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Gov. Newsom appoints five members to study reparations for Black Americans

Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed five of the nine members of a task force to address the impact slavery had on Black Americans in California.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2021, file photo, California Gov. Gavin Newsom outlines his 2021-2022 state budget proposal during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. The California Democratic Party is gathering for its annual convention on the heels of a recall against Newsom reaching the signature threshold to qualify for the ballot. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, Pool, File)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed five members to a task force Friday to study how California could make amends for the oppression of Black Americans. 

A law was signed by Newsom in September of 2020 that would create a nine-member task force to inform Californians about the impact of slavery and how the state could address reparations. Two members will be selected by the State Senate while the other two by the State Assembly.

Newsom selected those to serve on the task force based on their knowledge of civil rights. Some other factors include their background in economics, community development, health and psychology, criminal justice and "historic achievement of reparatory justice."

Newsom called the discussion around reparations and racial justice are long overdue.  

"Today's appointment of individuals with an expansive breadth of knowledge, experiences and understanding of issues impacting the African American community is the next step in our commitment as a state to build a California for all," Newsom said.   

Cassandra Jennings, president and CEO of Greater Sacramento Urban League, said at the time the law was being considered that reparations for Black Americans are important to address how slavery impacted economics and businesses.

“Signing AB 3121 is a very progressive effort towards economic equity, which is long overdue in our country's role in slavery and economic and class benefits afforded to this day,” Jennings said.  

These are the five members that were appointed by Newsom for the task force: 

  • Cheryl Grills 
  • Amos Brown 
  • Lisa Holder 
  • Don Tamaki 
  • Jovan Scott Lewis

To read their biographies, click here.

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