California Black Freedom Fund on Reparations and Affirmative Action
“Yesterday, California took early strides for justice for Black people by presenting its first-in-the-nation attempt at making reparations for the legacy of slavery real. As legislators translate these recommendations into policy, we affirm the wisdom, clarity and courage of our grantees and partners in influencing a self-determined future where all Black people thrive.
Meanwhile, on the national level, MAGA judges are rolling back progress on equity in education by dismantling a policy tool that has, for nearly 50 years, expanded opportunities for Black and Indigenous people, people of color, and women. Limiting race conscious Affirmative Action in college decisions will consequently reduce educational, employment and economic opportunities for young Black people and people of color. In spite of this attack, we remain undeterred in our work to affect the culture, policy and systems changes necessary to realize Black freedom, equity, and dignity.” — Marc Philpart, Executive Director of the California Black Freedom Fund
Here are statements from our grantees and partners:
Statement from James Woodson, Esq., The California Black Power Network:
“The California Black Power Network (CBPN) commends the California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans for the release of its final report today and urges lawmakers to move swiftly to right the deplorable wrongs highlighted in the report through comprehensive and expansive legislation. The California Reparations Task Force’s final report represents a key milestone in the fight for freedom for all Black Californians, and history has shown that when you do right by Black people, all communities benefit. The Task Force has done their part; the Legislature and Governor must now do theirs. We call on both the Legislature and the Governor to implement the key policies in the Task Force’s report so that the State of California can truly heal from past harms and fully remove the barriers and harmful stigma that systemic and anti-Black racism has placed on our communities.
The California Reparations Task Force had the challenging task of investigating the historical impact of chattel slavery on present-day African American communities and proposing suitable actions to address the enduring consequences, such as compensation, rehabilitation, and restitution for African Americans. In March 2023, CBPN submitted a memo of policy recommendations based on the community feedback we collected from hosting 10 virtual and in-person regional listening sessions in Central California, the Bay Area, the Inland Empire, San Diego and Los Angeles in our capacity as an official member organization of the community engagement steering committee of the Task Force. Additionally, we implemented strategic digital and social media campaigns educating community members about reparations and offered ways to participate in the process, organizing over 200,000 community members.
With the final report completed, CBPN looks forward to working with our members, with allies, the Black Caucus and other state Legislators to make reparations a reality.
The California Black Power Network is a united ecosystem of over 37 Black grassroots organizations working together to change the lived conditions of Black Californians by dismantling systemic and anti-Black racism. Learn more by visiting BlackPowerNetwork.org.”
- California Community Foundation, The California Endowment, Weingart Foundation and The California Wellness Foundation: “The court’s decision ignores the legacy of our country’s long history of racist policies and practices that continue to harm, disadvantage, and limit opportunities for communities of color, especially our youth.”
- The California Endowment: “Today’s ruling by the US Supreme Court on Affirmative Action is disappointing if not unexpected. Unfortunately, despite explicitly naming the centuries of legalized discrimination endured by racial and ethnic communities in this Country, the Court ignores this country’s shameful legacy and undermines 45 years of careful precedent attempting to redress in the context of higher education, the continued reality of this racial inequity.”
- Latino Community Foundation: “Today’s decision on Affirmative Action from the Supreme Court was a devastating blow to progress towards equity, justice, and our democratic tenets. It was also a reminder that elections matter. The impact of our votes goes far beyond who sits in the White House. They create ripple effects that reach every corner of our democracy.”
- NAACP: “Race plays an undeniable role in shaping the identities of and quality of life for Black Americans. In a society still scarred by the wounds of racial disparities, the Supreme Court has displayed a willful ignorance of our reality.”
- San Francisco Foundation: “Today’s decision – and how we respond to it – is not about who gets into any one college; it’s about a fair chance for everyone and providing opportunities for those who have been kept down and left behind by the laws and practices people in power created to maintain their hold on it. In this crucial moment, we must take the long view and increase our efforts to dismantle systems of oppression and advance racial equity. ”
- Tides Foundation: “Affirmative action has served as a tool to shift and strengthen power for students of color who have been historically denied access to quality education. The Supreme Court’s decision to restrict affirmative action is a devastating blow to decades of progress in the movement for racial equity and social justice.”
The struggle continues. We are committed to making racial justice real in California. Join us!