SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — A state task force to study reparations for African Americans in California held its first meeting Tuesday.
State leaders noted the first meeting falls on the centennial of the Tulsa race massacre, one of the many race-based attacks on African Americans in the U.S. that occurred without justice.
California leaders are now working to take the first step to offer an apology and some form of compensation to African Americans for those actions.
State leaders say the effort is the first if its kind and historic.
“As our country reckons with our painful legacy of racial injustice, California again is poised to lead the way,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said.
The meeting kicked off the California reparations task force’s two-year effort to study the lingering effects of slavery and its negative impacts on African Americans and then develop and recommend remedies.
Secretary of State Shirley Weber wrote the bill that made the group possible when she was a lawmaker in the Assembly.
“The economic injustices, the educational injustices, the social injustices, the judicial injustices go on and on and on and we have to call a stop and a halt,” Weber explained.
The group is made up of nine members including eight Black men and women and one Japanese American man.
The group includes civil rights activists, lawyers, scholars, a San Diego city council member and two state lawmakers.
The task force chose attorney Kamilah V. Moore as its chair and civil rights leader Dr. Amos Brown as vice chair.
“I am looking forward to ensuring any reparations package that the task force develops fully comports with international law which mandate reparations come in the form of compensation, restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition,” Moore said.
The group spent its first meeting introducing task force members, learning meeting rules and listening to expert testimony and taking public comment.
The group will work directly with the California Attorney General’s Office.
“How can we work together to remedy the harm and trauma that has been and continues to be inflicted on generations of our brothers and sisters?” asked California Attorney General Rob Bonta.
Task force meetings are currently virtual and are open to the public
The next meeting is not yet scheduled.