Reparations Procession 2020

ONLY THREE DAYS TO GO - OFFER REPARATIONS NOW! (RP2020 CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT (PST) WED, 8/11)

Note: We offer reparations as an act of restitution, not as an opportunity to bring attention to ourselves. For this reason, we request that everyone who offers reparations here does so anonymously. On the "donate" page, after entering the dollar amount, please click the box that says "Hide name and comment from everyone but the organizer." Thank you.
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Land Acknowledgment

We begin by gratefully acknowledging the traditional, ancestral, occupied territory of the Ohlone people on which we live, learn, and work today. We commit ourselves to the struggle against the systems of oppression that have dispossessed Indigenous people of their lands and denied their rights to self-determination, work that is essential to human rights work across the world. 

Further Acknowledgments
We offer heartfelt thanks to the Black and Indigenous leaders and elders that offered invaluable feedback and encouragement to move forward with this procession, including Corrina Gould, Wilson Riles, Pat St. Onge, Rev. Lynice Pinkard, Pennie Opal Plant, Troy Williams, Melissa "Crosby", Victor Lee Lewis, Toni Battle, Austin Willacy, Bonnie Wills, and Yosenio Lewis.

We would not have taken this course of action without such feedback and encouragement. We wish to atone and make reparations as a step in the direction of healing - our personal healing, but also in some small way, we hope, racial healing in our communities. To move forward without the input and blessing of Indigenous and Black leadership would contradict our purpose by reinforcing the colonial patterns of white supremacy that we disavow and which we seek to dismantle. It is difficult to know how much encouragement and blessing constitutes enough in order to undertake an initiative like this. Based on the input we have received we sincerely believe that a wide-reaching spirit of consent exists for this procession to happen. And so we proceed, in good faith, and gratefully.

The reparations redistribution brought in on this gofundme page will be split evenly between the Black Solidarity Fund  and the Sogorea Te Land Trust. We thank these two community-based initiatives for the amazing work they do and the many transformations they catalyze. And we thank them for partnering with us in this way. 

We also thankfully acknowledge Kazu Haga and East Point Peace Academy for hosting this gofundme page, which enables us to practice anonymity here on the gofundme site. (More on the role of anonymity below.) East Point has been kind enough to receive and disburse the reparations funds that come in over the course of the procession.
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Forty Days of Mourning and Returning
On July 4th, one mourner begins the procession by walking from the West Berkeley Shellmound, sacred site of the Ohlone people, to Fruitvale Station, the site of the murder of Oscar Grant. The mourner is a white-identifying person dressed in mourning clothes, including a veil. The mourner walks silently, slowly, and solemnly. The walk takes five or so hours. It is an act of prayerful, reverent atonement for the unspeakably painful legacy and continuing impacts of white supremacy.

The campaign continues the next day, with the same action - one mourner walking from the West Berkeley Shellmound to Fruitvale Station, silently, slowly, reverently, veiled, in mourning attire. The same action continues the next day, and the next…

...until a total of $25,000 of reparations redistribution from the white community has been offered on this gofundme page. The day after $25,000 has been redistributed, a second mourner joins the walk and our gofundme goal increases by another $25,000. Now two mourners walk the route together on a daily basis until a total of $50,000 of reparations has been offered here, after which a third mourner joins the daily procession.

And so on.

Four mourners will represent $100,000 of reparations redistribution. Forty mourners will represent $1 million.

The projected time period for the daily procession is 40 days or $1 million, whichever happens first. If $1 million is reached, forty mourners will close the procession with one final journey along the route. (The number of mourners for each day will be determined by the gofundme total at 10a the previous day.)

Accommodations will be made for mourners with different physical capacities and needs. Perhaps, for example, in the form of several people piecing different legs of the route together.

Learn more and get a feel for the procession via our social media:
Instagram: @reparationsprocession
Facebook: @reparationsprocession
Twitter: @rp40days
#reparationsprocession

If you want to get involved in the procession please send an email to reparationsprocession at gmail.com. Thank you!

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Where the reparations will go?
As mentioned above, the reparations redistribution generated through this campaign will be split evenly between the Black Solidarity Fund and the Sogorea Te Land Trust. Click on the above links to learn more about these powerful community-based initiatives.

Responding to a Longstanding Call
The murder of George Floyd has catalyzed an awakening for millions of white people. One deeply significant sign of this awakening has been the growing sense of practical and spiritual urgency for white folks to finally say yes to the centuries-old call from the Black community for reparations.  In the face of the unspeakably painful legacy of slavery and the continuing violence of white people against Black people, the moral imperative for this long overdue response is crystal clear.

The necessity to offer reparations to the Black community also immediately calls to mind our nation's other original sin: the murderous genocide, displacement, and colonization of the Indigenous people of this land. The moral imperative for reparations to the Indigenous community is equally clear to us, as is our spiritual need to mourn what our ancestors have done. And what we have left undone. 

We openly admit that whatever attempts we may make to repair the centuries of damage done can only represent a wildly incomplete work-in-progress. Knowing we have nothing near an adequate solution, we are nevertheless called to do something now to address the legacy of genocide, theft, kidnapping, rape, and so many other forms of brutality and dehumanization. While there is no possible way to fully repair what has been broken, or to fully return what has been stolen, Reparations Procession 2020 provides a pathway for white people to mourn this reality deeply and to take meaningful reparative action. 

