Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza now has a report from his Reparations Commission that outlines a path forward. It includes recommendations to bring equity to Black, People of Color and Indigenous People. The report was 2 years in the making.
Ten million dollars in pandemic relief monies was earmarked for the program.
The Task Force is recommending eleven point investment fan that it concedes will not totally fix all the problems but set the city on the right path. Among the recommendations:
1. Recognition of Harm
2. Equity Building for African Heritage and Indigenous Communities
3. Creation and Development of African Heritage and Indigenous Media, Technology and Communication Companies
4. Creation of African Heritage and Indigenous Development Programs
5. Review and Reformation of Laws and Policies that Harm African Heritage and Indigenous People and Communities
6. Movement Towards a More Equitable Healthcare System for African Heritage and Indigenous People
7. Creation of Neighborhood Incubator(s) Focused on African Heritage and Indigenous Communities
8. Accelerate the Evolution of the African American Ambassadors Group (AAAG) into an African Heritage Public Policy Institute Model
9. Creation of an "African Heritage and Indigenous Survivors and Descendants of Providence Urban Renewal Displacement" Fund
10. Expanded Representation of African Heritage and Indigenous People in Governing Bodies
11. Expansion of Cultural Engagement and Educational Opportunities for African Heritage and Indigenous Communities
"The Municipal Reparations Commission's report aims to build an understanding of how the City of Providence’s treatment of nonwhite people evolved, which people and institutions benefited, who was left behind, and how these legacies still influence society today," said Providence Reparations Commission Chairperson Rodney Davis. "Our recommendations are centered in the objective of moving people, institutions, and businesses in a similar direction towards universal equity. While we recognize that the City alone cannot advance reparations, we hope this report will guide the City in advancing policies and programs to begin repairing harm and that outside institutions will step forward to have maximum impact. On behalf of the Commission, we thank Mayor Elorza and Council President Igliozzi for bringing us together to engage the community and advance this work, and I especially want to commend all Commissioners for their deep commitment over the past few months to this process."The full report can be accessed online here.
The Mayor is reviewing the report now and is expected to act shortly.
(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)