Why Michigan Church Paid $100,000 To a Local Black Community

The First Presbyterian Church of Lansing raised the money as an act of "repentance, reconciliation, and reparations" for African Americans in their city.

A church in Lansing is fulfilling its commitment to raise funds for "repentance, reconciliation, and reparations" to the Black community, the

On Sunday (Feb.4), the First Presbyterian Church of Lansing handed a check of $40,000 to the Justice League of Greater Lansing, an organization committed to collecting reparations for Black members of the Lansing community. 

In 2023, the church gave $18,000 and has committed another $40,000 with intentions to raise a total of $100,000. Additionally, the congregation plans to increase its giving with income from its endowment for the next 10 years.

Willye Bryan, founder of the Justice League in 2021 and a member of the church said she had asked churches to allocate funds to the Black community which would be used for “Black businesses, mortgages, and education.”

California Introduces Reparations Package, But No Cash Payments

"Churches have been just as complicit in slavery as any other group in the country and sometimes even more so," Bryan said.

Rev. Stanley Jenkins, pastor of First Presbyterian said the Justice League has raised $400,000 so far and will be “working on designating $50,000 for scholarships.” He also hopes that local efforts of reparations could lead to broader and bigger reparations on a national scale.

"We are trying to get it right," Jenkins said.

"We're an ordinary church, ordinary people, not wealthy or powerful and it is astonishing that we can do this," Jenkins added. "And we want everyone to know this is possible."

The Lansing community is following the lead of several states, cities, and municipalities which have been leading the charge for reparations to address the legacy of slavery and systemic racism that Black Americans have encountered on a local level.

On Wednesday (Jan.31), California introduced a series of reparations bills as a part of the state’s effort to make amends for the long-lasting effects of slavery but no financial compensation was a part of the package.

The 111-page proposal included the restoration of property that was taken by “race-based” cases of eminent domain and state funding for “specific groups.”

In an upcoming meeting, the Justice League and Jenkins will convene to formulate a plan for how the funds will be dispersed throughout the community.

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