In response to advocacy from social justice advocates across the state, the Newark City Council passes a resolution endorsing the enactment of the New Jersey Reparations Task Force bill currently pending in the state legislature.

The state legislation (S386/A938) would establish a Reparations Task Force to study New Jersey’s often overlooked and deep history of slavery and its aftermath and make policy recommendations to repair the enduring harm. Generations of structural racism have led to New Jersey today having some of the highest racial wealth disparities in the nation.

“We are heartened that Newark has taken a stand in support of this critical legislation,” said Ryan P. Haygood, President & CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “While efforts are being made across the country to shut down the study of history and racism, New Jersey must do better. As our Say the Word campaign urges, we must affirmatively have this conversation, educate ourselves and then take proactive policy steps to invest in our Black communities and other communities of color.”

The Say the Word: Reparations campaign is a multiracial and multifaith movement of advocates across the state who are engaging with New Jersey’s legislature to get S386/A938 passed, have held several well-attended rallies throughout the state and believe it is critical that New Jersey – along with America as a whole – finally face up to its history and turn our state into one where everyone can thrive.

“We can finally feel momentum building for passage of the Reparations Task Force bill, and are grateful to Newark for being part of that,” said Jean-Pierre Brutus, Senior Counsel in the Economic Justice Program at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. “We hope that other cities and towns throughout New Jersey will follow Newark’s lead and support the state Reparations Task Force bill.”

Members of the public can urge legislators to pass the Reparations Task Force bill by visiting 400YearsNJ.org.

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