A group of over 100 members of Philadelphia’s congregations met recently to take part in a course that advocates for reparations, according to Fox News.
The course is part of a campaign called “Rise Up for Reparations” and consisted of members from 15 of Philadelphia’s religious congregations who were given “several opportunities to create reparations action plans in congregational cohorts,” according to Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart.
Washington-Leapheart, Philadelphia’s director for faith-based and interfaith affairs, told Fox News Digital that the root of poverty came from white supremacy:
“We realized that the structural root of poverty is White supremacy, which relies on the exploitation and theft of Black labor and other material resources,” she said.
“Reparations is a strategy that both acknowledges the centuries-old cause of our present inequities and moves money and power so that Black communities can finally be made whole,” the director added.
The course is a source for “moral and psychological” healing, according to Washington-Leapheart, who calls reparations “deeply spiritual work.”
“[Reparations] transforms the way we are in relationship to each other and seeks to repair the moral and psychological wounds we all have because of race-based oppression. Reparations provides an important opportunity for healing,” the advocate explained.
Along with poverty and reparations, the course touched on different topics such as “womanist theology” and the show “Atlanta,” a drama-comedy about the hip-hop scene in the Georgia city.
The program is part of Philadelphia’s Commission on Faith-based and Interfaith Affairs along with an organization called the Truth Telling Project.
The TTP was established in 2014 in response to the death of Michael Brown, who was shot by police, publicized with the “hands up don’t shoot” narrative that is widely considered to be provably false.
Also speaking at the event was a member of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, a pro-reparations group that advocates for entire institutions and organizations to be established worldwide in order to issue reparations for the “return of their seized and stolen land, the capital of their seized and stolen property and assets, the value of their forced and coerced labor.”
The Philadelphia commission is looking to meet with at least 100 congregations in 2023 to continue work on reparations.
“We believe that we’re well on our way with the momentum we have now,” said Washington-Leapheart.
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