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Debating Public Policy Series: A Discussion on Reparations

How can the United States try to make amends for its original sin? What is owed to the ancestors of slaves and the inheritors of structural inequality? Which policies might best serve those endeavors?

The Program for Public Discourse’s Debating Public Policy Series invites Duke public policy professor, William Darity, and Harvard law professor, Randall Kennedy, to deliberate these and other questions related to the theme of reparations, moderated by UNC law professor, Osamudia James.

Registration is available here.


William A. (“Sandy”) Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. He has served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke. Previously he served as director of the Institute of African American Research, director of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, director of the Undergraduate Honors Program in economics, and director of Graduate Studies at the University of North Carolina. at Chapel Hill.

William Darity

Randall Kennedy is Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School where he teaches courses on contracts, criminal law, and the regulation of race relations. He was born in Columbia, South Carolina. For his education he attended St. Albans School, Princeton University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright of the United States Court of Appeals and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Randall Kennedy


Osamudia James joined the UNC School of Law faculty in 2021. Her writing and teaching interests include education law, race and the law, administrative law, and torts. James is the author of numerous articles, book chapters, and popular press commentary exploring the interaction of law and identity in the context of public education. Her work has appeared in the NYU Law Review, the Michigan Law Review, and the Minnesota Law Review, among others, as well as in the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post.

Osamudia James

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