In June, Councilmembers Jaime Gauthier and Kendra Brooks proposed establishing a Reparations Task Force, which City Council unanimously approved.
Brooks says the task force has a big job.
“I know lots of folks who support the idea of reparations, but very few believe it will actually happen and it’s up to this task force to start changing that and to imagine what healing could look like and show us some pathway to get there,” Brooks said.
The task force is charged with studying and developing reparation proposals and programs.
Everything is on the table right now but Katherine Hicks of the NAACP suggested a few possibilities including investment in small businesses, job training programs, entrepreneurship, health care, and access to affordable housing.
The task force is looking for members to co-ordinate those areas as well as some others. They’ll be joining co-chairs Breanna Moore and Rashaun Williams, who says he is looking for “average Black Philadelphians.”
“We all have relevant experiences to share and as long as they got the heart and the spirit, I’m sure they can do the job,” Williams added.
Reverend Robert Collier of the Black Clergy is optimistic about the task force. “I believe that a change is going to come and we encourage the citizens of Philadelphia, please step up to the plate,” he said.
Applications can be submitted hereuntil Jan. 15 so the task force can launch its work in February, which is Black History Month. There’s no timeline beyond that.