Evanston's City Council found a creative and brilliant way to help fund the reparations initiative: to use tax revenue from the newly legal sale of recreational weed.
It also established a separate fund so individuals, organizations, and businesses can contribute.
Today, on my birthday, I'm asking all my friends (who aren't Black) -- and you don't even have to live in Evanston -- to contribute to the Reparations Fund in recognition of the (56 -- not sure how that happened?) years I've lived on this earth.
If weed's your speed (and you're 21 or older), go 'head and buy those gummies, tinctures, flowers, oils, and edibles--buy them at MedMen on Maple Street and you'll be supporting Reparations!
But if, like me, weed's not what you need, and wine's how you unwind, simply click on this GoFundMe and I will make sure every dollar you contribute is deposited in the Reparations Fund (there isn't currently a direct link to contribute online, which is why I'm making it easy for you!).
Please join me and support this courageous, necessary and groundbreaking initiative to begin to repair harm done over more than 100 years to Black residents of Evanston who have been 'Jim Crowed,' redlined, segregated--physically, professionally, educationally, and economically--and traumatized generation after generation by systemic, institutional racism.
Whether our families have lived in Evanston for generations or we just moved here a year or two ago, we all appreciate Evanston's diversity but seldom acknowledge how separately we live in this city--racially and socioeconomically--and the ugly road we took to get here.
Got questions about Evanston's Reparations Initiative? Ask me ([email redacted])! I may not have the answers, but I know how to find them.
I'm also planning to organize a series of coffees for non-Black folks to learn about the reparations initiative and about how we can listen to members of the Black community and support a variety of Black-led programs in Evanston that work to uplift and repair the community. If you're interested in hosting a coffee or getting involved in supporting reparations and similar efforts--let me know.
A Reparations Plan will be proposed for City Council consideration in 2020. Once a plan is approved by the City Council, distribution from the Reparations Fund will begin, possibly in early 2021.
Thanks so much for reading and for helping me celebrate my 56th!
- Jacqueline Shohet
- Sarah Ghantous
- Stephanie Lubin
- Jennifer Fogle
- Tamar Fogel
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