationships, and educate about past historical injustices and how they inform present-day life in Bermuda, leading to participants jointly finding ways for the nation to repair historical harms and its ongoing legacies.

“There are moments when hurt, pain and anger are revealed and we ask people to understand the deep trauma that underlies these feelings.

“What makes the conversations extraordinary is that they are held in a highly unusual environment where descendants of both slaveowners and enslaved peoples are still living in close contact, sharing the same name and often living within short distances of each other. Each share distinct perceptions and experiences that create their own worldviews.”

“She noted that the TRCC works to allow people to catch a glimpse of another’s worldview, which creates empathy, trust and builds relationship through storytelling. It is then that people begin to understand what needs to occur to create a more equitable and fair society.

“The Bermuda TRCC process is built on restorative justice principles and methodology and all facilitators are trained in restorative practices through the IIRP. So effective is the methodology that the majority of TRCC participants who begin the sessions stay in the room and complete the full 7-week process, making the commitment to turn up weekly and form the relationships and community needed for authentic and real conversations around difficult subjects.

“TRCC participants begin by exploring the language around race, which provide a common language for recognizing and working with discomfort. The time spent on discussing how we will work together through consciously developing norms that encourage dialogue, careful listening and shared risk-taking serve the group well as we move into more difficult subjects and open the group up to new ideas and understandings.

“As the group sessions move forward we approach subjects as diverse as privilege, trauma, hidden history, dominant/counter narrative and view short films and participate in exercises to help understand the issues in a deeper way.

“Bermuda’s version of the truth and reconciliation process differs from South Africa’s, and others, in several ways. Bermuda’s truth and reconciliation process has no statutory powers but instead is a community-led process with CURB, a volunteer NGO, initiating and sustaining the project.

“In South Africa, the aim was to deal with atrocities during apartheid with the perpetrators and victims, or their families, still living.

“In Bermuda while there are no living perpetrators of slavery, there are those living who were witness to and experienced segregation; there are those who are benefactors of past injustices and ongoing discrimination; and there are descendants of those who were oppressed who continue to face the ongoing legacies of intergenerational trauma, poverty, internalized superiority, internalized oppression, implicit bias, privilege, stereotypes, economic intimidation, discrimination, marginalization, prejudice, wealth inequality and economic inequity.”

Principle of Restorative Justice Application for Restorative Living
Invite full participation and consensus All those who feel they have a stake in a situation of harm or conflict can be invited to participate in dialogue around the issues and have a voice in the outcomes or decisions made. Power imbalances are noted and addressed as much as possible to achieve consensus.
Heal what has broken Our everyday interactions and situations can result in hurtful words and actions, which may create feelings of injustice or imbalance in our relationships. As much as possible, the restorative approach seeks to bring those hurts to light and create space for healing and reparation.
Seek full and direct accountability When harm occurs, we can nurture an environment where we are encouraged to take ownership for our own roles in hurtful behavior or abuses of power. Living restoratively means respectfully expecting oneself and others to be accountable for our actions in ways that are fair and reasonable.
Reunite what has been divided Hurtful or damaging behavior in our places of interaction can create feelings of isolation and of being an outcast. It can result in individuals taking sides and developing an “us/them” mentality. As much as possible, restorative living aims to take stock of where divisions have occurred in our communities and to work toward balance, understanding and reconciliation.
Strengthen the community to prevent future harms Most communities can ultimately use situations of harm to learn, grow, and change where necessary. When living restoratively, we can help illuminate systemic injustice and power imbalances. We then advocate for positive changes in order to make the community a healthier and more just place for all.

click here Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda

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Comments (12)

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  1. facts of the rock says:

    CURB = Citizens Undermining Racial Balance.

  2. Jonathan Land Evans says:

    It would be helpful if CURB would clarify the basis of their claim that Bermuda was still racially segregated in the early 1970s (“137 years of segregation” following the abolition of slavery), when to the best of my knowledge such segregation in fact finally ended in the mid-1960s. As far as I can see, CURB’s claim involves a conflation of actual segregation (by law or government policy) with the much lesser evil of a mere lack (or perceived inadequate degree) of actual racial integration in the island’s primary schools, and using that rather narrowly-focused perceived inadequacy of racial integration (in the primary schools) in order to claim that Bermuda was still a racially-segregated country. For more on the issue, see my book ‘Siren Songs: a history of Bermuda from 1960 to c.1980’ at pages 217-221.

    • Lynne Winfield says:

      The last law to be passed relating to segregation was in 1971 which desegregated the primary schools. Although desegregation was brought about by the Progressive Group’s courageous actions in 1959, things did not change overnight. Certain clubs and other organizations continued to remain all white. By the mid-1960s desegregation was moving extremely slowly the ‘white’ schools only admitting a few people of colour. The government of the day hoped that by formally desegregating the primary schools integration would begin to occur. Unfortunately, all that happened is that white flight occurred with white students being pulled out and sent to private schools. It took the then government many years to review and update the laws to ensure there was no longer any language that contained bias, culminating in 1971 with the primary schools being desegregated. This is why CURB uses the 1971 Act as the delineating event.

      • Jonathan Land Evans says:

        Thanks for responding, but my point is that those schools had ALREADY been desegregated — in 1965/66; it was just that the politicians were not satisfied with the practical extent of the ensuing racial integration, and so imposed various amalgamations of schools and the like, to achieve a higher degree of actual racial mixing. Segregation, it seems to me, in this historical context, is an absolute, binary thing; whereas integration is a spectrum or continuum. That being so, it seems to me very misleading, also irrational, to take 1971 as marking the end of segregation, since by that logic one could just as well claim that segregation NEVER ended because there is still not (I imagine) an exact racial balancing in schools today.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Don’t be surprised . For the same reason OJ keeps trying to convince us that slavery lasted for 400 years in Bermuda.

      • wahoo says:

        Yet you would appear to pick and choose your battles and there are many among us that would claim that you are less concerned with race but more with politics.

  3. question says:

    I’m sure CURB must be mortified at the prospect of people being thrown off the island because they have a foreign accent.

  4. Rocky5 says:

    CURB = Citizens Unbaked Racial Bias.

  5. Rocky5 says:

    This is a smokescreen. CURB are just a wing of the Progressive Labour Party with the mantra – “create maximum white guilt, always emphasise Bermudians differences (vs similarities) and use all our negative pre- 1971 history/laws to keep all racial resentments alive & kicking forever”

  6. Black Panther says:

    Good ole Land Evans: The god father of white/anglo saxon style identity politics in Bermuda which he always expresses in a post modern idiom yet the contempt for black Bermudians is never far from the surface with just about everything that he writes.

    • Jonathan Land Evans says:

      I think anyone who knows me at all well will know that that isn’t so, but just for the record I’m not in any way a politician, I neither like nor practise identity politics, and I do not have contempt for black Bermudians. By the by, I’m not sure that someone who styles himself Black Panther is well placed to criticise anyone else on the grounds of identity politics….