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ABOUT       US

In June of 2020, a small group of friends and colleagues came together to explore issues arising from the aftermath of the George Floyd murder and the demonstrations that followed. 

We began as a loose group of like-minded people out to educate ourselves and take a close look at our relationship and understanding of race in our personal lives, in our communities and in our history. We joined The 21-Day Challenge, a collection of readings, podcasts and videos, and continued with a reading group discussing the works of James Baldwin, Michelle Alexander, Ibram X. Kendi, among others.

From that core, now expanded, we have established a community group called Paying Reparations Now. Our essential questions are:

            1.  What should reparations look like? How do we recognize, apologize, repair and repay?

            2.  How do we as members, whether individually or as a group, provide personal                                                        reparations to individuals and communities.

            3.  How can we engage with other groups and members of our community regarding the                                        issues of reparations?

            4.  How do we engage in research to identify cases where direct reparations might be                                              possible?

At present, our story is more aspirational than accomplishment: We have engaged in community outreach, having made presentations to a faith-based community group in Newark, NJ; one member is working with her community's library board to add a session on reparations to an existing program of conversations to promote racial awareness; and other members engaged in public outreach to expand our conversation. As a nascent group, we are deeply engaged in determining our next action steps, and while our energies and commitment are fully extended, at present our plans are loosely articulated.

Paying Reparations Now acknowledges that ongoing systemic racism is a vital issue in America for which compensation to the victims is morally just and necessary. We want to engage with our communities, expand our understanding of reparations, establish and maintain conversations as such, and engender courses of action to make reparations, both personal; and as a group.

Founding Members: Marc Wurgaft, Francis Dixon, Margaret O'Donohue, Jimmy Fleming, Maryanne Mazzola, Carolann Nelson Perez and Deborah Sands.

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