Reparations – Moving Toward Saying the Word

by Regina Podhorin Zilinski

The Racial Justice Ministry (RJM) and Adult Faith Engagement will jointly present a three session training and deep discussion forum on reparations starting in late February and ending in April. The issue of reparations was chosen as a strategic issue area by RJM for this next year in collaboration with the UUFaithActionNJ Ministry. Very briefly, reparations is the system of repair for the egregious injustice inflicted upon Black Americans through slavery.

Session 1: Understanding Reparations (February 23 at 7 p.m.), will require advanced reading of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ article “The Case for Reparations” (The Atlantic, June 2014). The evening will be spent in deep group discussion about our hopes, fears and understanding of the topic of reparations. If you have difficulty accessing the article, contact Regina Zilinski through the UUCWC Directory.

Session 2: The Benefits and History of Reparations (March 23), will welcome Caroline Clark, a Trenton attorney who has made it her life cause to explore the implications and benefits of reparations and share these learnings with others. Caroline was recommended by Rhinold Ponder, who, you may recall, led the Martin Luther King Day service two years ago. This session will cover Ms. Clark’s personal view of the topic as a person of color and historical lessons learned from efforts in other circumstances/countries.

Session 3: What Next (April, TBD), will update participants on state and national legislation being considered and how UUCWC and each participant can engage in the work of making it commonplace to SAY THE WORD!

It is time for action but first we must be able to have an informed sense of the issue of reparations. Attendance at all three sessions is critical to experience the full continuum of building awareness, accountability and activism.

Come explore the issue, have your questions/concerns answered and help structure the way in which UUCWC can be an ally and advocate for repair. To sign up: Register here or email Robin Pugh at