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Reparations council one step away from reality in Washtenaw County

Washtenaw County Administration Building in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Josh Hakala
Washtenaw County Administration Building in Ann Arbor, Mich.

A reparations council in Washtenaw County is one step closer to becoming a reality. That’s after a resolution passed unanimously at last night’s Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners meeting.

The NAACP sees reparations as a way for the U.S. government to atone for the actions taken against Black people. The Washtenaw County Advisory Council on Reparations would be charged with finding the best way to do that.

The council will feature as many as 13 experts from a variety of fields, including public policy, education, real estate, the justice system and others.

Justin Hodge, the chair of the Board of Commissioners, says it’s unclear what reparations in the 21st century could look like.

“This could range from cash reparations to other forms of reparations, there’s so many different ways we could go about doing it. There’s so much research into all the different areas and that’s why we want to have a council to look into it.”

Last night’s vote was the first reading. The second reading will take place at the board’s next meeting on Feb. 1.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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