Repairs Teach-In comes to San Francisco

by Dee Seligman

African Americans are seeking redress for wrongs done to them since the end of the Civil War when ’40 acres and a mule’ was offered but then taken away by President Andrew Johnson. Now hopefully the time for repairs has come!

We are now seeing that reparations efforts are gaining momentum in many communities. But very few cities, other than San Francisco, and no other states except California, have even begun the process of developing proposals to make the prospect of reparations a reality in their cities or states. But since we did, wouldn’t you like to understand who, what, where, when and why in California behind these efforts, so that this time, in fact, the reparations become real? Your voice can grow louder and louder armed with this information as the issue comes before our Board of Overseers and our state legislature.

September 18 at 2 p.m. at Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco, in person or online, you will have that opportunity! The San Francisco Black & Jewish Unity Coalition offers a free Reparations education for African Americans in California and San Francisco. This is your chance to hear from the experts deeply committed to this effort, ask them questions, and participate in lively small group discussions with others who share your needs and experiences. Learn more about what these two official government bodies have documented, where they are heading, and future options for public witnessing so that this time around repairs happen and help heal.

Register on this Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/teach-in-on-reparations-for-african-americans-in-california-and-sf-tickets-404187685247 so you can come in person or attend online to listen and speak with:

● California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber, sponsor of California Assembly Bill AB 3121, which created the California Task Force and will lead the state’s reparations process toward recommendations that will be voted on and funded by the California Legislature. She served four terms in the state assembly, including as chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC). She is the first African American to serve as California’s Secretary of State. Dr. Weber fought to secure and expand civil rights for all Californians, including restoring the franchise to those who have served their prison sentences.

Your voice can grow louder and louder armed with this information as the issue comes before our Board of Overseers and our state legislature.

● Reverend Dr. Amos Brown, pastor of the historic Third Baptist Church, vice president of the California State Task Force and member of the San Francisco Advisory Board. Reverend Dr. Brown has been a civil rights leader since the 1960s. He is president of the San Francisco NAACP and sits on the NAACP Board of Directors. He also served on the supervisory board of SF for five years in the late 1990s.

● Dr. Theopia Jackson, Chair of the Clinical Psychology Degree Program at Saybrook University and Past President of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), Inc.; co-founder of the Therapist-in-Residency Program (TnRP) in Oakland, an Africa-focused program dedicated to supervising black clinicians-in-training. She practiced in the Bay Area for 30 years.

● Eric McDonell, Chairman of the San Francisco Reparations Advisory Committee; Acting CEO of United Way NYC and former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of United Way Bay Area. McDonell grew up in public housing in San Francisco, but rose to management and consulting positions during his 30-year career.

Congregation Sherith Israel, as co-host, provides a beautiful and sacred space that welcomes all to participate. It will be an inspiration for this timely and important conversation. This is an interfaith effort, with other co-organizers being the Third Baptist Church and the San Francisco Black & Jewish Unity Coalition.

The Unity Coalition was formed in 2016 to bring African-American and Jewish clergy together to discuss the concerns of the African-American community in San Francisco and to seek satisfactory solutions to those concerns. Many early members were congregants of this clergy, but social activist members need not be members of a formal congregation. Our meetings are marked by strong defense of certain positions and respectful discussion of counter-positions, culminating in a decision to take a certain action or support a particular legislative or administrative action.

Let’s move forward with the repairs by increasing your understanding and bringing your ideas to the process. Please register and join us.

Questions? contact us at sfunitycoalitionrsvp@gmail.com.

Dee Seligman can be reached at deesel91@gmail.com.

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