by Dee Seligman
African Americans have been seeking reparations for the harms done to them since the end of the Civil War when “40 acres and a mule” were offered but then were taken away by President Andrew Johnson. Now, hopefully, the time for reparations has come!
We are now seeing efforts for reparations gain traction in many communities. But very few cities, other than San Francisco, and no other states, except California, have even begun the process to develop proposals to make the prospect of reparations happen in their cities or states. But since we have, wouldn’t you like to understand the who, what, where, when and why in California behind these efforts, so that this time, in fact, reparations will become real? Your voice can become louder and stronger armed with this information when the issue comes before our Board of Supervisors and our state legislature.
On Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. at San Francisco’s Congregation Sherith Israel, in-person or online, you will have that opportunity! The San Francisco Black & Jewish Unity Coalition offers a free Teach-in on Reparations for African Americans in California and San Francisco. This is your chance to hear the experts deeply committed to this effort, ask them questions, and participate in small-group facilitated discussions with others who share your needs and your experiences. Learn more about what these two official governmental bodies have documented, where they are headed, and future options for public testimony so that this time reparations will happen and will help heal.
Register on this Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/teach-in-on-reparations-for-african-americans-in-california-and-sf-tickets-404187685247 so you can come in person or attend online to listen and talk with:
● California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber, sponsor of the California Assembly bill, AB 3121, which created the California Task Force and will drive the state’s reparations process towards specific recommendations that will be voted on and funded by the California Legislature. She has served four terms in the State Assembly, including chairing the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC.) She is the first African American to serve as California’s Secretary of State. Dr. Weber has fought to secure and expand civil rights for all Californians, including restoring voting rights for individuals who have completed their prison terms.
Your voice can become louder and stronger armed with this information when the issue comes before our Board of Supervisors and our state legislature.
● Rev. Dr. Amos Brown, pastor of the historic Third Baptist Church, vice chair of the California State Task Force and member of the San Francisco Advisory Committee. Rev. Dr. Brown has been a civil rights leader since the ‘60s. He is the president of the San Francisco NAACP and serves on the Board of Directors of NAACP. He also served on the SF Board of Supervisors for five years in the late 1990s.
● Dr. Theopia Jackson, chair, Saybrook University’s Clinical Psychology degree program and immediate past president of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), Inc; co-founder of the Therapist-in-Residency Program (TnRP) in Oakland, an African-centered program dedicated to supervising Black clinicians-in-training. She has practiced in the Bay Area for 30 years.
● Eric McDonell, chair of the San Francisco Reparations Advisory Committee; interim CEO of United Way NYC and former executive VP and chief operating officer of United Way Bay Area. McDonell grew up in San Francisco public housing but has risen to executive and consulting positions over his 30-year career.
Congregation Sherith Israel, as a co-host, offers a beautiful and sacred space welcoming all to participate. It will be a source of inspiration for this timely and important conversation. This is an interfaith effort, with the other co-hosts being the Third Baptist Church and the San Francisco Black & Jewish Unity Coalition.
The Unity Coalition was formed in 2016 to bring African American and Jewish clergy together to discuss concerns of the San Francisco African American community and to seek satisfactory solutions to those concerns. Many early members were congregants of those clergy, but social activist members do not have to be members of any formal congregations. Our meetings are highlighted by strong advocacy of certain positions and respectful discussions of counter positions, culminating in a decision to take a certain action or to support a particular legislative or administrative action.
Let’s move forward with reparations by increasing your understanding and contributing your ideas to the process. Please sign up and join us.
Questions? contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dee Seligman can be reached at email@example.com.