Hope Central's Understanding of Reparations
Hope Central Church understands ourselves to be called, by God, gospel, and community, to the work of reparation.
We understand that reparation requires acknowledgment, redress, and closure and that monetary/economic reparations without structural, spiritual, and relational repair, restitution, and atonement allows white supremacy to flourish.
We understand reparations include, but are not limited to, the offering of monetary repair for the harms perpetuated over generations by structural white supremacy that seeks to disadvantage Black people and advantage white people. We also understand reparations to be the work of dismantling white supremacy at all levels of civil and communal life so that harms do not perpetuate indefinitely into the future.
We understand that the offering of economic reparation without dismantling the systems that allow harms to flourish and perpetuate is not true repair and does not bring us to right relationship with each other.
We understand the work of reparation and repair to be scripturally based.
the practice of Jubilee - Leviticus 25
caring and releasing those in bondage - Luke 4:18-18
vows to care for one another as Christian practice - Isaiah 61:1-2, Psalm 147:3, I Corinthians 12
We understand that reparations and repair work take place at multiple levels and in multiple spheres.
True work towards reparations must take place at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
We understand the work of repair to be relational, communal, and networked. White people cannot truthfully undertake the work of repair without being in honest relationship with Black people. Individuals cannot engage in the full spectrum of reparation and repair by themselves. Individual communities cannot effectively advocate for systemic repair alone. Honest and vulnerable work in one community spreads to other communities through networked and relational organizing and relationship building.
We understand that collective action is essential to the work of repair, that systems are too big to be changed by one individual and that there is power in collective action. We understand we cannot act within the full spectrum of repair by ourselves.
We understand the work of cultural change is integral to the work of repair. Without a fundamental change in how individuals, communities, and societies operate, make decisions, and care for one another no lasting repair is possible and white supremacy will continue to perpetuate.
We understand that reparations are not charity nor benevolence.
Reparations – the offering of economic repair – is not an act of white saviorism meant to make white people feel good, nor is it a one-time act of absolution. The work of repair is an ongoing conversation of acknowledgment, change, and restitution that seeks the ultimate goal of true equality and healing.
The offering of monetary repair is one of the ways we acknowledge that white supremacy has enshrined generations-long disadvantage for Black people and begin to offer restitution. Other forms of restitution are also necessary.
We understand that charity and benevolence are acts of control taken by the advantaged and systemically powerful and that there can be no true repair as long as this dynamic is present. We understand that reparations must occur with the consent, centering and leadership of Black people.
Darity Jr., William A.; Mullen, A. Kristen. From Here to Equality (pp. 9-10).
The University of North Carolina Press. Kindle Edition
We understand that all of us are in need of healing from the harms caused by white supremacy, but that reparations for the harms of white supremacist systems are due to Black people specifically.
White supremacy has caused harm to all people within its grasp, especially to Black people whom it has disadvantaged and also to those it has advantaged. White supremacy is a trauma that has impacted Black and white people in vastly different ways. Healing from it is the birthright of everyone born into it.
We understand Black people’s healing to be necessary, and we understand that true repair cannot exist without it.
We understand white people’s healing to be integral to the repair that is owed to Black people. We understand that the repair of systems which produce structural disadvantage is not truly possible without white people’s healing. We understand that without white people’s healing, white people will continue to construct systems that further white supremacy and continue to hurt Black people.
We understand that the work of repair is an establishing of right and truly equal relationship.
We understand the centering of Black life and Black joy is essential to the work of repair and reparation, and that repair cannot happen without it.
We understand repair and reparations to be an inherently political act that challenges hegemonic power structures that have been specifically established and maintained with the goal of providing structural advantage to white people and disadvantage to Black people.
We understand our conception of repair and reparation is grounded and sourced in the work of innumerous others and is forged from many vulnerable, honest, joyful, heartbreaking, and intentional conversations. We owe recognition to these sources in particular:
Darity Jr., William A.; Mullen, A. Kristen. From Here to Equality. The University of North Carolina Press.
The Racial Equity Institute.