Roommates, it seems like the conversation surrounding reparations for Black people has been happening for decades. We’ve heard our families, activists, politicians, and others speak out on what Black people deserve but haven’t seen anyone take action– that is until now. Right outside of Chicago in Evanston, Illinois, history is being made. 31 years later, a reparations fund has been passed.
In 1989 former Representative John Conyers originally introduced the fund and re-introduced it every year until he resigned in 2017, according to ABC News. Thanks to 5th Ward Alderman Robin Rue Simmons and others, the fund was successfully passed in 2019 and made Evanston the first city in the U.S. to fund Black residents’ reparations! The City Council has committed to utilizing 3% percent of the tax collected from recreational Cannabis sales to benefit Black Residents.
Evanston is committing $10 million over the next decade to repay Black residents for the wrongdoings and losses incurred by generations due to systematic racism. The reparations will combat the lack of affordability and access to living-wage careers. Now everyone isn’t able to collect their reparation money. The fund is only eligible to certain residents. Those residents will be receiving up to $25,000 in increments to use towards housing. Alderman Simmons said she hopes that her work will help families in her neighborhood “burdened get some relief.”
One of the direct effects of racism in many Black communities across the U.S, including Evanston, was “Redlining.” Which was a federal systematic denial of various services or goods by federal government agencies, local governments, or the private sector either directly or through the selective raising of prices. In Evanston, Black residents were moved into a triangle-shaped area, which became the 5th Ward. In that area, Black residents were segregated from white families, sought-after property, and wealth.
Now here’s the answer to the question you’ve been waiting on, when will the money become available?! City leaders are planning to begin dispersing funds as early as this Spring. Roomies, do yall think $25,000 is enough?
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