Reparations: An Overdue Conversation

July 28, 2020 program
12 pm to 2 pm
Brought to you by a partnership of
The Matrix Center for the Advancement of Social Equity and Inclusion
Dazzle Presents

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In some ways this conversation has been going on for over a century. From the moment President Andrew Johnson annulled Special Field Orders no. 15, the case regarding reparations for slavery began.

There are many who believe that reparations should be for more than just slavery. That Black people should be paid reparations for racism and discrimination, ongoing negative results stemming from slavery. That they should be paid for the Red Summer of 1919. That they should be paid for the Tulsa Massacre of 1921. That they should be paid for the lynchings and terror inflicted by the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy organizations that proliferated throughout the country in the years following the Emancipation Proclamation. That they should be paid for the governmental and non-governmental institution of policies such as redlining. That they should be paid for the Rosewood Massacre of 1923. That they should be paid for the systematic processes that prevented and sometimes still prevents Blacks from voting. That they should be paid for the unequal and inadequate educational facilities they’ve been provided. That they should be paid for the racially-based “micro-aggressions” of everyday life in America.

These and many other issues will be considered by the panel as we explore the case for reparations and where along the spectrum from $1.4 trillion to $17.1 trillion the amount of reparations might fall.

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Robert Atwell

I am a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice with offices in both Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I have a mixed clinical and forensic practice providing direct
services such as psychotherapy and psychological evaluations. I have provided consultation via evaluation and /or testimony in hundreds of legal cases over the past 18 years throughout the front range of Colorado in cases involving determinations of capacity for social and vocational functioning, the impact of trauma and discrimination, trial competency, sanity and child custody and visitation following divorce. I also provide agency consultation and training for mental health and social service providers in the areas of Multicultural Issues, Responses to Trauma, Remediation of Abusive Behavior and Substance Abuse. Over the past 46 years I have functioned as a therapist, supervisor, and Clinical Director in both inpatient and outpatient settings with a variety of populations, i.e., victims of abuse, substance abusers, delinquent adolescents, combat veterans, and perpetrators of sexual abuse.

1. I have maintained an active involvement in the Association of Black Psychologists, where I served two separate terms as the Western Regional Representative to the board of directors for the national organization and as the National President from 2005 through 2007. I currently serve on the BOD of the national organization as the Chairperson of the Past Presidents’ Council. I am a past president of the Denver Rocky Mountain chapter and currently serve at the treasurer. I served on the executive board of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association in the capacity of Either Chair or Co-chair of the Committee for Groups Under-represented in Psychology for eight years.

I served on the board of directors of the Asian-Pacific Development Center for six years, functioning as president of the board for two years. I served as a member of the Board of Psychologist Examiners in Colorado from 1993 to 1998.

In addition, I have functioned as a seminar leader, supervisor and instructor at the University of Denver’s School of Professional Psychology and University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work and a consulting instructor on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for the National Veterans Training Institute.

David Alley

David cofounded Designs for Learning in 1992 and has served as vice-president, president and CEO. He has hired incredibly talented leaders and now chairs the company’s Board of Directors as envisioned in a succession plan established many years ago. He challenges and supports company leadership as they establish and maintain a wide variety of high-quality client services. He also assists with development of new programs and services as the organization constantly seeks to reinvent itself

David has a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Memphis, with an emphasis in Adult and Higher Education. Before joining Designs for Learning, David was a system engineer at IBM and gained extensive experience in rural post-secondary education, serving as director of institutional evaluation and planning, associate academic dean, and vice president for student services at a small private college in Arkansas.

Volunteer and public service activities include serving as Executive Director of SHIFT, an organization that supports people in mid-life transition seeking greater meaning in life and work (2013-2016), and as one of 15 national Encore Innovation Fellows (2013-2015), teaching eight-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (2012, 2013) and Mindful Self-Compassion (2017) classes at Common Ground Meditation Center.

David now enjoys working from home in Denver, with face-to-face collaboration online. He is actively engaged in social change efforts, particularly racial justice, impact investment and mentoring education-oriented entrepreneurs. He is a co-founder of the Reparations Affinity Group at the Denver Foundation and is an Angel Investor with Rockies Venture Club. David also enjoys running (Twin Cities Marathon 1992, 1994, 2014, 2015 and Boston Marathon 2016), reading, music, travel, hiking, non-technical mountain climbing (Long’s Peak , six times 1978-2016), biking, SCUBA and computers.

