Asheville and Buncombe County Community Reparations Commission meets at first retreat Friday, Sept.23

Press release from the city of Asheville:

The Community Reparations Commission kicked off their first retreat by breaking into their five focus area groups. The smaller groups allowed for commission members to better get to know one another, as well as better understand what “reparations” means to individual commission members.  It was also the first time the public could see the five individual focus area groups in one room. 

The five focus area are:

  • Education
  • Health and Wellness
  • Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Criminal Justice

Commission members followed their pre-set agendaDuring group activities, commission members, along with members of the attending public, were encouraged to share what they want to see accomplished through the reparations process.  Also discussed were the possible benefits and hindrances to the process as seen by commission members. 
Equally important to the process, members discussed what they envision as community engagement throughout the process.  As members reflected on the retreat, some found the process challenging, but noted opportunity often arises from challenge.
Others expressed frustration in their desire for the process to continue to move forward.  Still, most participants remain excited about identifying and taking action steps as the process continues. 
The public was also invited to express their reflections of the evening and process. Commission members thanked the public for attending as, they noted, the project is all about community.
Notes from this retreat will be posted on the City of Asheville’s  Reparations information page, where you can also find more information about the Reparations Commission and their project
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