WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) joins Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) as an original cosponsor of her Reparations Now Resolution that calls on the federal government to provide reparations to the descendants of enslaved Black families. The resolution outlines the various forms those reparations should take. The Reparations Now Resolution seeks to advance federal reparations, support existing reparatory justice efforts such as H.R. 40, and provide further momentum to reparations efforts at the state and local levels.
“Our country promised reparations to our Black neighbors and never followed through, even as other communities were provided some form of reparations,” said Congresswoman Tlaib. “For centuries, our Black neighbors have endured the brutality of slavery, the violence of white supremacy, the dehumanization of Jim Crow, and the systemic racism that has left a lasting impact on the lives of Black families in our communities. By providing reparations, Congress can begin to address the racial wealth gap, end the decades of disinvestment in communities of color, and dismantle the racist systems that have oppressed our Black neighbors for far too long.”
“I am one of the 40 million people in this country descended from enslaved Africans. Our ancestors were torn away from their homes and families, enslaved, and forced to fuel this country’s economy since the day it was founded. And then they were left landless, impoverished, and disenfranchised,” said Congresswoman Bush. “Black people continue to bear the harms of slavery and its vestiges, through the Black-white wealth gap, segregation and redlining, disparities in health outcomes, a racist and destructive criminal legal system, and countless other ways. Yet our federal government refuses to acknowledge the lasting harms of slavery and the unjust world it created for Black people. We know this injustice because we experience it every day. This resolution will move us closer to a federal government that acknowledges its responsibility for this injustice and enacts a holistic and comprehensive reparations package that begins to address the harm it has caused, the wealth it has extracted, and the lives it has stolen.”
This resolution is co-sponsored by Representatives Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Al Green (TX-09), Jonathan Jackson (IL-01), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Summer Lee (PA-12), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Delia Ramirez (IL-04) and Rashida Tlaib (MI-12).
The Reparations Now Resolution has been endorsed by nearly 300 organizations, including National Coalition Of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), Color of Change, Action St. Louis, Arch City Defenders, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International USA, National Black Justice Coalition, African American Redress Network, New Brunswick Area NAACP, Japanese American Citizens League, Black Music Action Coalition, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc., Reparation Education Project, US Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Movement, Universal Human Rights Initiative, National Council of Churches, Drug Policy Alliance, National Education Association, Decolonizing Wealth Project, National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), Terence Crutcher Foundation, National Consumers League, Reparations Finance Lab, National Council of Jewish Women, and National Nikkei Reparations Coalition (NNRC).
“America has unfinished business, and this legislation will help to address it,” said Rev. Jesse Jackson, President, Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
“Congresswoman Cori Bush’s resolution on reparations for Black people in the US reflects the urgent need to show up for a constituency that has for too long weathered discrimination, abuse, and neglect. The legislation is in line with the growing national recognition that reparations are essential to consider for rectifying the alarming racial wealth gap and ending the disparities in access to health care, housing, and even clean water that are legacies of slavery. It is past time for President Biden to use his executive authority to set up a federal commission to study reparations proposals as laid out in HR 40, which has been supported by hundreds of organizations, including Human Rights Watch and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Reparations measures should not be conflated with President Biden’s equity policies, and the US government should not continue failing to meet its human rights obligations to the people who’ve helped to build this country,” said Tanya Greene, Director, US Program, Human Rights Watch.
“As a founder of legacy reparations organizations who proudly worked very closely with Rep. John Conyers in promoting the 1987-introduced H.R.40 reparations study commission bill as well as with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee as she took its 2016 updated version to include the development of proposals by the proposed H.R.40 commission and electrified its momentum, I am likewise honored and enthused to vigorously support Rep. Cori Bush’s comprehensive and holistic resolution, which is one more example of today’s ‘history-in-the-making’ that brings additional value to H.R.40 and the movement for reparatory justice in the U.S.,” said Nkechi Taifa, Executive Director, Reparation Education Project.
“Decolonizing Wealth Project resoundingly supports Rep. Bush’s #ReparationsNow Resolution addressing reparations for Black Americans. This landmark proposal marks a significant stride towards fostering the crucial racial reconciliation and healing that our nation rightly deserves. By embracing this resolution, we underscore our commitment to working alongside forward-thinking leaders to advance equity, justice, and healing within our society. Together, we can forge a path towards a more inclusive and harmonious future for all Americans,” said Kwesi Chappin, Reparations Program Director, Decolonizing Wealth Project.
“Justice demands reparations that address directly the injuries suffered and continue to be suffered by African Americans in the United States from the enslavement of Africans, the abuse to so-called “free Africans” during the period of enslavement, and the United States’ role in creating and maintaining laws and actions that subordinated African Americans to whites and its allowance of discrimination against African Americans in all areas of life including criminal punishment, education, employment and housing,” said Adjoa A. Aiyetoro, Co-Facilitator, National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL).
WATCH: You can watch the press conference on this resolution here.
A full list of all endorsing organizations and their quotes can be found here.
A copy of this resolution can be found here.
A copy of the one-pager can be found here.