Restorative Actions

The PC(USA) has, for decades, wrestled with racism by writing theological statements, adopting anti-racist policies, acknowledging racism as sin, calling on congregations to include workshops and worship services on reparations, reconciliation, and renewal in conferences. It is time to move from policy to investment and action.

As part of the Synod’s Restorative Giving Initiative, individuals, congregations, mid-councils and other organizations are invited to make a commitment to set aside the benefits that privilege has brought them (5% of income or 15% of wealth) and pass it back for equitable redistribution. Monies gathered are be allocated for benefit to Indigenous and African American communities based on the composition of the income or wealth that sources them.

On October 5, 2020, the Synod of Lakes and Prairies approved the dedication of $351,000, representing 15% of its accumulated wealth (undesignated/unrestricted net assets), to seed potential Churchwide efforts related to this initiative. $189,000 is being designated for eventual transfer benefiting Indigenous communities, while $162,000 is being designated for eventual transfer to benefit African American communities.

Reparations, Repentance, Redemption Reading List
  •  Mary Frances Berry, “My Face is Black is True: Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-Slave Reparations,” 2005.
  • Cheryl Gilkes (interviewer),  Black Women Oral History Project. Interviews, 1976-1981. Audley Moore. OH-31. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. (https://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:RAD.SCHL:10047386)
  • Lee A. Harris. ‘Reparations’ as a Dirty Word: The Norm against Slavery Reparations, 2003.
  • Mark Elliott. Color-Blind Justice: Albion Tourgée and the Quest for Racial Equality from the Civil War to Plessy v. Ferguson, 2006.
  • William A. Darity Jr. & A. Kirsten Mullen. “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century,” 2020.
  • Michael T. Martin and Marilyn Yaquinto, eds. “Redress for Historical Injustices in the United States: On Reparations for Slavery, Jim Crow, and Their Legacies,” 2006.
  • Ana Lucia, Araujo. “Reparations for Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Transnational and Comparative History,” 2017.

Riverside Church, New York City, offered a three part series on Reparations, Repentance and Redemption featuring Rev. Anthony Jermaine Ross-Allam, a member of the Presbytery of the  Twin Cities Area, and Jim Koon, Director of Finance for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies.

Register for the final session in the series on June 20.