Asheville has hired TEQuity to oversee the set-up of the Reparations Commission, but it remains unclear whether all Black community members will have a say in who represents them on this Commission, or whether that choice will be made exclusively by City Council members, County Commission members, and a handful of community members from only a few neighborhoods. We’re concerned that the Community Reparations Commission will be formed like most government commissions or committees, by setting up an application process, putting together a list of “recommended” candidates, and then having City and County officials make all the selections.
We invite you to personalize this and add any particular questions or proposed solutions that you feel are important for the City Manager and City Council to consider. You can also use these points to communicate with them over the phone. Scroll down for more information on RJC’s Every Black Voice vision, which explains the importance of community representation in greater depth.
Dear Ms. Campbell and Members of City Council,
I applaud your engagement of Tepeyac Consulting, a local woman-of-color-led business, to do community engagement around the City’s Climate Justice Initiative. It shows how important it is to prioritize the voices that are heard the least but most greatly impacted, and offers a valuable lesson for how to proceed with the process of Reparations.
I am concerned that members of the Reparations Commission will be chosen exclusively by City and County officials and a handful of organizational leaders from a small number of Black neighborhoods. I believe that all Black community members, from all impacted neighborhoods, should have a voice in choosing who will represent them.
I hope we can agree that Reparations cannot be meaningfully achieved without direct representation of the communities that have been harmed. Reparations can only be meaningfully achieved through a healing-centered process that is driven by local Black community members.
To call the City Manager’s office: 828-259-5604
Getting real representation on the Community Reparations Commission is a critical component of the Every Black Voice vision. To watch a video that outlines this vision, and to sign the pledge of support, please visit EveryBlackVoice.org.