Updated: Jan 17
UPDATE, 2 p.m. Sunday, January 17: as of right now, we have raised $5,291 for the Evanston Reparations Community Fund.
An Evanston resident has offered to match the next $1,000 in contributions until tomorrow at 11 a.m.
If you're a white or non-Black Evanston resident and you haven't already, please consider contributing to this effort now to support Reparations in Evanston.
Tomorrow, January 16, is my birthday, and like last year, I’m marking it by asking friends (white and non-Black) to support Evanston’s Reparations Fund by contributing toward making redress and repairing past and current harm caused to Evanston’s Black families, Black neighborhoods, Black institutions, and Black businesses.
Our friends. Our neighbors. Our co-workers.
Evanston's reparations fund is a starting point for addressing the long (and continuing) legacy of systemic racism and oppression in the city.
As just one example, Evanston’s white families out-earn Black families by $46,000. Many of Evanston’s Black families, who have been here four and five generations-- their ancestors having fled racial terror in the south--are being forced to leave Evanston because they’re being priced out. Evanston's Black residents are also over-policed, under-resourced, their children continue to face an opportunity gap at school, and our Black friends have a shorter life expectancy than white residents.
Last year, thanks to everyone’s contributions, we raised $2,500. But my goal this year is greater: I hope to raise $10,000 or more.
Since last year, when Evanston was the first City in the country to pass its resolution, the local Reparations movement has gained steam, and with Evanston as their role model, other cities in the US have passed reparations resolutions. But to date, Evanston is the only government entity that has identified a funding stream: three percent of the tax from cannabis sales, which became legal in Illinois last January, is transferred directly into the City's reparations fund to support homeownership and economic development.
But I believe strongly that it's also incumbent on white and non-Black Evanston residents, regardless of how long we've lived here, to contribute to reparations (financially and with action). Recently, a new fund was established, held by the Evanston Community Foundation, which will be managed by The Reparations Authority of Evanston, a group of stakeholders, Black leaders and community members, that's currently being formed.
-- Click here
-- Make your contribution
-- In the "notes" section, mention my birthday fundraiser.
You can also send your contribution by check to:
Evanston Community Foundation 1560 Sherman Avenue Suite 535 Evanston, IL 60201
On the Memo line, write:
Nina Kavin bday fundraiser/ECRF
To kick off this fundraiser, I spoke to 5th ward Ald. Robin Rue Simmons, who introduced the reparations resolution to Evanston’s City Council last year, and to Dino Robinson, founder and executive director of Shorefront Legacy Center, whose years of research and gathering of stories and artifacts from Black families in Evanston and on the North Shore was, and continues to be, instrumental in shaping Evanston's reparations initiative.
Please watch the whole video!
Questions? Don't hesitate to email me.
Finally: please don't request a tax deduction for this contribution. This is not charity. This is our responsibility (as is continuing to support Black organizations and Black businesses).
Thanks so much for reading, for celebrating my birthday with me, and for supporting reparations in Evanston.
If you'd like to learn more about why reparations and other racial justice work is close to my heart, you can read the presentation I gave recently to a symposium in Amherst, MA, which also just passed a Reparations resolution.
Finally: On January 4, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee re-introduced H.R. 40, a bill that would fund a committee to explore whether Black Americans should receive reparations for enslavement. This bill must pass. Federal Reparations are long, long, long overdue!