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Faith Leaders Rally in Trenton to “Say the Word: Reparations”

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Leaders of the Diocese of New Jersey and other members of the New Jersey Faith Allies for a Reparations Task Force gathered Thursday, Dec. 2, at the Statehouse in Trenton to call on legislators to to establish a task force to study the history of slavery in the state and consider possible reparations because of it.

The Rev. Canon Dr. Francisco Pozo, vicar of Cristo-Rey, Trenton (left) and the Very Rev. René John, Dean of Trinity Cathedral, participate in the rally at the statehouse

Legislation to establish the task force has been before the Legislature for nearly two years without it even being opened for debate.

New Jersey was a center of the slave trade, and was the last Northern state to abolish slavery in 1866, after the end of the Civil War.

The Diocese has joined with faith organizations and faith leaders across the state—as well as secular groups such as the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice—to form New Jersey Faith Allies for a Reparations Task Force. The Faith Allies group has been advocating for the passage of this legislation throughout 2021, and has participated or sponsored rallies in Newark, Perth Amboy, and now at the Statehouse in Trenton.

New Jersey—once known as the “slave state of the North”—has a long history of racial oppression. A direct line can be drawn from New Jersey’s history to the stark racial disparities we have today, some of the worst in the country in the areas of wealth, health, youth and adult incarceration, and school segregation.

To learn more and to sign the petition calling for action in the State Legislature, visit http://400yearsnj.org/