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.”
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.). 👇
Talk #2 – Present: Thurs., June 10 at 6 p.m.
- The focus: Current trends, data and disparity regarding Black Asheville. Register here.
- Moderator: Dr. Darin Waters
- Panelists: Rinku Sen, Dr. Dwight Mullen, Dr. Marcus Harvey, Jorge Redmond
Talk #3 – Future: Thurs., June 17 at 6 p.m.