Charlotte City Council to Consider Resolution on Racial Reconciliation

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte City Council will consider a resolution on racial reconciliation next month.

Advocates want the city to apologize for past policies and invest in efforts to improve upward mobility for African-Americans.

“Now is the time to have a serious conversation about providing some type of stimulation to the black economy in Charlotte,” says Willie Keaton, with Restorative Justice CLT.

Keaton helps lead the group, which is calling for “Restorative Justice” in Charlotte and helped draft the resolution.

The resolution apologizes for support of Urban Renewal policies from the 1960’s that the resolution says, “destroyed Black wealth and impeded upward mobility.”

“There’s a long history of redlining. There’s a long history of restricted deeds. They built highways through Black neighborhoods,” Keaton says.

Keaton argues those policies had a direct impact on poverty and inequities seen in parts of Charlotte today.

The resolution also calls for investment in a public-private fund that could support Black-led non-profits, funding things like business, education, and housing.

Former Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts supports the resolution.

“I’ve seen firsthand the disparities that exist in our city, and our county, and our country. You know, this is happening all over the country right now, these times of reckoning, of admission of wrongdoing, and restoration and bringing people together to make it better going forward,” Roberts says.

Keaton says his vision of “Restorative Justice” is not reparations and does not include direct payments.

“The first thing people think about is, well OK they’re looking for a handout. African-Americans are not looking for a handout in Charlotte. They’re looking for what is rightfully theirs,” Keaton says.

See the full draft resolution below:

Click here to see the draft resolution