AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The town of Amherst has reached a new phase in its efforts to bring about reparations to address the harm of slavery and racism.
The assembly is now reaching out to Black residents to see what reparations on this local level will look like. This summer the town committed $2 million over two years.
Amilcar Shabazz is part of the African Heritage Reparations Assembly. He said they started talking to people about what they want from this program during last week’s town block party.
When it comes to reparations, he said the focus of this is not monetary compensation or symbolic gestures but to “grow a culture of repair.” A step he feels is unlike programs in the past that were created by White people but didn’t include Black people in the conversation.
“We’re trying to develop a policy framework that centers Black people speaking about what matters to them and how things can change where they can feel a greater sense of belonging to Amherst,” said Shabazz.
They’re asking you to fill out their online form, if you identify as Black or of African heritage. The assembly is planning to give a report June of next year on how reparations could be used.