Kansas City is on the clock…in January, the Kansas City Council approved a new commission tasked with looking into slavery reparations for Black residents.
The panel has been given 12 months to come up with recommendations on how the city can “make amends for its participation in the sanctioning of the enslavement of Black people and historical enforcement of segregation.”
This question is part of a much larger debate: What does society owe the descendants of enslaved people? How can we measure the harms caused by slavery? Who decides what ought to be done to repair those harms, and who should pay? And amid increased polarization, will slavery reparations only aggravate racial tensions in Kansas City?
Join American Public Square and Kansas City PBS on Wednesday, June 7 to listen to a panel of experts deliberate these very questions. Doors open at 5:30pm; the formal program will run from 6:00-7:30pm.
Confirmed panelists include former Evanston, Illinois, Councilwoman, Robin Rue Simmons, who led that town’s effort to pass legislation to approve reparations; Councilwoman Melissa Robinson from Kansas City, Missouri, Third District, who championed the ordinance to form the Kansas City commission which will recommend a plan on reparations; Mickey Dean, a member of the KC Reparations Coalition; and author, Jack Cashill, who’s upcoming book, “Untenable, The True Story of White Ethnic Flight from America’s Cities,” will be published in July 2023. The moderated discussion will be led by Nick Haines of Kansas City PBS.