Rhode Island reparations report suggests programs, not cash

Aug 23, 2022, 3:20 AM | Updated: 4:23 pm
FILE - The state seal with Rhode Island's full former name appears on a rug in the state room on No...

FILE - The state seal with Rhode Island's full former name appears on a rug in the state room on Nov. 4, 2021, at the Rhode Island State House, in Providence, R.I. A new report issued Monday, Aug. 22, 2022, suggests ways Providence can atone for its extensive ties to the transatlantic slave trade and centuries of racism and discrimination by, among other things, establishing home repair funds, launching financial literacy programs and boosting aid to Black and Indigenous organizations. (AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott, File)

(AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott, File)

A new report suggests ways Providence, Rhode Island, can atone for its extensive ties to the transatlantic slave trade and centuries of racism and discrimination by, among other things, establishing home repair funds, launching financial literacy programs and boosting aid to Black and Indigenous organizations.

The report, issued Monday by the Providence Municipal Reparations Commission, notably doesn’t recommend giving out direct payments to Black and Native American residents, as some had called for.

Instead, it defines “reparations” as efforts that close the “present-day racial wealth and equity gaps,” and outlines 11 areas for the city to focus its reparations work, including criminal justice reform, neighborhood development, health equity and improving educational and cultural opportunities.

Providence’s reparations effort was launched the same year Rhode Island voters approved a ballot referendum getting rid of the words “and Providence Plantations” from the state’s formal name because of its slavery connotations.

The new report suggests creating a dedicated fund to support residents impacted by urban renewal policies that displaced and negatively impacted communities of color. It also calls for forgiving certain municipal court debts; ending police use of so-called “no-knock” warrants; decriminalizing consumption of alcohol in public; and creating a school curriculum based on the city’s research into its racist and discriminatory policies.

But the report doesn’t suggest how much money should be spent on the many specific initiatives it lists, or which should take priority over others. Mayor Jorge Elorza, who launched the reparations effort two summers ago and is leaving office at the end of the year, is expected to address next steps in the process Thursday, including how he proposes to spend $10 million in federal coronavirus pandemic funds the city has specifically earmarked for reparations-related work.

The report recommends limiting eligibility for reparations-related efforts to those with Indigenous heritage or ancestors originating from sub-Saharan Africa, residents of neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and low income households earning less than 50% of the area median income.

Rodney Davis, chair of the commission, said in a statement that he hopes the report helps advance new city policies and programs and inspires outside institutions to also get involved.

“Our recommendations are centered on the objective of moving people, institutions, and businesses in a similar direction towards universal equity,” he said.

Last year, Elorza’s administration released a historical report tracing the city’s racist and discriminatory practices and their legacy, from colonial through modern times. The reparations commission has been meeting since the spring with members appointed by the mayor and city council.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Five Stars Movement leader Giuseppe Conte speaks during a press conference at his electoral headqua...
Associated Press

Italy shifts to the right as voters reward Meloni’s party

ROME (AP) — A party with neo-fascist roots, the Brothers of Italy, won the most votes in Italy’s national elections, looking set to deliver the country’s first far-right-led government since World War II and make its leader, Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s first woman premier, near-final results showed Monday. Italy’s lurch to the far right immediately shifted […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

6 dead, 20 wounded in school shooting in Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — A gunman on Monday morning killed six people and wounded 20 others in a school in central Russia, local police said. Governor of the Udmurtia region, Alexander Brechalov, said in a video statement that the still unidentified shooter got into a school in Izhevsk, the region’s capital, killed a guard and some […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Lebanese banks reopen partially after weeklong closure

BEIRUT (AP) — Banks in crisis-hit Lebanon partially reopened Monday following a weeklong closure amid a wave of heists in which assailants stormed at least seven bank branches earlier this month, demanding to withdraw their trapped savings. The Association of Banks in Lebanon said last Monday it was going on strike amid bank holdups by […]
1 day ago
President of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc, left, is welcomed by Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pr...
Associated Press

Kishida opens diplomacy rush as Japan preps divisive funeral

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held a series of meetings with foreign dignitaries Monday in what he’s called “funeral diplomacy” the day before he hosts a controversial state-sponsored ceremony for former leader Shinzo Abe. Kishida has been criticized for pushing for Tuesday’s formal state funeral for Abe, who was assassinated in July, […]
1 day ago
FILE - People protest outside Diet against the state paying for Japan's former Prime Minister Shinz...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Why is Japan split over Abe’s state funeral?

TOKYO (AP) — A rare state funeral for Shinzo Abe, the former prime minister who was assassinated in July, has split Japan. The hawkish Abe was one of the nation’s most divisive postwar leaders, but it is the ruling party’s cozy ties with the ultra-conservative Unification Church that has fired up much of the opposition […]
1 day ago
FILE - A customer waits for service at a Optus phone store in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, Oct. 7, ...
Associated Press

Australia mulls tougher cybersecurity laws after data breach

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government said on Monday it was considering tougher cybersecurity rules for telecommunications companies after Optus, the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier, reported personal data of 9.8 million customers had been breached. Optus said Thursday it had become aware the day before of the cyberattack breaching details of 9.8 million people […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Rhode Island reparations report suggests programs, not cash