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Advisory Council on Reparations
Established by Board resolution on February 15, 2023, the purpose of the Advisory Council on Reparations is to outline the specific ways that County policies and practices have historically and continually harmed the lives of Black people and to develop recommendations for the Board of Commissioners in the form of a Washtenaw Reparations Plan. The plan will include recommendations around specific actions to address redress in the sectors of homeownership and access to other quality affordable housing, increasing business ownership and career opportunities, strategies to grow financial equity and generational wealth, closing the gaps in health care, education, employment and pay, neighborhood safety and fairness within criminal justice.
Exploratory Committee on Reparations - In 2021, the Washtenaw County Racial Equity Office convened a committee of subject matter experts and industry leaders to explore the possibility of economic and social reparations to those in Washtenaw County who experience the on-going, compounded, negative, impact of the institution of American slavery.
The establishment of the Council on Reparations is a continuation and deepening of Washtenaw County’s commitment to Targeted Universalism. To effectively create systems of equity, we must build systems of accountability that begin with acknowledging harm and then clear pathways for repair. This Council centers community voice and engagement, encouraging transparency and building community trust.
Meetings dates and frequency will be shared once finalized.
The Chair of the Board of Commissioners shall recommend all appointments to the Advisory Council on Reparations, subject to approval by the full Board of Commissioners.
Members of the Advisory Council on Reparations shall, at minimum, represent the following sectors: Housing and Real Estate, Education K-12, Education Post-Secondary, Workforce Development, Economic Development, Health, Art, Civil Rights Law, Criminal Legal System, Food Security, Transit, Faith-Based Community, Environmental Justice, and Racial Equity Office.
Individuals interested in serving on the Advisory Council on Reparations shall apply consistent with the appointment process utilized by similar boards, commissions, and committees and be recommended through the Racial Equity Office with appointments confirmed by the Board of Commissioners.
To apply to serve on the Advisory Council on Reparations, please complete the application here.
Learn More about Reparations
Harvard Medical School Study: Reparations for Black American descendants of persons enslaved in the U.S. and their potential impact on SARS-CoV-2 transmission
White Paper: COVID-19’s Impact on Ypsilanti’s Residents of Color
Podcast: A City's Step Towards Reparations- Listen to how the city of Evanston, Illinois became one of the first in the U.S. to pass and implement a reparations policy.
The Case for Reparations - Ta-Nehesi Coates' now infamous article makes a strong case.
Why We Need Reparations for Black Americans - The Brookings Institute provides a general overview through a historic and policy-based lens.
U.N. Rights Chief: "Reparations Needed for People Facing Racism"
From the AP- "The U.N. human rights chief, in a landmark report launched after the killing of George Floyd in the United States, is urging countries worldwide to do more to help end discrimination, violence and systemic racism against people of African descent and “make amends” to them — including through reparations."
For further questions please email Alize Asberry Payne.