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City of Boston Reparations Task Force announces launch of their Community Grassroots Partnerships Program

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City of Boston Reparations Task Force announces launch of their Community Grassroots Partnerships Program

The City of Boston Reparations Task Force (RTF), through the Equity and Inclusion Cabinet, recently announced the launch of their Community Grassroots Partnerships Program. This program is an effort by the RTF to invest up to $70,000 in residents’ efforts to create community-based spaces and honor the untold stories of Black residents of Boston. This program will expand opportunities for community engagement with the reparations work and supplement the research teams efforts to produce their report. This program was funded by the Equity and Inclusion Cabinet. The first round deadline for this opportunity is Thursday, June 13th, 2024 at 10am.  

“As the Boston Reparations Task Force continues our examination of the historical and present impacts of slavery in the City of Boston, we are thrilled to announce this critical effort to give community members an opportunity to tell the story of their families, communities and that of Boston in a more robust manner,” said Joseph D. Feaster, Jr., Chair of the Reparations Task Force. “This effort is consistent with the ordinance and we look forward to the results of these partnership efforts supporting our ongoing work. I encourage every interested resident and organization to apply to this first round of awards and get involved with this program over the next few months.”  

The following opportunities are available to interested residents and organizations:

Grassroots Community Engagement Partnerships: Organizations will receive funding to host engagement sessions on the history and current challenges of anti-Black racism and local reparations efforts. Up to $2,500 will be made available per awardee, with a total of $25,000 awarded. 

Grassroots Oral History Partnerships: Supporting local videographers and residents in producing a short video of the oral histories of three individuals who demonstrate lived experience related to the harms that local policies have had on their families and Black Bostonians. Up to $2,500 will be made available per awardee, with a total of $25,000 awarded. 

Grassroots Storytelling and Public Education Partnerships: Artists, historians, or educators will produce a public storytelling project (exhibit, long-form video, teach-in, and other creative endeavors) on a specific topic related to the impact of local policies or anti-Black discrimination on communities in Boston. Up to $1,000 will be made available per awardee, with a total of $10,000 awarded. 

Grassroots History and Research Partnerships: Local researchers and community historians are invited to write 8-10 page papers on a historical event, site, and/or topic relevant to the City of Boston’s role in, and historical ties to, the history and legacy of slavery. Up to $1,000 will be available per awardee, with a total of $10,000 awarded. 

“We realize that community members and proximate Black-led organizations have tons of lived experiences and data they have already gathered,” said George “Chip” Greenidge, Jr., Reparations Task Force member. “As a Task Force, we want to hear it and learn from it. Through this grassroots partnership program, we are encouraging divergent thinking from community activists, researchers, and artists that involves creative approaches and accepts multiple solutions to a problem that will directly and indirectly affect our local reparations efforts.” 

The Task Force is looking for creative, dedicated people with a passion for community to directly or indirectly support their work through public education, engagement, research, and storytelling. Eligibility for the award varies across opportunities, but requirements in terms of background are minimal. Across the board, applicants must be a resident of the city of Boston to apply. More information on eligibility for each opportunity can be found on the application.  

The deadline to apply for the first round of the program is Thursday, June 13th at 10:00 a.m. To apply, please visit this Google form or boston.gov link. For additional questions about this program, please reach out to reparations@boston.gov. Depending on the results of the first round, subsequent rounds will be announced and made available in the coming weeks. Awards for the first round will be made by the end of June 2024.   

Awardees’ final products will be on display for the general public on all the Reparations Task Force’s digital platforms, including our website. Outcomes across the board will directly or indirectly inform RTF’s ongoing process and the development of recommendations on local reparations in Boston.  

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