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Reparations Santa Cruz is a collective wealth redistribution project aimed at redressing the egregious ​injustices of anti-Black racism and white supremacy within Santa Cruz County. From chattel slavery to redlining to Jim Crow "Black Codes" to mass incarceration and beyond, Black Americans have systematically been denied opportunities to build wealth and achieve financial stability throughout their history in this country. This anti-capitalist redistribution project seeks to address not only the legacy of historic anti-Black racism but also the contemporary reality of the racial wealth gap.​ An abundance of wealth exists right now, but it disproportionately rests in the hands of white families. This project provides a platform for those benefiting from racial capitalism or experiencing class privilege in some way to use a reparations lens to facilitate wealth redistribution to Black individuals and communities.

We acknowledge that no amount of money received can heal the enduring trauma of anti-Black racism. We acknowledge that no amount of money given can absolve non-Black people of the responsibility to practice anti-racism. And, we acknowledge the crucial role of wealth redistribution in Black liberation.

Impact over the years

Since the beginning of this project in Summer 2020, Reparations Santa Cruz has moved over $120,000 to local Black residents. Below is a table of details on our distribution cycles:

Giving Circle           Date                      Money Moved          Number of Receivers         Size of Giving Circle
        #1                   Fall 2020                      $31,790                                 22                                           13
        #2                 Spring 2021                   $35,738                                 50                                           10
        #3                 Spring 2022                   $49,465                                82                                            5
        #4                   Fall 2023                      $12,000                                16                                           n/a
                                                         Total: $128,993                    Total: 170                                Total: 28

How it Works

Fashionable Girls

At the end of the three-month cycle, the money collected gets distributed evenly to a group of Black recipients.

Giving circle members learn together, redistribute their wealth, and fundraise for Black folks in Santa Cruz.

Giving circle recipients are free to use the funds received however they choose.

Reparations Santa Cruz has historically used a giving circle model that divests members of decision-making power and invests in Black lives. The giving circles takes place in three-month cycles, three times annually. Anyone interested in giving, fundraising, and learning can become a giving circle member, regardless of class or race. Giving circle members make a personally meaningful contribution (no minimum amount) and raise money from their families and friends to distribute to recipients. Giving circle members also engage in shared learning and personal growth around issues of race and racial justice throughout the three-month cycle. 

At the end of the three-month fundraising cycle, the collective funds are disbursed evenly among a group of Black recipients in Santa Cruz County. Cycle recipients are Black Santa Cruz County residents who may use the funds however they please - they are not accountable to any "donor" or fundraising body. 

Cycles may be themed to target specific Black issues and populations, including but not limited to LGBTQIA+, currently or formerly incarcerated, parents, young people, sex workers, houseless, etc. If you have suggestions for cycle themes, please feel free to contact us.

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