Making Reparations: Seeding a Just Future

Jay Owen Latest Headlines



Our celebration of the 50th anniversary of Small is Beautiful continues in February with the theme of Making Reparations: Seeding a Just Future. Accordingly, we are pleased to introduce the participants in this month’s installment of our 2023 series, Schumacher Conversations: the Next 50 Years, bringing together change-makers whose work today is actively shaping a ‘small is beautiful’ future.

The event will be held virtually on Thursday, February 16th at 2PM (EST). Registration is free.




Today, there is a growing recognition that the prevailing economic system is holding back collective agendas for a habitable planet and a fairer distribution of wealth. Realizing the extent to which the dominant system remains rooted in legacies of colonial violence and slavery, addressing the systemic injustices of racism and colonialism remain essential elements of a just and regenerative future.

February’s panelists are those at the forefront of efforts to publicly reckon with these systemic injustices and repair their harms.




Winona LaDuke, Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) economist, environmentalist and Native American activist, co-founder of Honor the Earth.







Robin Rue Simmons, founder and Executive Director of FirstRepair, chairperson of the City of Evanston, Illinois Reparations Committee, former city Alderman.






Chief Kelly LaRocca, Chief of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, Director for the National Lands Advisory Board for First Nations Lands Management in Canada.







Kali Akuno (host), Co-Founder and Co-Director of Cooperation Jackson, member of the Schumacher Center’s Board of Directors.



Each participant represents a particular approach to reparations, arrived at through community activism and in context of place:

  • Chief Kelly LaRocca, acting on behalf of the Scucog Island First Nation, successfully obtained reparation funding from the Canadian government, and is now a Director for the National Lands Advisory Board for First Nations Lands Management.
  • Robin Rue Simmons spearheaded a bill in Evanston, IL that provided reparations funding at the municipal level. Her organization First Repair now trains elected officials in other communities on similar city-funded reparations.
  • Winona LaDuke created a Community Land Trust structure to regather lost Ojibiwe land at the White Earth Land Recovery Project, using donated funds to repurchase land.
  • Kali Akuno joins the conversation with a background in grassroots organizing in Jackson, Mississippi, gaining access to land for homes and small enterprise to provide greater economic security through cooperative efforts.

Additionally, the Schumacher Center has put forward an approach encouraging voluntary land gifting into a Black Commons structure, through which access to land can be reallocated via 98 year leases to those historically excluded from it.

Each panelist is invited to reflect on themes in Small Is Beautiful that connect with their own thinking and activism. This includes economies of place, effective scale of action, production for local markets, cooperative structures, and the role of land in economic justice. These reflections are intended to open up a broader conversation on the topic of Seeding a Just Future. An audience Q&A will follow moderated by our host, Kali.




Over the course of the year, we’ll be welcoming back many of our past speakers, while also introducing fresh faces, in order to address some the most pressing issues of our time.

January’s Schumacher Conversation, Reimagining Economics for a Thriving World, may be viewed here. See the full list of monthly themes and learn more about our celebration of this Small is Beautiful anniversary here.

Do join us,

Schumacher Center Staff