Sun. Apr 21st, 2024


Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Carl Heastie have unveiled the distinguished members of the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies.

This historic commission, established through legislation signed in December 2023, aims to address the painful legacy of slavery, dissect the persistent discrimination against people of African descent, and explore the lasting impact on contemporary society.

Governor Hochul emphasized the responsibility to confront history, stating, “As Americans, we have a solemn responsibility to reckon with our history, including understanding the painful legacy of slavery in New York.”

The commission, comprised of highly-qualified individuals, will scrutinize the historical roots and contemporary implications of racial injustice, with Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado emphasizing its role in leading a national conversation.

Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins expressed her commitment to rectifying long-standing injustices, appointing Dr. Darrick Hamilton, a renowned economist; Dr. Seanelle Hawkins, a leader in community advocacy; and Linda Tarrant-Reid, an accomplished historian and activist. Speaker Heastie echoed this sentiment, appointing Dr. Ron Daniels, Lurie Daniel Favors, and Rev. Dr. Deborah D. Jenkins to lead the examination of New York’s history of slavery and its ongoing impact.

The appointments garnered widespread praise, with State Senator James Sanders Jr. commending the impeccable selection, emphasizing the significance of pursuing justice for African American communities. Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages hailed the progress towards healing and restitution, emphasizing the appointees’ expertise in advancing reparations.

The commission also includes notable individuals like Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO of FPWA, and Timothy R. Hogues, Commissioner for the Department of Civil Service. These appointments reflect a diverse range of expertise, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of New York’s history and a path towards a fairer, more equitable future.

As Linda Brown-Robinson, Immediate Past President of the Syracuse Onondaga NAACP, and other appointees join forces, the commission stands poised to dismantle centuries of racial, economic, and institutional injustices. Dr. Darrick Hamilton, with a background in economic policy and advocacy, and Lurie Daniel Favors, Executive Director at the Center for Law and Social Justice, bring unique perspectives to the table.

This initiative signals a resolute commitment from New York’s leadership to address historical injustices, with the appointed members poised to engage in a thorough examination of the state’s past. The commission’s report is eagerly awaited as it holds the promise of contributing to a more just and equitable future for all New Yorkers.

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