Racial Justice Ministry Considers Reparations

by Regina Podhorin Zilinski

The Racial Justice Ministry (RJM) recently hosted a speaker from the Unitarian Universalist Faith Action New Jersey (UUFANJ) Reparations Task Force to update us on their activities and plans to move forward the conversation about reparations in New Jersey. As a result of this conversation, we have decided to engage more deeply with the issue of reparations and to move forward with listening circles regarding the UUCWC Covenant to become a Beloved Community.

We intend to widely share our learnings about reparations with the congregation in the coming months and will share with you opportunities for member learning and involvement in future advocacy efforts. RJM will continue to follow the UUFANJ Task Force as they continue to study and take action; and members will work with Robin Pugh and Sarah Ahrens to integrate conversations about reparations into the UUCWC Faith Engagement program. Early next year, we will hold listening circles to consider and recommend reparatory actions as part of our UUCWC Covenant.

In the meantime, there are many state and national organizations and resources focused on reparations. Here is a list of some of those resources for more information:

UUFANJ has substantial information about reparations and the bills pending in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly.

New Jersey Institute for Social Justice (NJISJ)—founded in 1999 by Alan V. and Amy Lowenstein, the NJISJ focuses on economic justice, criminal justice reform and Justice and Democracy. Look here for more information and follow the NJISJ conversations about reparations on Twitter and Facebook.

The Episcopal News Services provides a listing of faith communities involved in the reparations discussion.

Ta-Nehisi Coates’s 2014 article in the Atlantic Monthly, “The Case for Reparations.”

Federal Bill H.R.40.

Human Rights Watch Summary on Reparations.

The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America—a mass-based organization for the sole purpose of obtaining reparations for African descendants in the United States has information here.