Asheville’s historic reparations plan, phase one

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Photo by AVLtoday

Last July, Asheville City Council made national headlines with its historic decision to formally apologize for its role in slavery and systemic racism, voting to pass reparations for Black Ashevillians. Now, we are seeing the first phase of this complex process unfurl in the form of an “Information Sharing and Truth Telling Speaker Series,” as well as a $2.1 million funding appropriation that was unanimously approved at Council’s June 8 meeting

The 3-part speaker series, which kicked off June 3, represents the first of a larger 3-phase process. The process’ overarching goal is to “specifically address the creation of generational wealth and to boost economic mobility and opportunity in the Black community.” 

A map of Asheville’s historically redlined neighborhoods | Screen grab courtesy of University of Richmond

Once the speaker series phase is complete, phase 2 will include the formation of a reparations commission between July and August of 2021. Then, for phase 3, that commission will use information gleaned from the community discussions, along with their lived experiences, to finalize and present a report with key strategies + recommendations on funding and implementation between January 2022 and April 2023.  

Want to get involved in this important community conversation? The first talk, which examined the city’s role in redlining + segregation, and the structural inequities created through Urban Renewal & City Owned Property, took place June 3. ICYMI, you can still watch the recording. Check out the dates + details for the upcoming speaker series below, which will take place at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium (87 Haywood St.). 👇

Building on the former Southside Ave. that no longer exists due to urban renewal | Photo courtesy of City of Asheville

Talk #2 – Present: Thurs., June 10 at 6 p.m.

Talk #3 – Future: Thurs., June 17 at 6 p.m.