Frequently Asked Questions

What are reparations and why are they due?

The case for reparations to descendants of enslaved people is quite simple: African-Americans were forcibly taken from their homes in Africa, enslaved and forced to work for white Americans for over 250 years in abysmal conditions with no remuneration. The “40 acres and a mule” promised to each Black family upon emancipation was never delivered.  Even after emancipation, practices such as sharecropping and enactment of Jim Crow laws ensured that African Americans were economically hamstrung, effectively barred from participating in the American Dream. These practices continue to this day, evolving with the times.

The U.S. made reparations to Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated in U.S. camps during WWII.

Germany made reparations to holocaust survivors and Israel after WWII as payment for the holocaust.

It’s time.

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How often do you launch reparative grant cycles?

Beginning with our fall 2022 reparative grant cycle, we intend to have two grant cycles per year.  

What reparative projects will contributions fund?

Grants given by the Denver Black Reparations Council are focused on rebuilding and sustaining institutions and traditions that were destroyed, damaged, or prevented from thriving as the result of the enslavement of African and African descendant people and the aftermath of slavery.  This includes funding grants to:

  • Build economic strength, generational wealth acquisition and financial literacy
  • Support Black entrepreneurial ventures
  • Preserve and expand Black history, culture, knowledge and awareness
  • Enhance mental and physical health access and public health education
  • Provide quality education from early childhood through adulthood, including reimagination of career options and pathways
  • Enhance community building and advocacy that responds to the needs of Black residents
  • Provide access, including transportation, to critical life sustaining services
  • Support entities seeking to become a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization
  • Create openings for transformative change that is both systematic and relational
  • Provide emergency support that leads to sustained growth and development connections
What is Denver Black Reparations Council's relationship to The Denver Foundation?

Denver Black Reparations Council maintains, manages and disburses reparative grants from two funds.

A fund at The Denver Foundation houses monies raised by Reparations Circle Denver, a giving circle of The Denver Foundation, which can be granted to Black-led 501(c)3s to benefit the Black community.  The Denver Foundation actively collaborates with Reparations Circle Denver and the Denver Black Reparations Council in processing donations made to this fund.

Denver Black Reparations Council also manages its own fund, which may additionally be used to fund reparative grants to businesses, individuals, and projects.

What is Denver Black Reparations Council's relationship with Reparations Circle Denver?

Reparations Circle Denver, a giving circle of The Denver Foundation, provides educational learning tools and support for white people interested in learning about reparations and working on local reparative efforts.  Funds raised by Reparations Circle Denver are housed at the Denver Foundation and managed and deployed in the Black community by the Denver Black Reparations Council, whose mission is to rebuild and sustain institutions and traditions that were destroyed, damaged, or prevented from thriving as the result of the enslavement of African and African descendant people and the aftermath of slavery.

What does the symbol in your logo signify?

BOA ME NA ME MMOA WO

"Help me and let me help you"

We chose this Adinkra symbol of cooperation and interdependence to represent our philosophy of repair.

How can my faith community participate?

Our partner Reparations Circle Denver coordinates our faith community programs.  Faith communities are welcome to participate in several ways:

  • Joining Reparations Circle Denver's cohort-based reparations education programs
  • Joining Reparations Circle Denver's public reparations education programs
  • Funding a reparative grant-cycle ($50K or more) through Reparations Circle Denver's reparations fund at The Denver Foundation.
  • Co-funding a reparative grant cycle with another faith community

For more information, please contact us at info@reparationsdenver.com

Don't local reparations effort hurt the national effort?

Ultimately, a national program of reparations is necessary to effect true repair for 400 years of slavery, Black Codes, Jim Crow laws and the many other federal, state and local policies that have blocked Black economic progress and resulted in the current 10:1 racial wealth gap.

Yet, harm happens at the local level and must therefore be repaired at the local level.  Our belief is that if repair begins at the local level, it will provide momentum for the national reparations movement as well.

May white-led organizations apply for reparative grants to benefit Black-led organizations or projects?

Generally, grant applicants must be Black-led and Black-serving 501(c)(3) organizations, projects or businesses located in the state of Colorado.  Certain projects led by non-Black organizations but related to preserving Black history or culture or providing benefit to the Black community may also qualify, on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact us directly for more information.

How do I learn more about the reparations movement? Do you have an education program?

Please check out the resources on our website:

Videos - Denver Black Reparations Council Inc.

Books - Denver Black Reparations Council Inc.

Essays - Denver Black Reparations Council Inc.

Presentations - Denver Black Reparations Council Inc.

In addition, our partners Reparations Circle Denver and Reparations4slavery.com offer extensive educational materials on their sites.  Reparations Circle Denver will launch its education program in winter 2022/2023.