A nonprofit in Portland, Oregon is doing their best to offer reparations to people of color by hosting a Reparations Happy Hour sponsored mainly by White donors.
People of Color are POWERFUL. Amazing turnout at Brown Hope’s inaugural Reparations Happy Hour event! pic.twitter.com/3wlqLpb3lr
— Cameron Whitten (@CameronWhitten) May 22, 2018
The first meetup took place on Monday (May 21), with hosts giving $10 to every one of the 40 people of color who attended. Brown Hope, the nonprofit, says the happy hour will be a monthly event that serves to create a “space for Black, Brown, and Indigenous people.” Outside of food and drinks, there is also a 45-minute dialogue about policies that affect the local community.
White people are not allowed to attend though many volunteered to make sure alt-right protestors did not disrupt the event. The organization’s website suggests White people” show up and support by GIVING reparations. Instead of physically attending, your presence will be felt through your active financial support for healing, leadership, and community building within Portland’s black, brown, and indigenous community.”
Through the introduction of the program, the founder of Brown Hope, Cameroon Whitten, told Raw Story, “What I want to do is end the cycle of exploitation. For Black, brown, indigenous people you face so many barriers, whether it’s tokenization or straight-up poverty.”
“I’ve seen daily and monthly what it’s like to live in a place like Oregon, which has a spectacular history of creating policies to be a white, Bohemian utopia,” Whitten said. According to News Tribune, 78 percent of Portland’s population is White, making it one of the whitest major cities in the nation. He told the news publication, “If folks are saying they want black, brown and indigenous people here, we’re calling on them to pay for that to happen.”
Brown Hope has raised $5,000, so far, to continue the reparations program.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.