Bank of Community Reparations


Tiny - Posted on 16 May 2019

Community Reparations is a concept launched by Lisa tiny Gray-Garcia and is rooted in the notion of Interdependence. It is meant to be a healing medicine of resistance to the lie of independence and the separation nation, which encourages the violent act of looking away from people who are poor or unhoused. Community Reparations instructs us all to resist capitalism’s normalizing of separateness and “success” through land-stealing and wealth-hoarding. Instead, Community Reparations recognizes our shared humanity and instructs those of us who benefit from stolen or hoarded resources to engage in loving, radical redistribution of these resources.

 

The POOR Magazine Community Reparations model is taught to and shared with other poor and indigenous peoples movements who would like to start their own version of homefulness. Folks with race, class and/or formal education privilege who are interested in redistributing or reparating are invited to attend PeopleSkool’s Decolonization/ DegentriFUKation Seminar, or to redistribute their resources through the Bank of Community Reparations.

 

Bank of Community Reparations

 

The Bank of Community Reparations is a national fund of redistributed and stolen wealth that is distributed equally among poor and indigenous people-led land use projects. Resources redistributed to the Bank of Community Reparations may be designated to these specific funds:

 

Po' Mamaz Reparations Fund

Dedicated to redistributing resources directly to poor, unhoused and formerly unhoused single mamaz (fathers) and children who are unable to afford rent, a drivable vehicle, diapers, food, and other emergency needs related to their survival and thrival.

 

Tech Reparations Fund

Dedicated to building/preserving the equity of poor and working class communities who have been displaced or are at risk of displacement due to the presence of Tech industries and their employees.

 

Homefulness Community Reparations Fund

Dedicated to building, launching and growing homefulness comm-UNITIES across Mama Earth. Homefulness is a self-determined landless people’s solution to the housing crisis, and POOR Magazine is currently in the process of constructing a multi-unit housing complex in East Oakland to provide housing for houseless families. POOR Magazine is also preparing to launch Homefulness 2 in Chico/Butte County, the site of recent serious fires.

 

Radical Redistribution

Dedicated to emergency needs of Po folks- not related to a specific fund but rather the need of traditionally silenced, criminalized communities in struggle.

For more information on Revolutionary Giving to the Bank of Reparations call (510) 435-7500 or email poormag@gmail.com. To register for the next PeopleSkool Seminar in Black August for Folks with Race/Class Privilege email deeandtiny@gmail.com or go on-line to www.racepovertymediajustice.org or www.poormagazine.org

 

Reparators Tell their Stories of #RadicalRedistribution and Community Reparations 

"Growing up with both material and spiritual poverty, I learned to cling fearfully to what access privilege could get me to replace the lack of community and basic human needs I had been living through. I grew up with quite a few situational disadvantages and have had to work through a lot of fear of the isolation that can come from various marginalizing positions, rural poverty, queer, assigned female at birth within a fanatical religious group...POOR has helped me to loosen the hold that that fear has had and to recognize more fully the embedded belief I've had that I need to bank on the safety and access that my white (and other) privileges grant me to make it in this world. POOR has helped me to realize the places I'm still blinded with fear and that the freedom I want comes from interdependence that surrenders any possessive attachment to individual gain and relies fully on the mutual gain of togetherness, that anything I gain on the back of another will never give me freedom. It has been an incredibly healing and empowering gift." 

"As a woman of color who was raised middle class, but has never been able to earn a middle class income, I dance between privilege and struggle. I belive in redistribution and reparations because everyone should have access to basic survival. I survive because I have educational privilege. I survive because I have friends and family with access to resources, who’ve helped me out when I’ve had nothing. Not everyone has access to education or a safety net. Redistribution makes sure everyone survives."

"As someone coming from upper middle class privilege there was always a sense of not earning what I had, that things came easier with race and class privilege from the jump and a feeling of separation based on those blood stained dollars was always present. In being in community with POOR magazine and the PeoplesSkool I have been able to heal and understand where the roots of these feelings of separation based on unearned wealth stem from, and how to strengthen and  reconnect my humanity with everyone around me through community reparations and radical redistribution. eternally grateful for this much needed continued medicine in my life. 
 
“Reparations is active and is meant to help mend past/present/future wounds. It’s a responsibility to the interdependence of earth and her residents. It’s also seeing that my privilege has been precisely in being able to look away/disconnecting, and so reparations looks like having the hard conversations with family members about this stuff, and not avoiding.”
 
“Reparations are a way to heal and to repair broken connections and relationships with those who have been harmed by racism, capitalism, violence, and resource extraction. Reparations have deepened my relationships, and also make it clear that not all indigenous people left the area. This process has led to the formation of some of my closest relationships."
 
“Naming the harm that I’ve caused or benefit from, doing what I can to respond to that harm with material resources that mitigate it.”
 
 
“When we minimize the impact of slavery or of Native genocide or of the Chinese Exclusion Act or any other example of racism and oppression—we are lying. If your reaction to systems of oppression that you materially benefit from is anything other than wanting—truly wanting—to redistribute resources to mitigate that oppression—then you are lying to yourself about reality, and you will never get a chance to admit that you are human, or experience your own humanity. Reparations are the gateway from lies to life.”
 
“Reparations is a process of building relationships and connections to redistribute all kinds of access, knowledge, and skills in addition to financial resources. Reparations is what happens when folks with privilege use it to undermine the systems that exclude people in the first place. It comes from a place of compassion and responsibility, not guilt. It is doing what needs to be done because it is the right thing to do.”
 
“Reparations means making up for past wrongs that my family, ancestors, and I have financially benefited from. It means that every dollar that sits in my bank account and every dollar that I spend is a dollar that cannot be accessed by folks of color. It means that I cannot be whole while I have access to wealth and others do not. Reparations are an opportunity for me to get free.”

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