The founding contributors to Reparations Circle Denver’s Fund for Reparations say that as descendants of white families that have benefited economically from this country’s 400-year history of institutional racism and disinvestment, they are committed to the process of healing historical harms and proud to stand with the Denver Black Reparations Council in their initiatives to strengthen, support and heal Denver’s Black community.
Here are their personal reflections.
“The seed of my work with reparations was planted on a weekend Buddhist retreat with Ruth King, a meditation teacher and author of the book Mindful of Race. She introduced me to the concept of white privilege, which led to reflect on how it could be used in a meaningful way. I continued to explore and better understand my privilege with the help of a Racial Justice workshop facilitated by Rev. Tawana Davis and Rev. Dr. Dawn Riley Duval of Soul 2 Soul Sisters. They suggested: come up with an individual work plan and I wrote: ‘I know my ancestors owned slaves; I need to be involved in reparations.”
- David Alley
“While sorting through boxes of family ephemera after my mother died, I happened to find a dusty, old business ledger. Paging through it, I made a sobering discovery – the book contained an inventory listing the names and values of Africans my 2nd great-grandfather had enslaved on plantations in Mississippi. After the shock wore off, I became clear: my family would join the burgeoning reparations movement and work toward both co-liberation and the healing of the many harms white families have inflicted on Black families over 400 years. I am honored to join with the Denver Black Reparations Council in support of reparative efforts in the Black community here.”
- Lotte Lieb Dula
“When you’ve studied history—when you’ve begun to understand how racism has operated in this country over generations—it becomes imperative to stand your own family story up against the backdrop of what you’ve learned. My parents ascended into the middle class during a time when the G.I. Bill combined with redlining to create extraordinary economic opportunity for Americans of European descent. As I reckon with the history of systems that advantaged my family, while leaving others behind, I am morally compelled to invest in reparations and repair. To do this in community and through collaboration feels in itself to be an important step toward justice.”
– Kathryn White