DESCRIPTION: Law & Policy (International & Domestic) Coordinator

The Philadelphia Reparations Task Force Law & Policy Expert will lead community cohorts and a law & policy committee to develop reparations proposals that provide solutions to the issues of constitutional, civil, and human rights violations among Black Philadelphians. The coordinator will provide pro bono professional expertise, excellent coordinating, and work with reparations stakeholders in Philadelphia. The coordinator will have experience in the sector, and experience in activism, social justice, grassroots community organizing, or reparatory justice. Task Force coordinator will: 

  • Develop, read, review, and write reports.
  • Coordinate meetings, dates, and timelines.
  • Build and maintain partnerships in their sector.
  • Conduct surveys and co-create related reports.
  • Advocate for the descendant group’s self-determination.
  • Develop and manage committees, subcommittees, and stakeholder relationships.
  • Participate in and lead courses, conferences, convenings, fundraising efforts, media and community forums, and public events.

Responsibilities

The Law & Policy Expert will be tasked with:

  • Organizing other law and policy experts to investigate litigation in favor of Black Philadelphians across spectrums, and to:
    1. Develop proposals that support cases for Black Philadelphians at the municipal, state, federal and international law levels 
    2. Explain to Black Philadelphians their rights across the spectrum of law to advance their peoplehood and self-determination. 
    3. Audit various Philadelphia and Pennsylvania laws and policies for equity and enforcement to comport with international and external standards in favor of Black liberation and justice.
    4. Study reparations, succession, sovereignty and self-determination for the descendant group from U.S. de facto jurisdiction, including laws that have advanced citizenship rights and non-discrimination for the descendant group that may face or may have experienced the threat of being overturned or revoked.
  • Scrutinize the corporate system of government through the lens of how various forms of law impact Black Philadelphians’ sovereignty, including but not limited to public law, constitutional law, administrative law, criminal law, tort law, statutory law, international law e.t.c.
  • Support task force coordinators with legal assistance in existing cases or cases that may arise in order to protect the lives and livelihoods of Black Philadelphians, including but not limited to:
    1. Criminal & Legal System support in:
      1. Examining the historical and present human rights violations in Philadelphia’s discriminatory laws and racial policies on enslaved and free Black Philadelphians
      2. Legal remedy from Police acquiescence, involvement, and support in human rights abuse against Black Philadelphians from the MOVE bombing to White race riots, massacres, and attacks. 
      3. Legal remedy from mass incarceration and prisons; youth incarceration and juvenile justice facilities in Philadelphia; “War on Drugs,” three strikes policies, and crack and powder cocaine targeted laws; disparities in sentencing rates, traffic stops, and punishments; over policing, stop and frisk; cash bail system, parole, recidivism, and post-incarceration; militarized police; police brutality, extrajudicial police killings; racial profiling, death penalty sentences, exoneration rates; police oversight and accountability mechanisms; fraternal order of police and police unions
      4. Legal remedy from criminalizing bodies and powers endowed with authority over Black Philadelphias, including but not limited to university police partnerships, landlord tenant officers, Philadelphia parking authority, and their impact on Black Philadelphians 
    2. Economic Justice support in:
      1. Legal remedy from structural racism within Philadelphia’s economy regarding the capture of Black wealth, theft of Black inheritance, and exploitation of Black Philadelphians through slave labor, slave insurances and mortgages, the sale of slave produced commodities, slave incentive land distribution, and indentured servitude 
      2. Legal remedy from discriminatory employment and hiring practices
      3. Legal remedy from the history of racism within the Philadelphia housing market including lending practices, access to capital and credit, and real estate appraisal, property valuation, and land valuation and devaluation of Black-owned property 
    3. Health & Wellness support with legal remedies for historical medical coercion, malpractice, personal and self-determined choices on medical remedies infringed upon by the state i.e. the kidnapping of children for home births, penalization of physicians for alternative medicine, corrupt denial of service or inclusion in violation of federal laws protecting personal information, e.t.c.
    4. Human Services & Community Resources support in educating and organizing communities to complete a plebiscite questionnaire in Philadelphia.
    5. Education support with
      1. Scrutinizing the historic and present laws against Black educators and children 
      2. Various infringements by universities to communities they’re in, and leniency for those universities by the City when committing criminal or egregious acts.
      3. Discriminate treatments seen among public, charter, and private K12 schools, including the relationship between housing segregation and school segregation, to inform how this contributes to propagating racial inequities
      4. History of Philadelphia school funding through property taxes and impact on Black Philadelphians
      5. Accessing the history of student loans for Black Philadelphians
      6. What previous or ongoing litigations exist against the school district and universities, and what could /  should exist for egregious acts.
  • Provide the descendant groups a comprehensive understanding of their rights to preserve their land, language, culture, religion, heritage, and migration as rights entitled by birth, independent of any human-made laws or customs
    1. Natural Laws & Natural Rights
    2. Indigenous Rights & Intellectual Property
    3. Ancestral Domain, Land Rights, & Allodial Title 
    4. Positive Laws & Legal Rights
    5. Blood Quantum Laws, Jus Sanguinis & Jus Soli Rights
    6. Rights of Abode & Rights of Return
    7. Human Rights & Humanitarian Law
    8. Statehood & Nationality
    9. Repatriation & Rematriation
    10. Accession & Autochthony
  • Studying the ability of U.S. law to provide redress for descendant communities.
  • Drafting law and policy for a future Office or Bureau for the descendant group in Philadelphia 
  • Research potential future litigation against the state for various violations of Black Americans’ rights.
  • Promote how best to enforce and provide for the Slavery Era Business/Corporate Insurance Disclosure and Financial Reparations laws, Bills No. 040133-A and 050615, working alongside Economic Expert and other task force members
    1. The slavery disclosure law and reparations ordinance, passed and amended in 2005, requires financial depositories doing business with the City of Philadelphia to publicly disclose slavery insurance policies sold by itself or predecessor(s) and profits derived from slavery and provide the City with a statement of financial reparations if it or its predecessor profited from slavery. 
    2. A description of any new financial products or programs to address racial disparity in its lending and investment activities. Affidavits certifying that neither it, nor any of its affiliates are, or will become high cost lenders or predatory lenders. 
    3. An annual statement of community reinvestment goals including the number of small business loans, home mortgages, home improvement loans, and community development investments to be made within low and moderate-income neighborhoods. 
    4. A long term strategic plan to address disparities in its lending and investment activities, addressing how the depository will match or exceed peer lending performance in targeting capital access and credit needs disclosed in disparity studies.
    5. The law  & policy expert will be required to lead legal study into what remedy or legal action can be taken for the negligence or perjury of financial depositories in their slavery disclosures and financial reparations statements, including banks’ and their predecessors’ records regarding investments or profits derived from slavery and insurance policies, filing Right-To-Know requests with the Procurement, the Treasurer’s Office, and the Mayor’s Office, and documenting evidence of financial depositories ties with slavery. 
    6. The law and policy expert is expected to work closely with the historian, who will also lead research into Philadelphia’s slavery disclosure law and others’.
  • Study and develop Philadelphia’s case for genocide under proxmire act 

