On July 14, 2020, Asheville City Council passed a Resolution Supporting Community Reparations for Black Asheville. The resolution calls for the City Manager to, “establish a process within the next year to develop short, medium and long term recommendations to specifically address the creation of generational wealth and to boost economic mobility and opportunity in the Black community.”
In an effort to repair the harm done by decades of discrimination, the City Manager and City staff have recommended a three-phase process that includes:
- Information Sharing and Truth Telling;
- Formation of a Reparations Commission; and
- Finalize and present a report.
The Information Sharing and Truth Telling Speakers Series kicked off June 3 with a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Darin Waters looking at past policies and practices. This session is archived on the City’s YouTube Channel.
June 10 Speaker Series
The series continues at 6 p.m. June 10 at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, 87 Haywood St., with a panel discussion looking at present trends and disparities. Again, Dr. Darin Waters, Executive Director of the UNC Asheville Office of Community Engagement and Associate Professor of History, will be the moderator. Panelists will include:
- Rinku Sen, Executive Director of the Narrative Initiative
- Dr. Dwight Mullen, Professor Emeriti, UNCA
- Jorge Redmond, Assistant District Attorney, Buncombe County
- Dr. Marcus Harvey, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, UNCA
In addition to perspectives offered by the panelists there will be opportunities for members of the audience to share their experiences. There will also be a video booth set up before and after the event to offer another option for people to have their voices heard.
Doors open at 5 p.m. Come early if you can. DJ Damian Davis will play music and local resilience trainers, MC Ellis and Michael Hayes will lead a resiliency talk from 5:40 to 5:55 pm.
Participate by phone: 855-925-2801, meeting code 9040. Or email reparations@PublicInput.com.
June 17 Speaker Series
The third installment of the Information Sharing and Truth Telling Speakers Series continues June 17 with a panel discussion looking at future initiatives. Dr. Waters will again be the moderator. The program begins at 6 p.m., also at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Panelists include:
- Tracey Greene-Washington, President, Indigo Innovation Group, and Founder, CoThinkk
- Lakesha McDay, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant
- Robert Thomas, Racial Justice Coalition Community Liaison
- Joseph T. Hackett, PhD
Again, in addition to perspectives offered by the panelists there will be opportunities for members of the audience to share their experiences. There will also be a video booth set up before and after the event to offer another option for people to have their voices heard.
Parking is free for these events at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville Garage. Free child care is available for school-age children.
For more information about this initiative, visit https://publicinput.com/X5652.