LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Justice League of Greater Lansing has announced that it will receive $100,000 in reparations funds this Sunday from the First Presbyterian Church of Lansing.
“The Justice League is building an endowed reparations fund to address the racial wealth inequity in Greater Lansing,” according to a news release from the Justice League.
The church congregation will present the $100,000 check to the organization during the church service, which is Sunday, Feb. 4, from 10-11 a.m.
Financial reparations support home ownership, education and entrepreneurship, according to the Justice League.
“Church members have long studied topics of white privilege and fragility, and have intentionally nurtured a relationship with another church that has a predominately Black congregation,” said Stan Jenkins, pastor of First Presbyterian Church.
“But it was the death of George Floyd that acted as an immediate galvanizing force,” Jenkins went on to say. “We could not turn away or hide our heads in the sand. We took steps to do more: We publicly confessed our complicity and actively sought, and continue to seek, to repair what has been broken through slavery and its legacy.”
According to reporting from The Associated Press, there has been widespread interest in recent years among U.S. religious groups in considering how to make amends for the legacy of slavery, through financial investments and other long-term programs.
This has especially been the case among long-established Protestant churches that were active in the slavery era, according to the AP report.
About a year ago, the First Presbyterian Church’s governing body made a unanimous vote to present $100,000 in reparations to the Justice League of Greater Lansing, according to the Justice League.
In order to raise the funds, the church did the following:
Used the funds left over from a capital expenditure.
Invited members to submit reparations that would cover the church’s pledge–this part raised $80,000.
Subsidized the total raised with earned income from the church’s endowment for a period of up to 10 years.
The Justice League of Greater Lansing is a 501(c)(3) (charitable) nonprofit, founded in 2021 “to repair the breach in Greater Lansing caused by the nation’s historical damage of slavery,” according to the organization.
The organization said in the news release: “Reparations are in the spirit of repentance for the sins of slavery, its aftermath of gross human rights violations–including genocide, violence, land theft, incarceration and police violence–and complicity in the misbelief of white supremacy.”