Home » What’s Repaired in Reparations: A Conversation among Psychoanalytic and Social Activists

What’s Repaired in Reparations: A Conversation among Psychoanalytic and Social Activists

Join us for this vital conversation featuring psychologists, scholars, and community activists working to further efforts toward reparations in both the United States and South Africa. The discussion was recorded live at the 2021 Spring Meeting of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association. Our guests discuss how reparations includes both psychological and social engagement in order to help communities begin to heal from mass trauma.

About Our Guests

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela is Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Stellenbosch University, where she holds the South African National Research Foundation Chair in Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma and the Research Chair in Historical Trauma and Transformation. She is the 2020-2021 Walter Jackson Bate Fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. Her research interest is in historical trauma and its intergenerational repercussions and exploring what the “repair” of these transgenerational effects might mean. She has published extensively on victims and perpetrators of gross human rights violations, and on forgiveness and remorse. Her books include the critically acclaimed A Human Being Died that Night: A Story of Forgiveness, published in seven languages. She is editor and co-author of several other academic publications including, Narrating our Healing: Perspectives on Healing Trauma, Memory, Narrative and Forgiveness: Perspectives on the Unfinished Journeys of the Past, Breaking Intergenerational Cycles of Repetition: A Global Dialogue on Historical Trauma and Memory, Post-Conflict Hauntings: Transforming Memories of Historical Trauma,  and her recently published edited collection on Jewish-German dialogue, History, Trauma and Shame: Engaging the Past Through Second Generation Dialogue.
Lynne Layton
Lynne Layton is a member of the Grassroots Reparations Campaign organizing committee. She is a psychoanalyst at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis and part-time faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She teaches Social Psychoanalysis in the Community, Liberation, Indigenous and Eco-Psychologies specialization at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She is Past-President of Section IX, Psychoanalysis for Social Responsibility, and the author of Toward a Social Psychoanalysis: Culture, Character, and Normative Unconscious Processes (Routledge, 2020, with Marianna Leavy-Sperounis).


Dr. Bryan Nichols
Dr. Bryan Nichols is a Los Angeles-based Clinical Psychologist with a practice focusing on teens, families, adults & couples.  He was also a long-time consultant with a Community Based Organization where he was the Supervising Psychologist for an L. A. City gang prevention and intervention program.  His work in both his practice and the community has led to the recent development of societal, “macro-level” ideas about how to remediate persistent issues of bias that infect and undermine interracial relationships and the multi-disciplinary collaborations required to effectively implement community-based psycho-educational interventions.

Dr. Nichols received his Doctorate from UCLA after completing his undergraduate studies at Howard University.  His early professional experiences included being a Trainer, and Trainer of Trainers in for the “Effective Black Parenting Program”, and conducting numerous trainings in the “Dealing with Anger Program” designed for African-American youth.

Medria Connolly
Medria Connolly is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica, California. She has been in practice for more than 30 years working with adolescents, adults and couples. In addition to her private practice, Dr. Connolly worked for many years as a consultant to a Los Angeles-based treatment program for adolescents in the juvenile justice system and in a high school-based health clinic in Watts. Her long-time work in these community settings, plus frequent contemporary encounters with implicit bias in professional groups, contributed to her recognition that individual, family and small group interventions are too limited in scope to alter the structural inequities confronting historically victimized groups, especially African Americans. This recognition led to the embrace of a prospective national intervention, i.e.
reparations, to address the underlying psychosocial challenges and promote racial healing. She considers these challenges, more often than not, to be an embodiment of the injustices encoded in U.S. history. Dr. Connolly received her PhD from Columbia University, an MSSW in Social Work from San Diego State University, and a BS from SUNY College Buffalo. In addition to her clinical training,

Dr. Connolly also trained in the Tavistock model of group relations work which focuses on the study of authority, the dynamics of social systems, and the overt and covert processes that occur in groups. Using this model as her theoretical orientation, Dr. Connolly also works as an organizational consultant to facilitate leadership, team building, communication and collaboration within diverse groups.

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