Appointments to Commission to Study Reparations

ALBANY – Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Carl Heastie last Thursday announced their appointments to the Community Commission on Reparations Remedies. The Commission, formed through legislation signed in December 2023, acknowledges the horrific injustice of slavery and is tasked with examining the legacy of slavery, subsequent discrimination against people of African descent, and the impact these forces continue to have in the present day.

“As Americans, we have a solemn responsibility to reckon with our history and that includes understanding the painful legacy of slavery in New York,” Governor Hochul said. “We have assembled an extraordinary group of highly-qualified individuals to serve on the new Commission, and will review their final recommendations.”

“Today’s announcement is an important step toward addressing the legacy of slavery and its impact on present day realities,” said Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado. “Through the work of this Commission, our state can lead in what should be a national conversation about the truth of our past, and the healing work required to create a more just future.”

Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “The formation of the Commission to Study Reparations and Racial Justice represents not only an acknowledgment of the past but also a commitment to rectifying long-standing injustices. I am honored to appoint Dr. Darrick Hamilton, renowned economist and scholar; Dr. Seanelle Hawkins, a leader in community advocacy and engagement; and Linda Tarrant-Reid, an accomplished historian and activist, as our appointees. Their diverse expertise and profound commitment to justice make them invaluable to our mission. This initiative is more than a historical examination; it is a bold stride towards a fairer and more equitable New York. I am confident in their ability to perform their duties exceptionally on behalf of New Yorkers.”

Speaker Carl Heastie said, “I am honored to appoint Dr. Ron Daniels, Lurie Daniel Favors and Rev. Dr. Deborah D. Jenkins to the New York State Community Commission on Reparations Remedies. I have full faith in them and their fellow members of the commission as they take on the responsibility of examining our state’s history of slavery and how its legacy continues to impact the lives of Black New Yorkers today. I look forward to their report as we remain committed to dismantling centuries of racial, economic and institutional injustices across our state.”

State Senator James Sanders Jr. said, “I applaud the Governor, President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the Assembly for selecting such impeccable people to sit on this historic panel. Special thanks should go the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus; the Black Taskforce; the NAACP; the National Action Network; and innumerable activists who struggled for justice, not for recognition. As the son of a sharecropper and a domestic worker, I take pride in my small role in pursuing justice for the noble, yet much-maligned African American people. Let the commission arise and the words of Prophet Isaiah 1:17 ‘Learn to do right; seek justice, defend the oppressed.’ Now the real work begins. May the commissioners disagree without becoming disagreeable. May wisdom mark their deliberations and reason, fairness and justice come from their labors.”

Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages said, “With the recent appointments to the Commission to Study Reparations and Racial Justice, New York is steadfastly progressing on the path of healing and reconciliation. This commission has a unique mission, and all appointees possess areas of expertise that will contribute to the overarching goal of restitution and rehabilitation—core tenets of reparations. I take pride in sponsoring this legislation and am eager to continue advancing alongside the Governor, legislative leaders, and this newly formed body toward a stronger, more prosperous state.”

Hochul appointed Jennifer Jones Austin, the CEO and Executive Director of FPWA, an anti-poverty policy and advocacy nonprofit; Timothy Hogues, her Commissioner for the Department of Civil Service and President of the Civil Service Commission; and Linda Brown-Robinson, the Immediate Past President of the Syracuse Onondaga NAACP.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email