The city’s Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department (LA Civil Rights) looks to host their Reparations Advisory Commission on Saturday, April 22—an in-person community event at the California African American Museum (CAAM), commissioners elaborated on the city’s plan to conduct an investigation on what harms Black Angelenos.
Residents have the opportunity to reply with their input, as well as speak with the commissioners. The Reparations Advisory Commission is a “Blue-Ribbon Task Force” led by Michael A. Lawson, president, and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League. Other member’s commissioners include Khansa Jones-Muhammad, Mark Wilson, Mandla Kayise, Katrina VanderWoude, Cheryl Harris, and Virgil Roberts.
“Reparations are a necessary step to heal our city and address the centuries of harm done to African Americans in Los Angeles,” said Lawson.
He continued, “The Reparations Advisory Commission is working to take that next step with input from scholars and the community. Now is the time for the community to come together and contribute to a reparations plan for Los Angeles.”
Lawson highlighted the significance of the meeting, he stated, “African Americans in Los Angeles are overrepresented in homelessness and underrepresented in generational wealth. It is the result of a system that has denied African Americans the ability to fully exercise their God-given liberties.”
“The closure needed is a mutual recognition of the wrongs that have been meted upon the members of the victimized community. While full closure may not be possible in the short-term, we urge everyone to make their voices and the voices of their ancestors heard on April 22,” said Lawson.
This meeting is built on the foundation created in 2021, the Reparations Advisory Commission gathered to produce the Homecoming event; a virtual meeting designed to give Black Angelenos the floor—to share stories of systemic racism and learn more about the reparations pilot program that’s developing in the city.
Additionally, more than 700 individuals participated in the Commission’s online survey about reparations for the City of Los Angeles.
“The Reparations Advisory Commission has been working hard to meaningfully address the harms experienced by African Americans in Los Angeles,” said LA Civil Rights Department Executive Director, Capri Maddox.
“Los Angeles was built on redlining, racial covenants and discrimination that created the inequitable city we experience today. Our city can’t move forward without repairing this harm, and I’m so grateful to the Commission and our city leaders for leading the way on reparations,” Maddox stated.
The Reparations Advisory Commission exists independently from the State of California Reparations Task Force, however the two organizations collaborated on an event last year in Leimert Park.
The LA Civil Rights officially established its discrimination enforcement section, allowing the city to enforce civil rights law on Nov.1, 2022. They look to enhance racial equity through policy and initiatives, the Los Angeles City Council established the Office of Racial Equity within the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department. The department’s mission states the following, “We envision a city that authentically engages communities most harmed by systemic racism, as leaders and collaborators, in the process of identifying data, distributing public resources, and reforming policies that impact outcomes of Civil + Human Rights and Equity.”
For more information, go to the following link: https://caamuseum.org/programs/talks-and-workshops/los-angeles-reparations-advisory-commission-community-meeting
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