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Black Youth Project 100 Calls for Reparations, Releases Policy Agenda

Two groups have called recently for reparations in response to discrimination against black Americans.

In its policy agenda released Monday, the Chicago-based advocacy group Black Youth Project 100 said dismantling the lingering impacts of white supremacy “will require creative solutions that are a mix of financial settlements, implementing policies that eliminate obstacles to wealth for Black people and transforming the popular historical narrative about Black people in America.” The model is a landmark Chicago reparations package for police torture survivors.

“Closing the gender and race gap, protection for queer and trans folks, workers’ bill of rights, investing in our communities -- all of these things can be put into a reparations framework because we have to look at the root cause of all of these issues and they’re all a product of harm that’s been done through government and corporations that profited off of black bodies and labor,” said Janae Bonsu, national public policy chair for BYP100.

Last week a United Nations working group on racism against blacks concluded its U.S. visit and offered preliminary recommendations, which include urging Congress to study reparations as a way to confront a racist past and policies that still hurt black people.

BYP100 wants its agenda to be a national “lobbying tool or a guideline to empower young black activists and organizers to create actual legislative policy or to campaign to lobby officials,” Bonsu said.

An extension of work around the Black Lives Matter movement, the report offers several recommendations, from raising the minimum wage to addressing predatory lending. 

“There’s a big misconception about this entire movement -- that we’re just young black people who are angry and we’re just bodies at a rally protesting with signs and we have no real concrete vision of what we want,” Bonsu said. “That’s just simply not true. This [report] is a testament to what we want.”

is WBEZ’s South Side Bureau reporter. You can follow her on Twitter.

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