Published: March 20, 2024

A panel event to discuss various forms of reparations for historical harms.

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About the Event

How do we repair harm, when the harm is on a national scale? 

For the March 2024 Difficult Dialogue topic, we will consider how various nations have provided reparations for systemic harm and how we can hold nations, governments, and communities accountable for it. 

While the US government has made reparations to Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II, there are still some groups that have not received any form of restitution, such as to enslaved people taken from African nations or to Indigenous nations for stolen land. Other countries have provided restitution for genocide, such as the German government and businesses to survivors of the Holocaust and the Rwandan government to Tutsi survivors of the 1994 genocide. Our panelists will discuss how we as individuals can encourage and support various types of reparations for harmed communities. For additional reading materials on these topics, visit the CU Libraries Resource Guide:

Questions our panelists will consider:

  1. How do we hold nations, governments, and communities accountable for systemic harm?
  2. How do individuals engage on this scale with governments to provide restitution to groups harmed? 
  3. Closer to home, how do we at CU Boulder contend with land acknowledgments that address settler-colonialism when we are not giving back land?


Benny Shendo Jr

Benny Shendo Jr., Associate Vice Chancellor for Native American Affairs

Shendo, a 1987 CU Boulder graduate, is currently a New Mexico state senator and a former tribal administrator and lieutenant governor for the Pueblo of Jemez. He has significant experience in regional tribal matters and previously served as the cabinet secretary for New Mexico’s Indian Affairs Department. He also worked at the University of New Mexico and in the Dean of Students Office at Stanford University on Indian affairs issues. 

Chancellor Phil DiStefano has appointed Benny Shendo Jr. associate vice chancellor for Native American affairs, a newly created position that will liaise between the campus and tribal communities across Colorado and collaboratively address all related issues.

Danielle Hodge

Danielle Hodge, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication

Assistant Professor Danielle Hodge, PhD, employs a critical race theoretical approach to identity, culture, and language. In particular, she is concerned with how systems of oppression and marginalization inform the identities, discursive practices, and experiences of African Americans. To advance theoretically robust and culturally grounded knowledge about African American life and language worlds, her research agenda is guided by the following questions: How can communication concepts and theories (i.e., discourse analysis) further illuminate African American culture, experiences, and struggle; and, how can African American Studies theories inform the ways we interpret and examine communication?

Importantly, she explores how Communication and African American Studies can be bridged to examine how systems of oppression impact marginalized groups and are discursively reproduced, maintained and resisted.

Jennifer Ho

Jennifer Ho, Director, Center for Humanities & the Arts; Professor, Department of Ethnic Studies

The daughter of a refugee father from China and an immigrant mother from Jamaica, whose own parents were immigrants from Hong Kong, Jennifer Ho is the director of the Center for the Humanities & the Arts at CU Boulder, where she also holds an appointment as Professor in the Ethnic Studies department. Ho has co-edited two collection of essays, Narrative, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States (Ohio State University Press 2017) and Teaching Approaches to Asian North American Literature (Modern Language Association 2022), and she is the author of three scholarly monographs, Consumption and Identity in Asian American Coming-of-Age Novels (Routledge 2005), Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture (Rutgers University Press 2015), which won the South Atlantic Modern Language Association award for best monograph, and Understanding Gish Jen (University of South Carolina Press 2015). She has published in journals such as Modern Fiction Studies, Journal for Asian American Studies, Amerasia Journal, The Global South, Southern Cultures, Japan Forum, and Oxford American.

Julia Shizuyo Popham

Julia Shizuyo Popham, PhD Candidate, Department of Ethnic Studies


Julia Shizuyo Popham is a mixed-race, Asian American woman with roots in the coalmines of Rock Springs and Hanna, Wyoming. She is also a second-year doctoral student in Critical Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU), where she explores how art from the Amache WWII Incarceration Camp sheds light on how Japanese American artists navigated the question of what it means to be human while being embedded in carceral systems that defined “the human” in proximity to whiteness. Julia additionally works with the Amache Alliance, an alliance dedicated to preserving the Amache incarceration site and its history, and collaborates with the Center for Humanities & the Arts, where she helps coordinate projects dedicated to educating academic and public audiences about some of the most pressing humanities issues of our times. Julia earned an M.A. in Folklore from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2022), a B.A. in Music from Northwestern University (2017), and is currently a Chancellor Fellow at CU.  

Difficult Dialogues Series

Difficult Dialogues events are not a debate; this series centers around topics that a majority of people find difficult or uncomfortable to talk about. Past Difficult Dialogues have centered around topics of abortion, being Black in Boulder, making mistakes, power, and more. You can find the full list of past Difficult Dialogue topics at

We are committed to fostering productive dialogues in the hope that minds and hearts might expand and that mutual respect, understanding, and perhaps self-examination can be fostered by meeting with and listening to each other respectfully. These dialogues are meant to allow us to see each other as human. If you are going to participate, the goal is to develop the capacity of talking about hard issues with as much care for self and others as possible.

Event Hosts

This event is hosted by CU Boulder's Center for Humanities & the Arts (CHA) and CU Libraries, and is free and open to the public.