“Reparations & the Future of Pro-Black Policies in CA” Recap
This month the Liberty Hill community hosted “Reparations and the Future of Pro-Black Policy in California,” an engaging conversation on the work happening locally in support of reparations policies that aim to heal and enable thriving Black communities.
Moderated by Liberty Hill Board Member, Mark Smith, the featured panel included Kaci Patterson, founder of Social Good Solutions, Allison Thomas, Liberty Hill DAF holder, and California Assemblymember Isaac Bryan of the 55th District.
The conversation was framed around exploring the very complicated, and often divisive, narrative of reparations and the challenges ahead for securing pathways of healing for Black-Americans.
Patterson reflected, “If we are really to be a forward-thinking democracy, then we really need to acknowledge that we have not always been democratic.” She continued, “We have not always really opened up society for everyone, in fact, not only have we been exclusive, but we’ve been downright exploitative in many ways.”
Assemblymember Bryan went on to uplift the important work being done at the legislative level through the California Reparations Task Force. Established in 2020 by California Assembly Bill 3132, the group was tasked with studying the harms of slavery and systemic racism, educating the California public, and presenting formal recommendations on how the state could make reparations.
With the study sunsetting this summer, the task force will present formal recommendations to the state senate—offering a meaningful opportunity for reparation advocates nationwide. As Bryan mentioned, “California can serve as the model for this type of policy movement on a national level.” Bryan joins a number of elected officials across the state who are hopeful that the local momentum could potentially boost federal efforts to pursue slavery reparations.
While California is poised to lead the way nationally, Liberty Hill donor activist Allison Thomas offered a local approach to supporting the movement. “It’s incumbent on all of us to think about these issues of reparations on a personal level,” she shared.
Through charitable giving and generational investments, individuals have the unique opportunity to support grassroots movement building and help transform the systems of injustice that are harming communities of color.
As conversations around reparations continue nationwide, panelists urged the Liberty Hill community to let their voices be heard through engagement and charitable giving. “We have an opportunity and a responsibility as funders to think about the history we want to make as grant makers—whether or not we are going to be pioneering in this moment or whether we are going to preserve racist inequitable systems,” Patterson stated.