© 2024 New England Public Media

FCC public inspection files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact hello@nepm.org or call 413-781-2801.
PBS, NPR and local perspective for western Mass.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

NEPM presents: 'The Cost of Inheritance' screening & discussion

The Cost of Inheritance, an America ReFramed Special

A night of impactful storytelling and dialogue on historical and social justice

Feb. 12, 2024 SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — New England Public Media (NEPM) invites you to a screening of “The Cost of Inheritance,” a film directed by Emmy nominee and Peabody Award winner Yoruba Richen about the U.S. reparations debate. The hour-long documentary explores this complex issue using a thoughtful approach to history, historical injustices, systemic inequities, and the critical dialogue on racial conciliation. Through personal narratives, community inquiries, and scholarly insights, it aims to inspire understanding of the scope and rationale of the reparations debate.

Who: New England Public Media (NEPM)
What: Screening of “The Cost of Inheritance”
When: Thursday, February 15, 5:30 - 8 p.m.
Where: Springfield College, Appleton Auditorium, Fuller Arts Center, 243 Hickory St., Springfield, Massachusetts. Public parking is in Lot 4 on Wilbraham Ave., please do not use the student parking lot next to Fuller Arts on Hickory St.

Attendees are encouraged to arrive prior to the film’s screening for a reception and to stay after the documentary concludes for a panel discussion with two of the film’s subjects, Briayna Cuffie and Lotte Lieb Dula; and local experts Jallicia Jolly and Stefan M. Bradley, Black studies professors at Amherst College; and Michele Miller, chair of Amherst’s African Heritage Reparation Assembly.

“How to go about reparations is a question that has been unanswered for as long as it’s been asked. In our discussion, we’ll touch on the various ways slavery and Jim Crow had both an effect and impact. We must have conversations to fully understand the scope and rationale of the debate taking place in communities across the country,“ said Yemisi Oloruntola-Coates, GBH’s chief inclusion and equity officer, and moderator for the panel discussion. “This film treats the stories and lived experiences of those involved with dignity, and I know it and our discussion will inspire deep conversation and, hopefully, empowering momentum.”

This evening of impactful storytelling and dialogue on historical and social justice, including an opportunity to learn more about the reparative justice work happening in western Massachusetts.

“People across the country are talking more than ever about the prospect of reparations to address the legacy of slavery,” said Matt Abramovitz, president of NEPM. “We’re proud to convene this special night around 'The Cost of Inheritance' to help bring this important national discussion home to western Mass with local scholars and our whole community.”

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno has issued a proclamation declaring ‘The Cost of Inheritance Day’ in the city of Springfield, honoring the event and the importance of the film.

The screening is presented by NEPM and cosponsored by Springfield College Division of Inclusion and Community Engagement, the Western Massachusetts Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, and the Greater Springfield (MA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. It is free and open to the public, click here to learn more and register.


Briayna Cuffie is a strategist, advocate, and future author based in Annapolis, Maryland. She leverages her political expertise, teachings from her elders, and history to help others understand the complexity of Blackness in the United States. Cuffie is the racial equity advisor for Reparations4Slavery.

Lotte Lieb Dula

Lotte Lieb Dula is a retired financial strategist who, after discovering that she was a descendant of slaveholders, co-founded Reparations4Slavery, a portal for white families walking the path of racial healing through engaging in direct repair. Dula is a founding donor of Reparations Circle Denver.

Dr. Jallicia Jolly

Dr. Jallicia Jolly is a writer, poet, and organizer who is an assistant professor in American studies and Black studies at Amherst College. She merges community-based research on Black women's health, grassroots activism, and political leadership with reproductive justice organizing and practice in the United States and the Caribbean. Jolly is the founder and director of the BREHA Collective, a new interdisciplinary, medical humanities lab that bridges research, advocacy, student collaborations, and high-impact learning experiences on the health and movement-building of Afro-diasporic girls, women, and gender diverse people. A 2022-2023 Ford postdoctoral fellow, Jolly’s first book manuscript, “Ill Erotics: Black Caribbean Women and Self-Making in the Time of HIV/AIDS,” is an ethnography of the reproductive justice organizing of young Black Jamaican women living with HIV that chronicles their everyday confrontations with illness, reproductive violence, and inequality in neocolonial Jamaica. A public scholar invested in research-informed political action, she connects her research to tailored community interventions that advance equity, systemic change, and community building. Jolly leads with justice and joy as her core intention while centering new legacies of equity and holistic wellness beyond inequality and violence.

Dr. Stefan M. Bradley

Dr. Stefan M. Bradley is the Charles Hamilton Houston 1915 professor of Black studies and history at Amherst College. Previously, he was the inaugural associate dean of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts and professor of African American studies at Loyola Marymount University. Bradley received his Ph.D. in 20th century U.S. history with an emphasis on the Black experience from the University of Missouri. An educator at heart, Bradley’s life ambition is to personally teach, mentor and inspire the young people who change the world for the better.

