The Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) announced the launch of a website for the African Descent-Citizens Reparations Commission (ADCRC). As part of the Economic Opportunity Bill, the ADCRC was established to bring an equity focus on African American communities and residents that have been disproportionally impacted by longstanding disinvestment due to direct and systemic repercussions of slavery.
The ADCRC has been tasked with developing and recommending measures to ensure equity, equality, and parity for African American descendants of slavery. As part of their scope, the Commission, authorized by 20 ILCS 405/405-540, will be reviewing and recommending actions geared towards the preservation and growth of African American neighborhoods and communities. The Commission will be working to study and remedy enduring economic inequities through a series of outlined methods, including: building and developing a vocational center for People of African Descent-Citizens, ensuring proportional economic representation in all State contracts and the creation and enforcement of an Illinois Slavery Era Disclosure Bill.
“A critical first step in the work of the ADCRC is collaborative public engagement which includes both educating and hearing from the public concerning the ongoing impacts of slavery, along with the need to employ reparative justice strategies for American Descendants of Slavery,” said Marvin Slaughter, ADCRC Chair, “The Commission will be taking a holistic approach to gain knowledge to inform our task of making recommendations that address disparities present in our community as a result of slavery and its vestiges.”
The ADCRC will educate the public about the subject of reparations through a series of public hearings and other engagement methods. To this end, the Commission has established a website, adcrc.illinois.gov, as the official repository of information about its goals and work. The site includes an overview of the ADCRC mission and governing statutes, makeup of Commission membership, educational resources referencing reparations work that is being spearheaded in other parts of the United States, and information about past and future meetings. The site will continue to evolve with the work of the ADCRC, and provide information about multiple ways to engage with the Commission and this pioneering work. This includes information about how to provide public comment at a future commission meeting and a registration form to be added to a distribution list for updates on the ADCRC’s work as well as upcoming events.
“I am looking forward to the engaging and innovative work that will be done by the Commission to help remedy long standing inequities in black communities across the state,” said ADCRC Commissioner and State Representative Sonya Harper (D-Chicago), “I encourage residents to follow along to learn and provide feedback as we figure out what reparations for descendants of slavery looks like in Illinois.”
The ADCRC is actively seeking engagement throughout all areas of the State of Illinois and looking to expand. Illinois residents with education or background in reparations work, particularly African American descendants of slavery, are encouraged to apply for consideration to serve on the ADCRC, as resident voices play a vital role in promoting efficient, effective, and honest government.
For more information about Illinois’ Boards and Commissions, including the ADCRC, eligibility requirements and application process, interested individuals should visit appointments.illinois.gov.
Information about the work of the ADCRC is available at adcrc.illinois.gov.
***Courtesy of the State of Illinois***