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Mayor Wu announces members of Boston’s reparations task force

Mayor Wu announces members of Boston’s reparations task force - George (Chip) Greenidge was appointed on the new Commission

Mayor Michelle Wu announced the ten individuals that will serve on the newly formed Reparations Task Force, created to study the lasting impact of slavery in Boston. The formation of this task force follows Mayor Wu signing a 2022 City ordinance, sponsored and led by Councilor Julia Mejia and co-sponsored by Councilors Tania Fernandes Anderson and Brian Worrell, to study the impact of slavery in Boston. Mayor Wu joined members of the City Council, Reparations Task Force, and Equity and Inclusion Cabinet at the African Meeting House to announce the establishment of the task force. "For four hundred years, the brutal practice of enslavement and recent policies like redlining, the busing crisis, and exclusion from City contracting have denied Black Americans pathways to build generational wealth, secure stable housing, and live freely," said Mayor Michelle Wu. "Our administration remains committed to tackling long standing racial inequities and this task force is the next step in our commitment as a city to advance racial justice and build a Boston for everyone. I'm grateful to the City Council, advocates and task force members for their critical work to strengthen our communities and ensure that Boston documents and addresses the historical harms of slavery and its continued impact on our Black residents." The members of the task force are community leaders in law, academia, community organizing, and education and represent diversity in age, gender, and discipline to fully encompass the Black experience in Boston. The task force’s duties will include leading research on the historical impact of slavery in Boston and exploring ways the City can provide reparative justice for Black residents. Over the next 18 months, the task force members will convene and work on proposing recommendations to Mayor Wu for reparative solutions for the descendants of enslaved persons. The individuals appointed to the task force include:

  • Chair Joseph D. Feaster, Jr., Esq., Attorney, former President of the Boston branch of the NAACP, current member of City’s Black Men & Boys Commission

  • Denilson Fanfan, 11th grader at Jeremiah E. Burke High School

  • L’Merchie Frazier, Public historian, visual activist, and Executive Director of Creative and Strategic Partnerships for SPOKE Arts

  • George “Chip” Greenidge, Jr., Founder and Director of Greatest MINDS

  • Dr. Kerri Greenidge, Assistant Professor of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora at Tufts University

  • Dr. David Harris, Past Managing Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice

  • Dorothea Jones, Longtime civic organizer and member of the Roxbury Strategic Master Plan Oversight Committee

  • Carrie Mays, UMass Boston student and youth leader with Teen Empowerment

  • Na’tisha Mills, Program Manager for Embrace Boston

  • Damani Williams, 11th grader at Jeremiah E. Burke High School

“I am honored to be asked by Mayor Wu to chair this Reparation Task Force and serve with such distinguished people,” said Joseph D. Feaster, Jr., Chair of Reparations Task Force. “We are looking forward to determining recommendations for how we reckon with Boston’s past while charting a path forward for Black people whose ancestors labored without compensation and who were promised the 40 acres and a mule they never received.”

The task force will be housed within the City of Boston’s Equity & Inclusion Cabinet and work closely with Lori Nelson, the City’s Senior Advisor on Racial Justice. In the coming weeks, the City and task force will launch a request for proposal (RFP) to select a research partner to study the legacy of slavery in Boston and produce a report on its impact. The results of the report will inform recommendations brought forth by the task force. For more information about the task force, visit “This is a historic moment for Boston, for this nation,” said Mariangely Solis Cervera, Chief of Equity and Inclusion. “We are creating an opportunity to intentionally address harms of the past and embed racial equity into the fabric of our city. I am thankful for the leadership, expertise, and lived experience this task force brings to the table and I look forward to working beside them.” “This important initiative will center the truth, acknowledgment, and reconciliation that history once ignored. The task force will give us the chance to fully engage and challenge policies that have harmed and marginalized Black people in Boston for generations,” said Lori Nelson, Senior Advisor on Racial Justice. “I am eager to collaborate with the task force with the goal of repairing and restoring injustice to move our city forward.” Today’s action builds on Mayor Wu's work to acknowledge historic harms and build an equitable Boston for all. Last year, Mayor Wu established the Office of Black Male Advancement and the Commission of Black Men and Boys to create initiatives to improve outcomes for Black men and boys. The Office of Economic Opportunity and Inclusion has made strides to increase supplier diversity to include more businesses of color in City contracting and to close the racial wealth gap across the city.

WEBSITE: PICTURES FROM EVENT: VIDEO OF THE EVENT: NEWS ARTICLES: Boston's Reparations Task Force commences work to study lingering impacts of slavery and 'repair harm' Wu appoints Reparations Task Force Boston appoints members to its new Reparations Task Force Wu reveals members of the new Boston Reparations Task Force Video: Boston mayor names Reparations Task Force

Source: Boston Globe: Mayor Wu announces members of Boston’s reparations task force

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