DENVER — Denver's Mayor Michael Hancock is joining a group of leaders in major U.S. cities that supports a plan to pay reparations to Black Americans for slavery.
The group is called the Mayors Organized for Reparations and Equity (MORE) and states their mission is to counteract historic and continued discrimination against Black Americans.
According toMORE’s website, Black Americans are still five times more likely to live in high-poverty neighborhoods than white Americans.
Therefore MORE plans to address the issue by paying restitution to a small group of Black Americans in each of the cities represented by the organization’s members.
“Reparations in terms of equity is understanding that since slavery, there’s been continual racial inequality,” said Selena Dunham, principal of Classique a consulting firm that helps organizations promote equality.
Dunham said reparations literally means “to repair harm.”
Since the end of the Civil War, reparations for the formerly enslaved and their descendants has been discussed.
“At the end of slavery, slaves were promised 40 acres and a mule,” Dunham said.
Dunham said reparations are not always direct monetary payments.
“There are discussions about having education reparations and funds being allocated for housing,” Dunham said.
MORE has not announced how the reparations program will be funded yet or how recipients will be selected.
Historically, the federal government has paid monetary reparations to Japanese American Internment camp survivors and several Native American tribes.