THE PHILADELPHIA REPARATIONS TASK FORCE
The Philadelphia Reparations Task Force studies and develops reparations proposals and programs for Black Philadelphians whose ancestors endured chattel slavery and Jim Crow in the United States. Organized by N’COBRA PHL and introduced to Philadelphia’s City Council by Councilmembers Jamie Gauthier (3rd District) and Kendra Brooks (At-Large), the Philadelphia Reparations Task Force resolution established the Task Force with unanimous approval on June 22nd, 2023.
The Philadelphia Reparations Task Force studies and develops reparations proposals and programs for Black Philadelphians whose ancestors endured chattel slavery and Jim Crow in the United States. The mission of the Task Force is to provide the Philadelphia legislature with a comprehensive overview and report on how reparations can atone for the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and institutional racism in America for Black Philadelphians. The vision of the reparations task force is to elevate and protect the full human rights and human potential of Black Philadelphia.
THE PHILADELPHIA REPARATIONS TASK FORCE CO-CHAIRS
Breanna Moore is a Ph.D. History candidate at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the New Jersey Reparations Council Research Fellow. She co-chairs N’COBRA PHL (National Coalition of Black for Reparations in America Philadelphia chapter) which successfully advocated for the establishment of a Philadelphia Reparations Task Force. Breanna has held fellowships at The United Nations OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) Programme for People of African Descent, the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Huntington Library, and the University of Cambridge. Breanna holds a B.A. in International Relations and African Studies from University of Pennsylvania. You can learn more at breannamoore.com.
Rashaun Williams is a Philadelphia native with experience supporting grassroots and public broadcast media, human service nonprofits, and global impact ventures. Rashaun has worked as an environmental sustainability organizer, K-12 academic enrichment program director, social entrepreneurship institute coordinator, and humanitarian rights justice and law convener. Rashaun co-chairs N’COBRA PHL, the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, and coordinates Rep 215.
Cassie Owens is a storyteller, filmmaker and media justice organizer from Philadelphia. In her journalism career, Owens often covered the myriad communities that exist within Black Philadelphia. In 2019, at the Inquirer, she co-produced Legendary, a short-film that won the Shine award at the BlackStar Film Festival. She currently works at Free Press, where she collaborates with journalists, community members, therapists and organizers to change harmful crime coverage, the first project of its kind in Philadelphia. Owens loves her people, cultural history, gardening and ancestral recipes.
“Authorizing the creation of the Philadelphia Reparations Task Force to study and develop reparations proposals for Black Philadelphian Descendants of Enslaved Africans in the United States.
WHEREAS, from 1619 through 1865, the transatlantic slave trade resulted in approximately 4,000,000 Africans and their descendants being enslaved in the United States; and
WHEREAS, Although the institution of slavery became illegal in the United States in 1865, discrimination against Black Americans continued through racist practices including Redlining, Jim Crow, and Black Codes; and
WHEREAS, in the past, the City of Philadelphia has taken steps to address its past involvement in the illegal institution of slavery; and
WHEREAS, Philadelphia’s Slavery Era Business/Corporate Insurance Disclosure laws were enacted in 2004 requiring City contractors to complete affidavits verifying that they have searched any and all of their company’s or predecessor company records regarding investments or profits earned from slavery or slaveholder insurance policies during slavery; and
WHEREAS, Under these laws, any financial institution authorized to receive deposits from the City that has disclosed slavery policies or profits, they must provide the City with a statement of financial reparations, including a description of new financial products or programs developed to address racial disparities in its lending and investment activities; and
WHEREAS, Black Philadelphians, specifically those descended from Enslaved Africans continue to suffer extraordinary disparities in economic, educational, housing, and healthcare outcomes as a result of the illegal institution of slavery. Before the COVID-19 Pandemic, at a staggering 30.8%, Black Philadelphians had a poverty rate more than twice that of non-Hispanic White Philadelphians; and
WHEREAS, Although more than 40% of Philadelphia’s residents are Black, only 6% of the City’s businesses are Black-owned; and
WHEREAS, Multiple City and State level Reparations Task Forces and Commissions have been established across the United States to examine the distribution of reparations to the descendants of Enslaved Africans, including California, New Jersey, Amherst, MA, Willington, DE, Chicago, IL and Detroit, MI; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, That it hereby authorizes the creation of the Philadelphia Reparations Task Force to study and develop reparations proposals for Black Philadelphian Descendants of Enslaved Africans in the United States.”