Hedreich Nichols

Freedom: Reparations, Atonement and Mass Atrocities, with Sarah Federman (Pt. 1)

When we celebrate Juneteenth, we celebrate the freedoms given by the 13th amendment that only came to Texas 2 and a half years after the original proclamation. Upon closer inspection, this freedom was not only late in coming, but it also marked the beginning of mass illness and deathJim Crow laws, segregation and gaps in wealth and education that still prevail even in the face of ever evolving laws and social programming designed to repair harm that we have yet, as a nation, to formally acknowledge. 

Juneteenth and Mass Atrocity

Thinking about this celebration, beyond BBQ, led me to a Marketwatch interview of Sarah Federman, award winning journalist and author of Last Train to Auschwitz, a book on the French railway’s journey to accountability in their complicity in deporting over 76,000 Jews and other civilians to Third Reich death camps. 

I’m lucky to have her on SmallBites to talk about what she learned in her research and how her knowledge of corporate and community atonement can help us move forward as we confront our own Colonial complicity in mass atrocities like Indigenous genocide, Black trafficking and enslavement and mass incarceration. 

Join us next week for Pt. 2 where we talk more about reparation models that work and what we can do to make a difference personally. 

About the guest:

Sarah Federman, PhD Conflict Analysis and Resolution ’16, pictured here at Union Station in Washington, DC

Sarah Federman is an Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution at the University of San Diego’s Kroc School of Peace Studies. She is the author of the award winning Last Train to Auschwitz: The French National Railways and the Journey to Accountability (2021). She has also written for the Harvard Business Review and the Journal of Business Ethics concerning the corporate obligation to atone for participation in mass atrocity such as genocide, slavery, and violence associated with colonialism. In 2022, she testified before Congress concerning the responsibility of U.S. banks to respond to their slavery ties. This summer her co-authored anthology “Narratives of Mass Atrocity: Victims and Perpetrators in the Aftermath” will be published by Cambridge University Press. Federman comes to this work after a decade as an international advertising executive working with companies such as Google and NFL.