This article written by Ruth Terry for YES! Magazine looks at the ways some “White Americans are moving beyond checking their privilege to taking the lead from Black Folks on how to transmute their privilege into reparative and restorative justice.” February 18, 2021
Santa Cruz Reparations Circle is currently preparing for their second giving circle. If you’re interested in participating, sign up here
Giving circle members commit to:
1. Making a personally meaningful monetary contribution.
2. Fundraising their family and friends.
3. Attending six two-hour political education sessions over the course of three months.
In November, 2020, Santa Cruz Mutual Aid and Reparations Santa Cruz were fundraising, and a member of our SURJ Santa Cruz family was committed to raising $5000 to be moved directly to Black residents of Santa Cruz County who have agreed to be part of this giving circle as receivers. Here is the one pager about the mission, as well as the website, where you can sign up to be a giver for the next giving circle if you feel called! AND THEY MET THEIR GOAL!
From their website: Reparations Santa Cruz is a collective wealth redistribution project aimed at redressing the egregious injustices of anti-Black racism and white supremacy within Santa Cruz County. From chattel slavery to redlining to Jim Crow “Black Codes” to mass incarceration and beyond, Black Americans have systematically been denied opportunities to build wealth and achieve financial stability throughout their history in this country. This anti-capitalist redistribution project seeks to address not only the legacy of historic anti-Black racism but also the contemporary reality of the racial wealth gap. An abundance of wealth exists right now, but it disproportionately rests in the hands of white families. This project provides a platform for those benefiting from racial capitalism or experiencing class privilege in some way to use a reparations lens to facilitate wealth redistribution to Black individuals and communities.
Notes from our participating SURJ from back in November:
- There are 12 of us in the group, and we’ve all been diving deep into the racial exploitation in our own wealth and class privilege and holding ourselves accountable to giving big amounts. It does look like we are going to be moving a substantial amount to recipients between fundraising and [personal] giving.
- We are asking both ourselves and others to make their contributions consistent moving forward AND to try to move large, substantial amounts before the end of this circle on November 15th.
- Some ideas for deciding amounts are: consider that Black Agenda Report calculated monetary reparations amounts to roughly $300,000 per white American. /// track all expenses and savings, and then give away what’s left /// use this calculator to understand your income bracket look at the average amount that people in your income bracket give away (Give more!) /// Use a politically significant percentage (i.e. white people earn 40% more than Black people on average, give that percentage of your income away)
- Total amount will be announced to all people who give, but likely won’t be announced widely unless recipients decide to share widely.
We feel passionately about the work that this group is doing, and the call to reflect on our own relationship to money, wealth, and class privilege, and for the call to “give uncomfortably” and hold ourselves accountable. We hope that you all feel the same! There is a PayPal address in the one-pager above. We just ask that you please let us know your amount (email@example.com) so we can track efforts. And please reach out with any questions!