A Community of Practice is defined as: “A group of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.” CoPs often focus on learning, sharing best practices and knowledge as well as creating new knowledge to advance a domain of political or professional practice.
To that end, the purpose of the ARTCoP is to provide a much-needed reparations movement supported space for critical reflection as a basis for taking more effective strategic action by supporting members of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and their allies to strengthen and improve their movement-building activities enabling them to learn from, compliment and collaborate with each other to achieve common reparations-related objectives and goals.
Rather than seeking to privilege what academics and those located within formal institutions of education ‘know’ and can ‘teach’ activists about how to wage successful reparations campaigns, the ARTCoP seeks to learn from and build upon the thought, lived experiences and activism of reparations workers, advocates, activists, campaigners, the ISMAR and Afrikan and Afrikan Diaspora communities at large, as co-producers of practical and theoretical knowledge relevant to effecting and securing reparatory justice.
ARTCoP Learning Methodology
ARTCoP It is being conducted within the action learning paradigm i.e. an approach to learning through experience and by doing in the quest of bringing about social change or solving or addressing real problems that involves taking action and reflecting upon the results. This means that the outcome of learning in relation to any reparations focused issues or cause is action, not simply learning and knowledge for knowledge’s sake.
Since learning takes place through taking action (to redress a situation or problem), action learning utilises tools and methods which are not only relevant to, but also promote the empowerment of Afrikan Heritage Reparations Communities of Interest. Action learning is an integral aspect of action research which seeks to change or improve a condition, system or practice and learn about this through changing or improving it. ‘Changing practice’ includes utilising the knowledge being co-produced for advancing reparations goals by improving and strengthening existing reparations campaigning and social movement-building initiatives and processes.
It is important to note that (1) there is a clear structure to the set meetings, and (2) that the ARTCoP group meetings are only part of the process. The other part is the testing out of the ideas in action, which happens in the time between the meetings. ARTCoP members help each individual in turn to reflect on the outcomes of their recent actions and develop ideas for overcoming obstacles to further progress.
Objectives of the ARTCoP
1. To help people organise around purposeful actions that deliver tangible results in advancing the ISMAR.
2. To enable participants in the ARTCoP to develop a shared understanding of the history, purpose and goals of the ISMAR;
3. To increase culturally competent and proficient reparations literacy amongst and between members of the ARTCoP.
4. To facilitate the learning and the sharing of ideas, collectivised knowledge, information, experiences, expertise, research, strategies and resources among participants in the ARTCoP pertaining to the history and heritage of reparations thought, advocacy and activism;
5. To gain recognition in mainstream academia and amongst policy-makers of the knowledge and pedagogical practices being produced outside of formal educational institutions on reparations and to bridge the gap between these various knowledges;
6. To stimulate dialogue among and between members about the ISMAR’s past, present and future in order to explore new possibilities, solve challenging problems, and create new, mutually beneficial opportunities for advancing the goals of the ISMAR;
7. To report on progress and provide updates of reparations related projects, programmes and activities;
8. To support participants in the ARTCoP to develop various resources such as tools, documents, vocabulary and symbols that in some way carry the accumulated knowledge of the ISMAR.
The priority concerns of the ARTCoP are to:
1. Counter fragmentation amongst constituencies within the community of Afrikan reparations interest and reparations groups, networks and organisations by promoting understanding of the common grounds and shared goals between many reparations groups, organisations, campaigns and other social justice movements;
2. Promote open and honest discussions on the obstacles to integrating a reparations framework in the work of other social justice causes and movements;
3. Promote open and honest discussion of the obstacles to building a more inclusive ISMAR and existing reparations advocates, activists and allies working together more constructively.
The scope and purpose of ARTCoP shall be explained prior to inviting members to join so prospective members can self select on the basis of its relevance to them
The ARTCoP will include representatives from Communities of Afrikan and Afrikan Diaspora Reparations Interest, ISMAR members, participating organisations and any other stakeholders that have reparations interests, goals, and or objectives.
Role of Members/Participants
• To develop (negotiate) common perspectives, approaches, practices
• To share reparations related information
• To develop reparations focused methodologies
• To share insights on reparations related practice
• To consult each other on reparations related tasks, projects and programmes
• To collaborate on key reparations related tasks, projects and programmes
• To discuss their approaches
• To explore common reparations related issues
• To go beyond current practice to explore the cutting edge of reparations theory and praxis, to innovate
• To create reparations focussed tools, methods, articles, online presence,
• To create reparations related publicity, promotional and educational documents
• To develop trust, mutual recognition of contributions and understanding.
