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City of Boston REPARATIONS TASK FORCE announces the launch of the Community Grassroots Partnership Program



"We realize that community members and proximate Black-led organizations have tons of lived experiences and data they have already gathered.  As a Task Force, we want to hear it and learn from it. Through this grassroots partnership program, we are encouraging divergent thinking from community activists, researchers, and artists that involves creative approaches and accepts multiple solutions to a problem that will, directly and indirectly, affect our local reparations efforts." 

said George “Chip” Greenidge, Jr., Reparations Task Force member.



 


The City of Boston Reparations Task Force (RTF), through the Equity and Inclusion Cabinet, today announced the launch of their Community Grassroots Partnerships Program. This program is an effort by the RTF to invest up to $70,000 in residents’ efforts to create community-based spaces and honor the untold stories of Black residents of Boston. This program will expand opportunities for community engagement with the reparations work and supplement the research teams efforts to produce their report. This program was funded by the Equity and Inclusion Cabinet. The first round deadline for this opportunity is Thursday, June 13th, 2024 at 10am. 


“As the Boston Reparations Task Force continues our examination of the historical and present impacts of slavery in the City of Boston, we are thrilled to announce this critical effort to give community members an opportunity to tell the story of their families, communities and that of Boston in a more robust manner,” said Joseph D. Feaster, Jr., Chair of the Reparations Task Force. “This effort is consistent with the ordinance and we look forward to the results of these partnership efforts supporting our ongoing work. I encourage every interested resident and organization to apply to this first round of awards and get involved with this program over the next few months.”


“Community engagement is crucial to ensuring that we’re able to fully comprehend the institutional impacts of slavery over time and in the present day on our residents across every neighborhood,” said Carrie Mays, Reparations Task Force member. “As the chair of community engagement, I am super excited to support more opportunities for artists, creatives, educators, historians and organizations to engage with the important work of reparations here in Boston and look forward to these partnerships moving us forward in this current phase. Community are the experts. It’s important that we invest in their voices”. 


The following opportunities are available to interested residents and organizations:


  • Grassroots Community Engagement Partnerships: Organizations will receive funding to host engagement sessions on the history and current challenges of anti-Black racism and local reparations efforts. Up to $2,500 will be made available per awardee, with a total of $25,000 awarded.

  • Grassroots Oral History Partnerships: Supporting local videographers and residents in producing a short video of the oral histories of three individuals who demonstrate lived experience related to the harms that local policies have had on their families and Black Bostonians. Up to $2,500 will be made available per awardee, with a total of $25,000 awarded.

  • Grassroots Storytelling and Public Education Partnerships: Artists, historians, or educators will produce a public storytelling project (exhibit, long-form video, teach-in, and other creative endeavors) on a specific topic related to the impact of local policies or anti-Black discrimination on communities in Boston. Up to $1,000 will be made available per awardee, with a total of $10,000 awarded.

  • Grassroots History and Research Partnerships: Local researchers and community historians are invited to write 8-10 page papers on a historical event, site, and/or topic relevant to the City of Boston’s role in, and historical ties to, the history and legacy of slavery. Up to $1,000 will be available per awardee, with a total of $10,000 awarded.


"We realize that community members and proximate Black-led organizations have tons of lived experiences and data they have already gathered,” said George “Chip” Greenidge, Jr., Reparations Task Force member. “As a Task Force, we want to hear it and learn from it. Through this grassroots partnership program, we are encouraging divergent thinking from community activists, researchers, and artists that involves creative approaches and accepts multiple solutions to a problem that will directly and indirectly affect our local reparations efforts."


“Through this Community Grassroots Partnerships Program, the Task Force is creating space for residents to have more opportunities to engage with local reparations efforts and share different perspectives informing this critical phase of work,” said Lori Nelson, Senior Advisor for Racial Justice. “I am thankful to Chair Feaster and each Task Force member for their leadership, expertise, and lived experience. The work of truth and reconciliation is an essential part of this important narrative. I look forward to the efforts from residents and organizations across Boston who will add their perspective, creativity and expertise as the Task Force leads us through this work of further defining history, repair, and healing. 


The Task Force is looking for creative, dedicated people with a passion for community to directly or indirectly support their work through public education, engagement, research, and storytelling. Eligibility for the award varies across opportunities, but requirements in terms of background are minimal. Across the board, applicants must be a residents of the city of Boston to apply. More information on eligibility for each opportunity can be found on the application


The deadline to apply for the first round of the program is Thursday, June 13th at 10:00 a.m. To apply, please visit this google form or boston.gov link. For additional questions about this program, please reach out to reparations@boston.gov. Depending on results of the first round, subsequent rounds will be announced and made available in the coming weeks. Awards for the first round will be made by the end of June 2024.  


Awardees’ final products will be on display for the general public on all the Reparations Task Force's digital platforms, including our website (boston.gov/reparations). Outcomes across the board will directly or indirectly inform RTF's ongoing process and the development of recommendations on local reparations in Boston. 





PICTURED (Right to Left): City of Boston Reparations Task Force Members 

Joseph D. Feaster, Jr., Carrie Mays, George (Chip) Greenidge, Jr., and Dorothea Jones with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.





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