Hundreds of movement leaders, activists, organizers, funders, and journalists gathered in Atlanta in June 2023 at Alight, Align, Arise, an invitation-only conference on reparations organized by the Decolonizing Wealth Project. As the conference’s media partner, YES! Media spoke with more than a dozen prominent organizers, activists, and leaders, among them Enith Williams, managing director of the Reparations Finance Lab. Williams has had a long career in finance and in economic and social development. As an international banker, she has held senior positions with Merrill Lynch in New York City, with the Jamaican government, and with several private agencies in her home country of Jamaica.
Williams spoke with YES! Racial Justice Editor Sonali Kolhatkar in Atlanta about what the financial sector owes to Black people and how it can pay reparations for its role in both chattel slavery and the continued economic impacts of systemic racism.
This video is part of Realizing Reparations, an exclusive digital series exploring the leading edges of the reparations ecosystem—and revealing a path toward healing and reconciliation.
This series was funded by a grant from Liberated Capital, a fund of the Decolonizing Wealth Project, which is led by Edgar Villanueva, of the Lumbee tribe, and works globally to disrupt the existing systems of moving and controlling capital using education and healing programs, radical reparative giving, and storytelling. Reporting and production of the series was funded by this grant, but YES! maintains full editorial control of the content published herein. Read our editorial independence policy.
Sonali Kolhatkar joined YES! in summer 2021, building on a long and decorated career in broadcast and print journalism. She is an award-winning multimedia journalist, and host and creator of YES! Presents: Rising Up with Sonali, a nationally syndicated television and radio program airing on Free Speech TV and dozens of independent and community radio stations. She is also Senior Correspondent with the Independent Media Institute’s Economy for All project where she writes a weekly column. She is the author of Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (2023) and Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence (2005). Her forthcoming book is called Talking About Abolition (Seven Stories Press, 2025). Sonali is co-director of the nonprofit group, Afghan Women’s Mission which she helped to co-found in 2000. She has a Master’s in Astronomy from the University of Hawai’i, and two undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. Sonali reflects on “My Journey From Astrophysicist to Radio Host” in her 2014 TEDx talk of the same name.