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Black and Indigenous residents have long standing roots in Ypsilanti, have made this city what it is, and are owed debts on municipal-level systemic racism in its many forms including but not limited to:

  • Redlining

  • Urban Renewal

  • Various forms of land grabs from Indigenous groups including portions of the Water Street property

  • The destruction of the Black business district to build the I-94 expressway stop

  • Lack of water access lasting much longer than in white neighborhoods

  • The 2008/09 subprime mortgage crisis

  • Over-policing and racist policing practices

  • Unjust governmental response to the needs of Black residents during the COVID-19 pandemic


  • Create a Reparations Commission that could help us imagine reparations as a community and deeply draw opinions and perspective from residents


  • Plans for reparations can be vetted in the ballot initiative process voted on by residents most impacted by the history of racial terrorism and harm in our government: we can decide as a people how we want to redress the past


  • Amber learned of an important part of their family history (on Amber's Japanese side) when in 2020 the government of Japan sent reparations to Amber's close elder who had been holding onto a family secret for 80+ years. Amber's elder experienced first-hand the corrective power of reparations which restored that elder's ability to describe atrocities by the government's hand, to release the burden of solely carrying this trauma, and begin the process of healing.


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