NY church devotes $200,000 to "reparations"

by Bryan Brammer · Aug 4th, 2020 2:29 pm

Facebook / Middle Collegiate Church

Last Updated Aug 6th, 2020 at 2:47 pm

A New York City church has vowed to allocate $200,000 in "reparations" by providing housing assistance and anti-racism training.

Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan is donating approximately one tenth of its $2.3 million budget to make amends.

Rev. Jacqueline Lewis, the senior minister of the multiethnic congregation, said Dutch Reform settlers bought the land that eventually became Manhattan from Native Americans in an unfair transaction.

Half of the $200,000 will be used to assist New Yorkers who are in danger of losing their housing because they can no longer afford to pay rent due to economic impact of the coronavirus.

The other $100,000 will be donated to organizations that help "homeless black and brown queer teens" and to help form a "peacemaking, anti-racist" group of young people by teaching them about anti-racism and "how to make a more just America."

Lewis says she hopes her church's contribution to racial reparations "inspires" others to do the same.

"What we're learning is that we have a way to protest. We have a way to change the story on racism in America, even while we're sheltered. And people are responding," Lewis said. "I think that congregations around the country, who understand how a racist history has brought us to this moment of deep economic disparity, might want to think about how they can make some repair as well."


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