The city’s seven-member Reparations Advisory Commission opened a public survey on June 16, for current and former Black Angelenos to share their experiences within the City of L.A. and their views on how the city can address issues that have impacted the African American experience.

Karin L. Stanford, Ph.D. (

The citywide survey, led by researchers at California State University, Northridge, is part of a wide-ranging study to map the Black experience in Los Angeles. The study, including survey responses and original historical research, will provide the basis for a future reparations program. The survey can be found at or by scanning the QR code at the end of the article.

“As the Commission continues its work, I urge all African Americans who are, or at some time were, residents of the City of Los Angeles, to take this survey to help our Commission shape and scope of reparations in Los Angeles,” said Chair of the Reparations Advisory Commission Ambassador Michael Lawson, who also serves as President & CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League.

“The results of this survey, combined with rigorous academic and historical research, will inform the scope and nature of reparations in our city. It is essential that all who have been affected are given an opportunity to make their voices, and the voices of those who have passed away, heard during this important process.”

Ambassador Michael Lawson (File photo)

“The Reparations Advisory Commission is developing the first reparations program in Los Angeles, addressing generations of systemic discrimination that denied Black Angelenos access to their health, their wealth and their liberty,” said LA Civil Rights Executive Director Capri Maddox.

“We know that racial covenants and redlining held Black Angelenos back – but there are so many stories we have yet to uncover. Today, we’re giving current and former residents of Los Angeles the chance to make their voices heard. Take this survey and tell our story.”

“California State University, Northridge is honored to be part of this very important effort to understand and document how systemic racism and discrimination has impacted the lives of Los Angeles’ Black residents,” said Karin L. Stanford, professor of Africana Studies, who is serving as the lead of the project.

“We urge community members to support this project by taking the survey and telling their stories.  We hope that the results of our research will launch a long-needed honest discussion about restorative justice and how the city can atone for decades of harm experienced by its citizens.”

Researchers are hoping to receive thousands of responses to the survey, which will close in fall 2023 and inform the citywide study. The study includes an interactive online history map showing how the distribution of Black communities in Los Angeles has changed from 1930 to 2022, and is the first City-sponsored analysis of historic and contemporary harms facing Black Angelenos. The study is expected to be fully complete in 2024 with recommendations for city leaders on reparations by early 2025.

The Reparations Advisory Commission is a blue-ribbon task force composed of leading voices in activism, academia, law, and racial justice which will advise the City on a future reparations pilot program for a group of Black residents. In April, the Commission held an in-person town hall at the California African American Museum with more than 350 attendees.

Following the survey, respondents may be invited to join a focus group or one-on-one interviews that would inform researcher’s work. To learn more, visit