LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Black-led Louisville nonprofit says it has received a six-figure reparations payment from an individual who found their great-grandfather owned slaves in Kentucky.
Change Today, Change Tomorrow, a nonprofit that launched in 2019 to serve Louisville’s marginalized residents, mentioned the reparations verify throughout a information convention Monday at Pocket Change, its boutique that represents an initiative to boost support for Black business owners.
“It is a blessing for us but also definitely owed,” the nonprofit’s founder and government director, Taylor Ryan, mentioned Monday afternoon.
Nannie Grace Croney, the group’s deputy director, mentioned the group “honestly thought we were being scammed” once they first received an e-mail about this donation.
Then they realized it was truly occurring.
“So the initial emotion was like, ‘Oh this isn’t real,’ but once it was real, we knew that we had to act on it. We knew that as disruptors and changemakers, we have to challenge other corporations, foundations and individuals to really pay reparations back,” Croney mentioned.
“To really redirect those dollars and redistribute wealth to begin to fix the inequalities in this country and right here in our own backyard in Louisville.”
The nonprofit’s management declined to call or present contact information for the donor on Monday, citing that individual’s request for confidentiality.
The donor “had come into a lot of wealth on their 25th birthday,” the nonprofit introduced in a information launch.
“Being aware of how hoarding wealth is a huge contributing factor of inequality in this country they decided that they should give most of it away,” Change Today, Change Tomorrow’s launch mentioned. “Curious to find out where this wealth came from, they investigated their family history…”
They discovered their great-grandfather enslaved six individuals in Bourbon County, Kentucky, in response to Change Today, Change Tomorrow.
Because the great-grandfather did not report the names of these enslaved individuals, the donor could not establish their descendants and as an alternative donated cash to the nonprofit.
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According to Change Today, Change Tomorrow, the donor mentioned their great-grandfather “inflicted the trauma and violence of slavery on six people for his own monetary gain and did not even bother to record their names.”
Ryan mentioned the nonprofit plans to place 40% of the cash towards supporting the group’s employees, whereas one other 40% will go to sustaining their group outreach efforts and 20% is put into reserve.
She mentioned it is tough for Black-led organizations to get monetary assist from large establishments, similar to foundations, in Louisville and nationwide.
“We feel that other entities, specifically the foundations locally, need to get up to speed. Their practices are very, very outdated. They’re very still, you know, deeply embedded in white supremacy,” she mentioned. “And a lot of people are doing a lot of talking, but we need action.”
Change Today, Change Tomorrow mentioned there have been different, related examples in recent times of white individuals individually donating to Black-led organizations.
In 2018, an nameless donor gave $200,000 to the Denver-based nonprofit Soul2Soul Sisters. It was later discovered that the donor was a graduate pupil who had discovered her ancestors owned a slave.
That individual selected to stay nameless to maintain the deal with Soul2Soul and their racial injustice workshops for individuals of religion, according to The Associated Press.
Croney mentioned that is the primary time Change Today, Change Tomorrow has received a reparations payment from anybody, however she predicted it will not be the final.
“I think that this is just the start. I thank this donor for beginning this cycle that is going to continue to lead to more reparations,” she mentioned Monday. “But also, with this reparation coming in, we’re going to continue to do the work and continue to show up.”
Change Today, Change Tomorrow mentioned their nameless donor burdened the necessity not just for particular person motion but additionally for governmental motion to offer reparations.
This April, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee voted 25-17 to advance H.R. 40, which might create a fee to check “slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the United States from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies.”
The laws was first launched by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., in 1989 however failed for over twenty years to get a vote in both chamber of Congress. The 40 refers back to the unfulfilled proposal to offer 40 acres (16 hectares) of land to newly freed slaves because the Civil War drew to an in depth.
President Joe Biden has expressed support for H.R. 40, however it faces a hurdle to go and overcome a possible filibuster in the evenly divided Senate.
In March, the town council in Evanston, Illinois, which is north of Chicago, voted 8-1 to implement what many called the nation’s first reparations program for Black Americans, although some residents opposed using the time period “reparations” to explain the plan.
Evanston’s program will initially present 16 Black residents with housing grants of as much as $25,000 in the event that they both lived in Evanston between 1919 and 1969, are descendants of these residents or can show they skilled housing discrimination as a result of metropolis’s insurance policies after 1969.
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The Black households will be capable of apply for this system beginning this summer season. The grants can be utilized to buy a home, repay a mortgage or make house repairs, beneath the accepted plan.
Hundreds of communities and organizations throughout the nation even have considered reparations. They’ve included cities like Amherst, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, Asheville, North Carolina, and Iowa City, Iowa; spiritual denominations just like the Episcopal Church; and distinguished faculties like Georgetown University.
No laws surrounding reparations has been thought of in Louisville, however the metropolis has spent the previous yr grappling with systemic inequities introduced into the highlight following the police killing of Breonna Taylor.
As a historical marker in Jefferson County notes, slavery was part of Kentucky lengthy earlier than statehood was granted in 1792, and tax lists from 1800 confirmed 40,000 slaves residing within the commonwealth.
Louisville as soon as was the site of slave markets the place Black males, ladies, and youngsters had been bought and shipped downriver to plantations within the Deep South.