Type to search


Evanston’s Reparations Fund Finds a New Home in a Black-Owned Bank

Black-owned Bank

In a groundbreaking move, the Evanston Reparations Fund has announced that it will be transferring its funds to Liberty Bank, one of the largest Black-owned banks in the United States. 

The decision was announced by Robin Rue Simmons, the Reparations Committee Chair, who confirmed that a minimum of $17 million will be moved to the black-owned bank.

The Evanston Reparations Fund was established to support several initiatives, including the Restorative Housing Program, which seeks to increase homeownership and intergenerational equity among Black residents of Evanston, Illinois. 

The fund is expected to provide more support for businesses and homeowners in the area.

Simmons expressed optimism about the impact of the move, stating, “Seventeen million dollars in a Black bank is going to give more lending power and access to Black businesses, Black mortgages and other forms of support.” 

This move is seen as a significant step since the passing of Resolution 126-R-19 in 2019.

The program has already provided more than $4.5 million in funding to residents who were at least 18 years old between 1919 and 1969, and their descendants affected by redistricting and other racially motivated policies. 

The funding is received through a city tax on donations, recreational cannabis, and yearly transfers of $1 million from the city’s real estate transfer tax.

Liberty Bank, valued at $1 billion, has already provided services for first-time home buyers who chose to use their reparations funding as mortgages. 

Committee member Claire McFarland Barber expressed satisfaction with the outcome and the city’s ability to assist in paying it forward.

The committee also discussed other ways to expand the city’s growth outside of reparationsTwyla Blackmond Larnell, a political science professor at Loyola University Chicago, presented a survey as the best way to identify the racial patterns in the city’s business activity.

The study aims to take into account additional aspects that broadly impact Black businesses, like racial and economic disparities, and how the issue has expanded over time.

The reparations program’s construction administrator, Michael Dykes, also provided an update on the importance of reparations recipients wanting to improve their homes. 

Dykes and Simmons expressed their vision for the home to be done by a Black contractor— adding another form of economic benefit to the Black community.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *