This resolution supports the national request for congressional hearings and a federal commission to study and consider reparations for African Americans, and to educate Americans about the history of slavery and its current repercussions.
WHEREAS the dehumanization and atrocities of slavery in the United States were
mandated by formal laws that were codified and enshrined within the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS the U.S. government has never acknowledged, apologized, or otherwise taken responsibility for its role in slavery
or segregation (de jure and de facto), and has never made reparation to African Americans for the generations of labor
them, deprivation of their freedom and rights, and terrorism against them resulting in widespread injury and death; and
WHEREAS, the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa acknowledged that the
Transatlantic slave trade and slavery were crimes against humanity; and
WHEREAS, a bill pending before the United States House of Representatives, (H.R. 40), 1) acknowledges the fundamental
injustice and inhumanity of slavery; 2) establishes a commission to study slavery, its subsequent racial and economic
discrimination against freed slaves and the impact of those forces on living African Americans today; and 3) makes
recommendations to Congress on appropriate remedies; and
WHEREAS, H.R. 40 and the concept of reparations have been supported by state and local resolutions across the country,
including legislation passed in the states of Louisiana and California, and the city councils of Detroit, MI, Cleveland, OH;
Chicago, IL; Evanston, IL; Atlanta, GA; Washington, D.C., Baltimore,MDInglewood, CA; Dallas, TX; Philadelphia, PA;
Paterson, N.J., Burlington, VT; and
WHEREAS, numerous national, state, and local organizations as well as religious institutions, legal organizations, and labor
unions have officially endorsed the concept of reparations and HR 40;
WHEREAS, the United States government has acknowledged and taken responsibility for its role in the unjust internment of
Japanese-Americans during the Second World War and has undertaken to pay reparations to the internees and their
descendants and to apologize for the unjust abrogation of their rights; and
WHEREAS the United States has lent its support to other reparations claims even where such claims did not take place on
United States soil; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we recognize the date of February 25th of each year as Reparations Awareness
Day, having been celebrated as such by the growing reparations movement for the past decade.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we hereby express our support for HR 40, and call upon the state Congressional
delegation to endorse the bill and advocate for its passage in Congress; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that we forward a copy of this resolution to Representative John Conyers of Michigan, the
author and primary sponsor of H.R. 40.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we engage in supportive activities to publicize the concept of reparations and the passage
of H.R. 40.