Elorza announces next steps to advance reparations following report

Providence City Hall. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced the next steps to advance reparations in the city Thursday.

The mayor signed an official apology on behalf of the city at Thursday’s event.

“Only by formally acknowledging the generational effects of discriminatory policies, bringing those impacted to the table as decision-makers, and making significant investments in the communities targeted by those policies, can we collectively move forward and each of us become full and equal members of our society,” he said.

Elorza also unveilled a $10 million budget plan that outlines investments in homeownership and financial literacy, education and healthcare. The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The full budget can be found here.

On Monday, the city’s Reparations Commission submitted a report of its recommendations to advance reparations to the mayor.

The commission defined reparations as “closing the present-day racial wealth and equality gap.”

Those recommendations included the following:

  1. Recognition of Harm
  2. Equity Building for African Heritage and Indigenous Communities
  3. Creation and Development of African Heritage and Indigenous Media, Technology and Communication Companies
  4. Creation of African Heritage and Indigenous Development Programs
  5. Review and Reformation of Laws and Policies that Harm African Heritage and Indigenous People and Communities
  6. Movement Towards a More Equitable Healthcare System for African Heritage and Indigenous People
  7. Creation of Neighborhood Incubator(s) Focused on African Heritage and Indigenous Communities
  8. Accelerate the Evolution of the African American Ambassadors Group (AAAG) into an African Heritage Public Policy Institute Model
  9. Creation of an “African Heritage and Indigenous Survivors and Descendants of Providence Urban Renewal Displacement” Fund
  10. Expanded Representation of African Heritage and Indigenous People in Governing Bodies
  11. Expansion of Cultural Engagement and Educational Opportunities for African Heritage and Indigenous Communities

“While we know the City cannot advance this work alone, my team and I look forward to working with all stakeholders to put recommendations into action to close the racial wealth and equity gap,” the mayor said Monday.

Back in 2020, Elorza signed an executive order to kickstart the process of reparations for Black and Indigenous Providence residents.

Categories: News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island