For those who still question or are curious about the moral and practical necessity of massive resource redistribution from the white community to Black and Indigenous communities, here a few resources we encourage you to check out: 

"The Case for Reparations ," Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic. 
Buffalo Shout Salmon Cry , Steve Heinrichs, ed.
The Debt , Randall Robinson
"How can we win": youtube video of author Kimberly Jones

Grassroots reparations efforts like this are not a substitute for large-scale reparations legislation
We see grassroots reparations initiatives like this as a small part of a bigger puzzle, and by no means believe that individual reparations redistribution is a substitute for the larger, systemic forms of reparations that also need to happen. We believe that reparations must be both societal and personal. Any sincere redress for unspeakable crimes against humanity requires action on a societal scale that individuals can never accomplish in isolation. We are confident that the initiatives that will receive the reparations generated through this campaign - Black Solidarity Fund and the Sogorea Te Land Trust  - will help speed the coming of the larger reparations initiatives we long to see happen, through the deep organizing and movement-nurturing work they do.

At the same time, we believe that redistribution on a personal level is also crucial. We're not going to wait for a state policy or governmental decree to finally say yes to the longstanding call for reparations. Those of us who have inherited and lived off of wealth and advantage accrued through violence, exploitation, and theft bear an unmistakable responsibility for redistribution, regardless of what the government or other institutions do or don't do.

We further acknowledge that reparations are but one piece in the broad and multidimensional struggle for racial justice, and are best seen as a complement to other absolutely essential work, such as direct service and mutual aid, unlearning racism, and taking street-level direct action. 

Anonymity

Authentic acts of atonement are not about propping up one’s own self-image. For this reason the mourners are veiled, silent, and will not be identified. White organizers of the campaign may choose to very sparingly interact with the press, but always anonymously. Similarly, they may offer advice to organizers in other communities that wish to replicate this form of witness, but in doing so they will interact on a first name basis.

Similarly, we request that all those who offer reparations as part of the campaign do so anonymously. Please do not list your name with your gofundme reparations redistribution (gofundme calls it a “donation”). On the "donate" page, after you input the dollar amount, please click the box the says "Hide name and comment from everyone but the organizer."49157272_1595464395721163_r.jpeg
Who will offer reparations?
We request that people who identify as white, and who live here in the Bay Area, offer these reparations, and that this redistribution not be viewed as “donations” or as “giving” but as returning a tiny portion of what’s been stolen. 

Because of the complexity of our differing/mixed/intersecting racial identities, some people who identify as people of color might also choose to offer reparations here. Our request is geared towards white people in the Bay Area, however, because of the white community’s particular responsibility to step forward in this way. 

Folks from outside of the Bay Area are certainly free to offer reparations here as well, but the local focus is intentional and significant. The Reparations Procession model is replicable, and we hope that people from other places will be inspired to experiment with it, or with some other local collective mourning and reparations initiative, where they are. Our hope is that white people will begin to redistribute resources to the people of color-led groups in their own communities. We're modeling one way to make that happen. 

Helpful recommendations for determining how much reparations to offer
People often struggle to determine how much of their wealth and/or income to redistribute in the form of reparations. We offer the following suggestions - which have proven helpful to many people - to support you in discerning your own reparations commitment: 

*Subtract rent and loan debt from your income, and redistribute 10% of the remainder. 

*Choose a politically significant percentage. For example, white people earn 40% more than Black people on average, so if you’re white maybe you attribute that proportion of your income to unearned privilege and choose to redistribute it. 

*Check out the average amount that people in your income bracket redistribute, and try doubling it.

*If you are wealthy, choose a time frame within which you will redistribute all excess wealth you hold in order to shift economic power to the poor and working class-led organizations and communities from which that wealth came. What is a meaningful and risky amount that you can offer today to begin this process? 

*If you have invested assets, begin by saying no to making wealth off of wealth — redistribute all capital gains by offering a minimum of 7% of your total assets as reparations annually. Consider alternative investments that build community rather than corporate wealth.

*For those acquiring wealth through highly-paid work, consider redistributing all wealth above a moderate standard of living.

*Don’t forget about land, property or other physical assets - what do you “own” that could transfer in ownership to Black or Indigenous people? Until that time, how can your land/property/physical assets be of deeper service to movements while under your stewardship? 

The invitation is to redistribute enough that it feels risky - if you feel comfortable, maybe you’re not stretching enough.

Reparations Procession 2020 is one of many pathways for your reparations redistribution. We hope you’ll make use of it today for some portion of your reparations commitment!
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Why the West Berkeley Shellmound and Fruitvale Station?
These are two sites of egregious violence and desecration on the part of white people toward the Indigenous people of this land and towards the Black community. See the links above to learn more. A walk of reparations and atonement between these two sites will raise awareness about these specific atrocities and will carry deep symbolic meaning for the mourners and observers alike. 

Ambassadors
The silent mourners will be accompanied by one or more “ambassadors” who can engage with interested onlookers, and hand out postcards describing the walk as well as highlighting this gofundme page. Ambassadors will wear a “Reparations Procession 2020 ” t-shirt to give onlookers an immediate sense of the walk’s purpose, and to hopefully spark interest. Ambassadors will also carry water and food to share with the mourners along the course of the daily procession, and will be prepared to offer basic first aid and other assistance as needed. In addition to the ambassadors, mourners who need additional physical assistance may have their own attendant.

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 2 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 11 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 11 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 11 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 11 hrs
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Organizer

Kazu Haga 
Organizer
Oakland, CA
East Pointe Peace Academy 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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