Tanu Henry, Lila Brown and Joe W. Henderson|California Black Media
The California Black Power Network (CBPN), Equal Justice Society (EJS), and six former members of the California Reparations Task Force — Dr. Cheryl Grills, Lisa Holder, Don Tamaki, Dr. Jovan Scott Lewis, Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), and Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) — have announced the formation of the Alliance for Reparations, Reconciliation, and Truth.
The Alliance aims to broaden public support for reparations for qualifying Black Californians by increasing the diversity of its allies across different races and sectors. They plan to achieve it by educating the public about reparations and advocating for the recommendations of the California Reparations Task Force’s report.
“The alliance brings advocate groups, academics, legal professionals, and legislators together to take on this historic and challenging endeavor,” Jones-Sawyer said in the Alliance announcement.
The Alliance includes Black-led and non-Black ally organizations such as Black Equity Collective, Catalyst California, AAPIFORCE, PICO California, Nikkei Progressives, and Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR).
The report by the California Reparations Task Force connects centuries of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and ongoing discrimination to the disparities currently faced by Black Californians. It recommends over 115 policies to the state legislature to cease the ongoing harm and develop a long- term plan to redress historical injustices.
The Alliance’s nonprofit members, CBPN and ESJ, are deeply involved in the reparations movement. CBPN, a coalition of about 40 organizations, led a community engagement campaign and submitted around 5,000 letters from community members to the task force. Meanwhile, ESJ’s President, Holder, along with Grills and Tamaki, have been organizing philanthropic support for reparations and securing endorsements from over 470 organizations and businesses. They aim to reach 1,000 endorsements by the end of 2023.
Leaders of the Alliance have met with the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC). They have proposed a collaboration to jointly organize and promote legislation based on the task force’s recommendations.
“We call upon the Legislature to develop a feasible approach, spanning years, in good economies and bad, to study the 115-plus recommendations and address the harms that have been decades, if not centuries, in the making,” Tamaki commented in the Alliance announcement.
The Alliance may also explore applying the task force report recommendations beyond the state level in California, at the international, federal, regional, and municipal levels.
Learn more about the Alliance at https://alliancefor.org.