International Law and Policy Review

  • Identifying the pros and cons of various sovereign communities, their forms of government, and self-determination, leadership, their economies, political systems, and community health, governmental institutional support for their land ownership/collective governance. 
  • Recommend appropriate legislative remedies in consideration of its findings on the matters described in this section, addressing, among other issues:
    1. How the recommendations comport with international standards of remedy for wrongs and injuries caused by the state that include full reparations and special measures as understood by various international protocols, laws, and findings, including those articulated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Child, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and The United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law.
    2. How the City / State should offer a formal apology for its participation and practice in human rights violations and crimes against the humanity of the descendant group.
    3. How local and regional laws and policies negatively affect the descendant group and perpetuate the lingering material and psychosocial effects of colonialism.
    4. How the injuries resulting from matters described in this subdivision can be reversed through appropriate policies, programs and additional recommendations.
    5. How, in consideration of the Task Force’s findings, any form of recompensement may be calculated.
    6. What form of recompenses should be awarded, through what instrumentalities, and how the aforementioned receive such redress.
    7. How, in consideration of the Task Force’s findings, any other forms of rehabilitation or restitution to the descendant group is warranted and what form and scope those measures should take.
  • Study communities in the diaspora where laws have been passed and enforced to offer redress to descendant communities and use the research as potential models for the U.S. descendant community, i.e. case studies: indigenous sovereignty and law, case studies in the context of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Palenque, Colombia, Quilombos in Brazil, Garifuna, and other Maroon and enslaved descendant communities with collective land rights, the Amish, e.t.c.
  • Research and synthesis best practices of Palenque, Colombian owned jails and community rehabilitation centers, and Quilombos’ indefinite and perpetual collective land ownership.
  • Study and present a synthesis context of international movements for reparations, i.e. CARICOM, UN Forum of PAD, African Union, e.t.c.
  • Investigate opportunities for collaboration and support
  • Research and synthesis history and current legal implications facing the descendants of Freedmen of the Five Tribes: Black/Freedmen operated towns, i.e. The Cherokee nation granted 166 acre lands to each freedmen resulting in Oklahoma becoming the state with the most independently ran Black towns.
  • Study reparations from a Black Central American perspective/worldview – Kriol and Garifuna in the late 1980s – land right wins

Office/Bureau for the Descendant Group

  • Draft law and policy for a future Office or Bureau for the descendant group in Philadelphia 
  • Study history of Freedmen Bank in Philadelphia 
  • Model for future Freedman Bank and Land Bank in Philadelphia for descendant community
  • Study historic framework of Freedom Bureau and provide recommendations for creation of a contemporary one
  • Research potential future litigation against the state for various violations of Black Americans’ rights
  • Promote how best to enforce and provide for the Slavery Era Business/Corporate Insurance Disclosure and Financial Reparations laws, Bills No. 040133-A and 050615, working alongside Economic Expert and other task force members
  • Study and develop Philadelphia’s case for genocide under proxmire act 

Qualifications, Necessary Skills and Required Responsibilities:

  • Experience reviewing and developing policy.
  • A deep knowledge and understanding of the various forms of law that impact and will impact the descendant group.
  • Strong research and analytical skills.
  • Ability to collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders and advocate for change..
  • Experience in criminal justice, law enforcement, or related fields.
  • Strong research and analytical skills.
  • Ability to coordinate, organize, and engage with a diverse range of stakeholders and law experts to review and develop strategies and suits for change.
  • Prepare monthly, quarterly and annual audits of the criminal justice systems and co-create reports of data with committee members.
  • Sharp time management skills.
  • Strong ethics, with an ability to manage confidential data.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills for diplomacy.
  • Experienced, empathetic, culturally competent, and trauma-informed, with experience working with various stakeholders across sectors and legal fields.
  • Ability to coordinate committees and collaborate with communities.
  • Display adept organizational abilities in managing the subcommittee’s research efforts, ensuring all facets of the various laws are thoroughly examined and synthesized.
  • Attend internal Philadelphia Reparations Task Force meetings, subcommittee meetings, and public community sessions.
  • Assist with the integration of the Task Force’s policy goals and targeted campaigns.
  • Leadership ability to co-create effective initiatives and solutions that acknowledge and resolve past injustices, and build new and improved policies and scrutiny of law that honor the descendant group.