Lotte Lieb Dula

Lotte Lieb Dula, retired financial strategist, is the great granddaughter of Charles Clark Welch, Colorado pioneer, territorial legislator, and a founder of the Colorado School of Mines. After her mother died, Lotte began to go through boxes of family ephemera; she found evidence of slaveholding in a ledger book that detailed plantation holdings in Mississippi. After researching her genealogy and reaching out to other descendants of slaveholders, Lotte committed to making reparations for her family’s role in enslaving Africans. Lotte is the founder of, a portal for white families wishing to walk the path of racial healing through making reparations. Lotte serves on Coming To The Table’s Reparations Working Group, convenes the Denver chapter of Coming To The Table, and is a founding donor of The Denver Foundation’s Reparations Fund.
Colorado Public Radio Story: After Two White Colorado Women Unearthed The History Of Their Slave-Owning Ancestors, They Turned To Reparations

Arthur McFarlane

Arthur McFarlane II is a native son of one of the most storied communities in American History – Harlem.

He joined Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2014 after retiring from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), where he worked for 25 years. He is a part-time Population Health Analyst and Outreach Coordinator in the Breathing Institute which allows him to apply his nine years of experience as the CDPHE Asthma Program Manager to pulmonary programs and research projects. He focuses much of his time and attention on evaluation of AsthmaComp, a school-based asthma education program in it’s 14th year.

He has also worked for over 15 years on issues related to social determinants of health including statewide coalition-building to assist communities in creating processes and tools to integrate social determinants into clinical and public health approaches.

Prior to Children’s Hospital, Mr. McFarlane worked for 25 years in various positions at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. He started as a statistician for the HIV/AIDS Section of the Disease Control and Environmental Epidemiology Division, creating and analyzing data to address the spreading AIDS epidemic. Next, he was the Quality Control/Quality Assurance Manager for the Health Statistics and Vital Records Division where he was responsible for all birth, death, marriage, divorce and matched death records. He lead the implementation of the statewide Electronic Birth Certificate Program. His next position was as the Lead Classification and Selection Analyst in the CDPHE Human Resources office. In this capacity he lead efforts to streamline and simplify human resource processes while improving customer service metrics. Subsequently he became the Manager of the CDC-funded Asthma Program and lead the statewide efforts to administer the National Center for Environmental Health’s Asthma Initiative. This included developing coalitions, writing data and surveillance reports, working with partners to create a statewide asthma action plan and partnering with other state asthma programs and federal partners to create and maintain the integrated nationwide asthma program. His last position at the department was as the lead evaluator for various statewide prevention programs.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the State University of New York College at Brockport and is ABD in Social and Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

As the Great-Grandson of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois he speaks publicly about his Great-Grandfather’s legacy and the relevance of his words and work to the current and ongoing struggles of People of Color throughout the world. He has given dozens of presentations around the world on Du Bois to groups of all ages and backgrounds.

Following the advice his Great-Grandfather gave him when he was three months old, he serves in several leadership roles in the community. He is on the board of directors of the Center for Health Progress, Ready to Work-Aurora and the California-based, Story for All, as well as a managing member of the Denver Black Reparations Council. He is a member of and Past President of the Board of Directors of the Community College of Aurora Foundation. He is the former Chair of the advisory board for the Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness at the University of Denver. He is the former co-chair of the Board of Directors for the Rape Assistance and Awareness Program (The Blue Bench) and former Chair of the Board of the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

He enjoys volleyball, music, poetry, reading, photography, history, and scuba diving. He lives with his wife in the foothills west of Denver, Colorado. He has three sons, two grandsons and two granddaughters. The latest members of the family are two Bengal cats named D’Artagnan and Constance.

Norma Johnson


Norma Johnson is a healer, a writer & poetic-storyteller, performance artist, facilitator and consultant who brings inspired awareness to insights on race and human rights. Her poignant poetry is being used enthusiastically by educators across the country to arouse insightful consciousness about race. Norma’s experience of walking in a white world while black inspired her to write and record her collection of, Poems for My White Friends, as a way to open space for inquiry, reflection and dialogue about the inevitable role race plays in our society and in our personal lives every day. Her recordings and performances have garnered overwhelming praise and now has grown into development of the full length poetic-story performance of, Passport to Everyday Race, in collaboration with award winning musician, Dexter Payne. Norma presents at the national White Privilege Conference and other national conferences and continues to present wherever there is invitation and desire to expand concepts about race at a personal, community and national level.