• To develop processes for harnessing, generating and sharing reparations related knowledge outside the ARTCoP.
The following operating principles indicate the conduct of the ARTCoP and are intended to assist members to clarify their expectations of each other and the community of practice.
1. Co-production of knowledge on or related to the cause of reparations is a fundamental operating principle of the ARTCoP
2. Every member is both a learner and teacher of reparations related knowledge in their respective field of experience, expertise or practice.
3. ARTCoP will promote Afrikan heritage knowledge systems, epistemologies of justice and repair in seeking to contribute to the building of the ISMAR and advancement of its goals.
4. Members can expect to encounter at least one new learning from each meeting.
5. Members will contribute regularly to the ARTCoP.
6. Appropriate levels of privacy and confidentiality will maintained within the ARTCoP.
7. Views expressed are those of individual/organisational practitioner members.
Coordination and Support
The ARTCoP will be Chaired by Jackie Lewis
Roles and Responsibilities (serves as a guide only)
Core group of up to 15 members.
Chair (one member) Jackie Lewis
• To provide oversight and guidance in steering the affairs of the ARTCoP and catalyse proactivity in steering the ARTCoP
• To be the Chief Spokesperson for the ARTCoP
• To ensure the ARTCoP is meeting its stated objectives
• To attend and normally chair ARTCoP meetings
• To facilitate group discussion to ensure that communication is appropriate and respectful
• To develop the agenda and objectives for each ARTCoP meeting.
Steering Committee (Up to 20 members) Including:
1.Chair: Jackie Lewis
2. Co-Vice Chairs: (not more than 4), Esther Stanford-Xosei, Kofi Mawuli Klu
3. Secretary: Simeon Stanford
4. General Members:
1. Cecil Gutzmore
2. Olajumoke Sankofa
3. Kojo Bonsu
4. Jendayi Serwah
5. Prophet Jah B
6. Dr Barryl Biekman
7. Althea Gordon-Davidson
8. Oleye Gege
9. Kwame Adofo Sampong
10. Maatyo Dedo Azu
11. Mawuse Yao Agokor
12. Ametsitsi Kwasi Agoko
13. Anatina Abbasey
14. Xolanyo Yawo Gbafa
• Send out regular messages to ARTCoP members about the next meeting/activity.
• Recruit new members and manage membership
• Maintain various forms of learning and ARTCoP records
• Provide official statements on behalf of the group
• To manage and direct representation of the ARTCoP including media work and other public relations
• To post ARTCoP session recordings on nominated site
• To take and keep records as well as manage ARTCoP archives
• To plan and direct the organisation of various ARTCoP events
• To complete an attendance list of members and participants
• To develop an index of members identifying their areas of reparations related interest, knowledge and experience.
• To develop and publicise a community calendar of reparations related events.
• To identify training needs arising from community of practice meetings.
• To ensure that a summary of the ARTCoP meeting discussions are circulated to members within a reasonable time after each meeting.
• To ensure that meeting dates are publicised at least one month in advance.
The ARTCoP will be largely self-supporting as this is an indicator of their value to members and the wider ISMAR.
In this regard:
• Members will be encouraged to take an active facilitation role at meetings and other activities, and to share information and expertise and capture knowledge.
• Meetings and information sharing can draw from wherever the expertise lies, including within the group, from non-members and/or other agencies, and share this information as appropriate.
• An email discussion group will be set up to encourage member’s engagement and share expertise and information.
Unless otherwise agreed, any costs arising from activities under the ARTCoP will be borne by the Member or participant that incurs them, and will be subject to the availability of funds, personnel, and other resources.
Activities and Frequency of Meetings
Bi-Monthly in addition to any other events which advance the aims and objectives of the ARTCoP.
Evaluation of the ARTCoP
The ‘health’ and relevance of the ARTCoP will be evaluated by seeking regular feedback from members and periodically evaluating outcomes. Such evaluation will also facilitate identification of emerging issues. Evaluation will be timed to feed into planning cycles to ensure relevance to member’s needs and ISMAR priorities.
Evaluation will include:
• the level of participation in email discussion, presentations and meetings;
• the range of members involved;
• attendance at meetings;
• outputs achieved, such as better practice checklists and toolkits;
• how the above feed into reparations goals and outcomes.
• evaluation of the uptake and usage of these checklists and toolkits; and
• member satisfaction.
The ARTCoP Terms of Reference will be reviewed by members every 2 years, (last updated March 2015).
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