In a unanimous vote on July 14, the Asheville City Council has decided to provide reparations to its Black residents for the city’s role in slavery, discrimination and community disinvestment. The decision is historic, as Asheville is one of the first cities to vote in favor of reparations.
Now that the commitment to pay Black Asheville residents has been made, the community is tasked with deciding how the funding will be used. This plan is still very much in development, but it has already been decided that there will be no direct payouts to individual residents. Instead, the goal is to create new infrastructure that will help the city’s Black communities achieve generational wealth and equity. Host Anita Rao talks to Asheville’s Racial Justice Coalition community liaison Robert Thomas about the potential long-term plan.