On March 30, the Chapel Hill Public Library hosted “From Here to Equality: Chapel Hill Community Read and Conversations,” the second session in a series of four about reparations for Black Americans.
The series is based on William “Sandy” Darity's and A. Kirsten Mullen’s book, "From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century." Darity and Mullen will attend the last session of the series on April 13.
Simona Goldin, a research associate professor for the Education Policy Initiative at Carolina, said over 100 people attended the first meeting. She said people from different communities across Orange County were able to come together to discuss race in the Chapel Hill community.
The event was organized by Danita Mason-Hogans and Goldin, the co-chairpersons of the Equity in Schools Task Force, members of the UNC Commission on History, Race, and a Way Forward and members of the Chapel Hill community.
Mason-Hogans, who works as an oral historian and memory specialist, said the event allows for different parts of the community to discuss how the University and the Town of Chapel Hill are racialized. She said she is working to partner with local faith-based organizations, such as University United Methodist Church, to begin reparative work in the Chapel Hill area.
“This is the first time that we've been able to convene at the Chapel Hill Public Library to really think about what this history means to us as a community,” Mason-Hogans said.
The event on March 30 discussed reparative work in Orange County. Mason-Hogans said conversations centered around how Black residents of Orange County have been generationally stunted in their ability to amass wealth, education and health.
More than 85 people attended the event, "Session 2: Opportunities for Repair," including generational Black Chapel Hill residents, like Braxton Foushee and Patricia Mason.
“There were over 85 people last night — at least 85 hearts — believing that it is an important cause, at least important enough to sit and listen," Luis Melodelgado, the library experience assistant for the Town of Chapel Hill, said.