American Black Journal and BridgeDetroit co-host a live, virtual town hall on reparations for Black Americans.

“American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson moderated discussions about a Detroit voter-approved task force studying generational impacts to Black residents. He talked about where the process stands and what policy recommendations from task force members. Detroit Reparations Task Force co-chairs, Keith Williams and Cidney Calloway, are scheduled to participate in the town hall.

Plus, Henderson gets insight into the research conducted by task force partners at the University of Michigan.  Associate Dean Rita Chin from the University of Michigan’s Rackham Graduate School will discuss the task force’s work, which aims to provide recommendations for policies dealing with wealth gaps, homeownership, environmental and educational impacts.

And, reporter Malachi Barrett from BridgeDetroit shared his three-part series on reparations and what he has learned from his in-depth coverage of Detroit’s quest for reparations.

The town hall continues a conversation “American Black Journal” and BridgeDetroit started in 2022 when Detroit’s reparations task force was initially formed with the mission of conducting research, making recommendations, setting goals, and advising on the implementation of reparation policies.

Town Hall Participants:

Stephen Henderson: American Black Journal host / BridgeDetroit Executive Editor

Stephen Henderson headshotStephen Henderson is the current host of American Black Journal, WDET’s Detroit Today radio show, and executive editor of BridgeDetroit.  He is a former Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial page editor of The Detroit Free Press. A Detroit native, Henderson is a graduate of the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and the University of Michigan. He has worked previously as a reporter, editorial writer, and editor at the Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune, and the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, where he covered the Supreme Court from 2003-2007.

Henderson’s work has been honored with more than a dozen national awards, including for work that is published in the book, “Best Newspaper Writing 2001.” Henderson connects to readers and viewers with perspective and passionate opinion. Follow Stephen on Twitter @SHDetroit.

Keith Williams, Co-Chair, Detroit Reparations Task Force

Keith WilliamsKeith Williams is the chairman of the Michigan Democratic Black Caucus and the co-chair of the Detroit Reparations Task Force. He spearheaded the campaign that placed the Reparations Task Force on the ballot. He is concurrently a Director of Recruiting for the Wayne County Sheriff. Previously, he was Vice-Chair of the Wayne County Commission, an organization designed to pursue social justice aims.

Cidney Calloway, Co-Chair, Detroit Reparations Task Force

Cidney Calloway

Cidney Calloway is a social justice advocate and community organizer known for her involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, she developed a strong sense of responsibility towards her community from an early age. Cidney’s passion for justice and liberation led her to engage in activism and advocate for the Black community.
In 2020, Cidney became a vocal abolitionist during the nationwide protests that erupted after the public murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. Inspired by the need for systemic change, she actively participated in peaceful protests demanding an end to police brutality and racial injustice. Unfortunately, during one of these peaceful demonstrations, Cidney was arrested for her activism.

Following her arrest, Cidney’s dedication to the cause did not waver. Instead, it led her to join forces with the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), a prominent and influential coalition of organizations advocating for Black liberation and social justice. As a two-time fellow with M4BL, she played a crucial role in organizing and amplifying the voices of those fighting for racial equality and advocating for the dismantling of systems and recreating what safety means in the Black community.

As Cidney continued her journey as an activist and abolitionist, she recognized the importance of legal representation and community empowerment in the fight against systemic injustice. Subsequently, she found her way to the Detroit Justice Center, a nonprofit organization that provides legal support, advocacy, and resources to low-income communities in Detroit.

Currently, Cidney serves as the office manager for the Detroit Justice Center. In this role, she plays a vital part in ensuring the organization’s smooth operation and continues to contribute to the fight for justice and equality in her community. Her dedication, resilience, and commitment to uplifting Black voices have made her a respected and influential figure in the ongoing struggle for social change and in creating a more just future for all.

Rita Chin, Associate Dean, Rackham Graduate School


Rita ChinRita Chin is a professor of history at the University of Michigan, where she has taught since 2003. She received a Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in 1999 and a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Washington in 1990 and 1992.

Chin is a scholar of modern Europe with particular expertise in immigration and human mobility; race and ethnicity; and colonialism and postcolonialism. Trained in European cultural and intellectual history, she have sought to apply these modes of inquiry to her ongoing interest in how difference and diversity have shaped the very terms of modern Germany and Europe more generally. Her research and writing have been supported by the SSRC, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, ACLS Burkhardt Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Chin’s areas of interest include postwar Germany, Britain, and France; immigration and migration studies; racial and ethnic minorities; colonialism and postcolonialism; gender; and European Leftism and the New Left. She is beginning a new book project called “Original Sin: Race and Reparations in the US and Germany,” which compares how the United States and Germany have variously grappled with their “original sins” of slavery and the Holocaust and shows how each society’s efforts to come to terms with its past have shaped contemporary race relations.

She is currently serving as Associate Dean of Social Sciences at Rackham Graduate School and is the faculty sponsor for a Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop on Migration and Displacement. In addition, she’s actively engaged in the History Department’s career diversity and professionalization initiatives.

Malachi Barrett, Reporter, BridgeDetroit

Malachi BarrettMalachi Barrett is a mission-oriented journalist trying to do good and stir up some trouble.

Barrett previously worked at MLive in a variety of roles in Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Detroit. Most recently, he led MLive’s statewide coverage of the 2020 presidential election, tracked political extremism and covered social movements. His coverage of Michigan’s connection to the January 6 riot was cited by Congress and federal investigators.

Barrett has won Associated Press awards for his reporting on housing and environmental pollution. He was named Michigan’s 2019 Newspaper Rising Star by the Associated Press. He was also included on The Washington Post’s 2020 list of “outstanding politics reporters to follow” on social media (@PolarBarrett). Barrett graduated from Central Michigan University in 2016, where he proudly served as editor-in-chief of the student-operated newspaper.

Barrett lives in the Jefferson Corridor. He grew up in Southwest Michigan but has also spent his childhood years in California, Wisconsin, Virginia, South Carolina and Japan. His inbox is always open for news tips and pictures of Spider-Man.

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