Watch CBS News

Detroit's reparations task force holds first of many meetings

Detroit's reparations task force holds first of many meetings
Detroit's reparations task force holds first of many meetings 01:59

(CBS DETROIT) - Making sure those that are owed get their due is the main message coming from Detroit's reparations task force. 

The 13-member committee plans to meet bi-weekly to gather information to create a report. The report will then be given to the city council. The task force has 18 months in order to complete it. 

During the initial meeting, residents gave their take on what should happen.

"This is an expectation that can happen and we have all the tax incentive money to get this. Let's hold them accountable," one resident speaking to the task force said. 

Back in 2021, more than 80% of voters voted in favor of forming the committee. It plans to address systemic discrimination against African American residents.

"We were the leading city for black homeownership but in five years times we had 65 thousand families lose their homes to mortgage foreclosure every one of which was due to predatory racist criminal loans," another resident noted.

Broad discussions around reparations are a sign of changing times. Other cities like San Francisco are also having discussions.

Just because reparations are being discussed in Detroit doesn't mean it automatically equates to money.

"Do you think a singular check could provide a form of repair that can transcend generations it has to be more than that," said Lauren Hood, a committee co-chair. 

Access to affordable housing and inequities in education are concerns the task force will explore. Speaking to the task force, residents agree that financial literacy is also a great need, especially concerning financial reparations.

But, before that even happens there's a long path ahead.

"We can't stop there my concern is once a check is handed out the conversation is over. So, racism persists inequity persists but we got our check so we can't talk about it anymore. There's a danger in just focusing on the check," Hood said. 

The task force plans to hold another meeting on April 28.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.