The First Presbyterian Church in Lansing, Michigan has kept its promise to pay reparations for the Black community. The church most recently provided a $40,000 check to the Justice League Of Greater Lansing, an organization that collects reparations for the city’s Black community. The latest contribution comes after the church previously raised $18,000 for the Justice League in 2023.
Willye Bryan, a member of The First Presbyterian Church and founder of the Justice League, said churches have a responsibility to provide reparations.
“Churches have been just as complicit in slavery as any other group in the country and sometimes even more so,” Bryan said in an interview with the Lansing State Journal.
Bryan said she asked churches to transfer the funds to the Black community as a form of “repentance, reconciliation and reparations.” According to the Justice League, The First Presbyterian Church of Lansing has pledged to make another $40,000 contribution. In total, the church has committed to give an amount of about $100,000.
The Rev. Stanley Jenkins, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at 510 W Ottawa St. in Lansing, said the league also plans to soon launch a $50,000 scholarship.
“We’re an ordinary church, ordinary people, not wealthy or powerful and it is astonishing that we can do this. And we want everyone to know this is possible,” Jenkins told the Lansing State Journal.
The topic of reparations continues to be discussed around the country. California made history in 2022 when it became the first state to designate a reparations task force. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson also revealed recently that the city is pushing for reparations. As Blavity reported, Johnson said reparations can be used to reduce crime in Chicago.
The Justice League will have a meeting on Feb. 28 to discuss how to distribute the reparations it received, Jenkins said.