Support H.R.40/S.40 to Establish a Commission on Reparations
Below is a letter from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry to Congress urging passage of H.R.40/S.40, known as the “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.”
This Juneteenth, you can take action with Bishop Curry by writing your own letter to Congress using our Action Alert here.
Dear members of the United States Congress,
As a faith leader who cares deeply about the pursuit of justice and dignity for all people, a leader of a denomination that is directly helping to shape the conversation on reparations, I write to urge you to finally pass bill H.R.40/S.40, known as the “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act.”
H.R. 40 has been introduced for 17 consecutive Congressional sessions, but the bill has never received a vote on the House floor, despite broad support. This legislation would allow the United States to begin a process that could help to “address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States,” as well as the subsequent discrimination faced by Black Americans through Jim Crow laws and continued disenfranchisement.
The Episcopal Church affirms our commitment to become a transformed, anti-racist church, and to work toward healing, reconciliation, and a restoration of wholeness to the family of God. Our General Convention passed a resolution in 2006 urging support of this legislation, and in 2019, the Rt. Rev. Eugene Sutton, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the 116th Congress in support of H.R. 40. He said, “Reparations, quite simply, means to repair that which has been broken. It is not just about monetary compensation. An act of reparation is an attempt to make whole again, to restore; to offer atonement; to make amends; to reconcile for a wrong or injury.”
Congress has the opportunity to pass legislation that will help bring about the possibility of ensuring the dignity of all people. Legislative action on this issue is critical to any effort as a nation to make amends, to restore, to reconcile for our wrongs and injuries. We thank you for your service and commitment as we work together for justice and peace. Please know we are lifting you up in our prayers.
The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
The Office of Government Relations