Evanston Becomes First City in America to Offer Reparations to Black Residents

America, pay attention, because for one Chicago suburb, reparations are here. 

Evanston, Illinois’ Black residents are now, officially, pioneers in trying to right the nation’s historical wrongs. Their hometown set a policy this week that aims to build the economically unequal city’s Black wealth. 

The Washington Post has details:

The Evanston City Council approved the first phase of reparations to acknowledge the harm caused by discriminatory housing policies, practices and inaction going back more than a century. The 8-to-1 vote will initially make $400,000 available in $25,000 homeownership and improvement grants, as well as in mortgage assistance for Black residents, primarily those can show they are direct descendants of individuals who lived in the city between 1919 and 1969 and suffered from such discrimination.

While this appears on its face to be a housing-specific policy, it could be revolutionary for the city’s Black and Brown students, given the importance of housing security and family wealth to the social determinants of health—in plain English, the things that actually make kids healthy and able to learn at their best. 

And now there’s an ongoing experiment in a sizable, affluent Midwest city to spread that wealth to the residents who had historically been barred from that affluence. So, again, pay attention, America. 

To learn more about how to build healthier kids, check out Citizen Ed’s #SeekingChildJustice virtual town hall series. Be sure to watch CE’s other series here

An original version of this post appeared on Citizen Ed.

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