Critical Conversations

Perry World House’s “Critical Conversations” program fosters critical thinking and civil discourse on important global policy issues.

This new initiative creates opportunities for stakeholders from across our community to hear opposing, expert points of view about a vexing and potentially polarizing global policy question. It encourages a well-informed, open-minded exchange of opposing perspectives, and explores how this exchange might shift participants’ beliefs. Learn more about the program in this article from Penn's Inspiring Impact news site.


Can Reparations Redress the Harms of Colonization and Slavery? | Wednesday, March 29, 2023

This inaugural Critical Conversation will explore whether reparations are the most effective way to redress lasting harms caused by centuries of colonization and slavery.

On the one hand, many Western nations reaped huge financial and other benefits from these practices, exacting an enduring human cost that reparations could seek to repair. On the other, those who would bear the responsibilities of paying these reparations were not directly involved in slavery or colonization.

So, are reparations a fair policy solution? Where do you stand? How would hearing from both sides of this issue shape your opinion? In Perry World House’s first ever Critical Conversation, we will explore these important questions, with input from our audience. At the start of the program, we will ask attendees to anonymously share whether they are for or against reparations. At the end, we will repeat this poll, and see how opinions have evolved over the course of the discussion.