Some of Bradley’s publications include his newest book, “Upending the Ivory Tower: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Ivy League,” which won the History of Education Society Outstanding Book Award as well as the Anna Julia Cooper & CLR James Book Award from the National Council of Black Studies; “Harlem vs. Columbia University: Black Student Power in the Late 1960s,” which won the Phillis Wheatley Book Prize; and, “Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, the Demands of Transcendence.” He has appeared on C-Span BookTV, NPR, PRI, as well as in documentaries on the Oprah Winfrey Network and the History Channel.

He has received numerous honors and awards including the Don Brennan Humanitarian Award; the Better Family Life Excellence in Educational Leadership Award; the SLU Faculty Excellence Award; the Ernest A. Calloway, Jr. Teaching Excellence Award; and, the St. Louis American’s Salute to Excellence Young Leaders Award. He was selected as one of Delux Magazine’s Power 100.

Generous with his time, Bradley frequently volunteers on and off campus. In the wake of the tragic events in Ferguson and St. Louis, he engaged in discussions with representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Commission, and Department of Education. As a voice from the community, Bradley has appeared on BET, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and in The New York Times.

Michele Miller

Michele Miller is a former Amherst, Massachusetts, town councilor and chair of the African Heritage Reparation Assembly (AHRA). In August 2020 she co-founded Reparations For Amherst, a grassroots organization focused on reparations for slavery and post-slavery anti-Black racism in Amherst. Michele’s grassroots activism led to the creation of a dedicated municipal reparations fund and a municipal committee, the AHRA, for which she was the chair. In 2022, the AHRA garnered support from the Amherst Town Council for a $2 million commitment to the fund and AHRA published its final report. Most recently, Michele was honored by the National African American Reparations Commission and First Repair for her role in advancing reparations for African Americans. In addition to her social justice work, Michele is a mindfulness educator and researcher and has published various works, including a co-authored paper published in Frontiers in Psychology.

Yemisi Oloruntola-Coates is GBH’s first chief inclusion and equity officer. She develops strategies using a data driven approach in initiatives and practices that support and advance a respectful and inclusive workplace, building on GBH’s commitment to create a more diverse environment and to have inclusion and equity reflected both in our organization and our work. Oloruntola-Coates calls herself an inclusion architect and has been leading diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives for more than 15 years, implementing culturally responsive practices and shaping an understanding of the role that diversity plays within organizations and communities. She joined GBH in 2021 from Baystate Health where she served as chief diversity and inclusion officer. Prior to that she was system director of diversity and patient care civil rights at Lee Health in Florida, which during her tenure twice was recognized by Forbes Magazine as best employer for diversity and women. With extensive experience in DEI education and training, Oloruntola-Coates also has worked and studied internationally as a teacher and cultural ambassador in Japan, and as a Fulbright fellow in West Africa. She is a member of the Conference Board Executive Diversity Council, a faculty member of Healthcare Management Institute. Oloruntola-Coates has been honored as one of the 2021 Top 100 Diversity Officers by Diversity First, National Diversity and Leadership Conference and 2022 Color Magazine Power 50 CDO’s. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University and master’s degree from the University of Florida.


“The Cost of Inheritance” presents a nuanced view of the key issues, scope, and rationale of the reparations debate from a variety of perspectives. In the film, communities and institutions launch conversations about how to close the racial wealth gap that persists today due to slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and systemic inequality. Individual descendants of the enslaved and the enslavers embark on journeys to make amends and find a common pathway forward.

Yoruba Richen, director and producer of this film, is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured on multiple outlets, including Netflix, MSNBC, FX/Hulu, HBO, and PBS. Her most recent film, “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” premiered at the Tribeca Festival, was honored by the Television Academy, and won a Peabody Award and a Gracie Award. Other recent work includes the Emmy-nominated films “American Reckoning” (Frontline), “How It Feels to Be Free” (American Masters), “The Sit In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show” (Peacock), and “The Green Book: Guide to Freedom” (Smithsonian Channel).

She directed an episode of the award-winning series “Black and Missing” for HBO and “High on the Hog” for Netflix. Her film “The Killing of Breonna Taylor” won an NAACP Image Award and is streaming on Hulu. Her previous films “The New Black” and “Promised Land” won multiple festival awards before airing on PBS’s Independent Lens and POV. Richen is a past Guggenheim and Fulbright fellow. She was a Sundance Producers fellow and a recipient of the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. She is the founding director of the documentary program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY.


New England Public Media enriches people’s lives in western Massachusetts and beyond by nurturing curiosity, inspiring community engagement, and reflecting the unique joys of living here. NEPM is the region’s source for PBS and NPR programs and for locally produced news, video and music content.

For more information, visit nepm.org or follow NEPM on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Vanessa Cerillo
Senior Director, Marketing, Communications and Events
New England Public Media