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RTXAOLVE
Chicago suburb's plan to pay Black residents reparations could be a national model
Evanston, Illinois, is poised to become the first U.S. city to offer reparation money to Black residents whose families suffered lasting damage from decades of discriminatory practices.

Evanston's initial approach to reparations is narrow and targeted. The city council, which has already committed $10 million over a decade to the effort, will vote on Monday to begin with a $400,000 round of payments. The first phase will provide $25,000 to a small number of eligible Black residents for home repairs, down payments or mortgage payments in a nod toward historically racist housing policies.

The program could become a model for other cities and states grappling with whether to pursue their own reparations programs. The burgeoning national movement has gained traction amid a reckoning on racial inequity following the police killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans last year.
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAN
March 21, 2021
Loretta Johnson prays during open prayer at the Faith Temple Church in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Loretta Johnson prays during open prayer at the Faith Temple Church in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. In 1955, Johnson was not allowed to be born at the local hospital in Evanston where her father worked, instead she was born at Cook County Hospital. Picture taken March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAG
March 21, 2021
Principal Tamara Hadaway calls on one of her students at Kingsway Preparatory School in the Fifth Ward,...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Principal Tamara Hadaway calls on one of her students at Kingsway Preparatory School in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. Hadaway founded the school partly because the Fifth Ward was the only ward in the township without its own elementary school. Picture taken March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS91
March 21, 2021
Community historian Morris “Dino” Robinson, who helped shape the Evanston’s reparations initiative, points...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Community historian Morris “Dino” Robinson, who helped shape the Evanston’s reparations initiative, points to the borders of the Fifth Ward, which was the area of Evanston the city’s Black citizens were forced to move to due to redlining between 1919 and 1969, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAR
March 21, 2021
A view shows houses in the Fifth Ward in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T....
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
A view shows houses in the Fifth Ward in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8P
March 21, 2021
Boarded up houses are pictured in the Fifth Ward in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Boarded up houses are pictured in the Fifth Ward in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAL
March 21, 2021
Samuel Johnson III gives George Woolridge, a local high school track coach, a haircut at Church Street...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Samuel Johnson III gives George Woolridge, a local high school track coach, a haircut at Church Street Barber Shop in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. When Woolridge was 5 years old he got his first haircut from Johnson’s father, Samuel Johnson Jr. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAP
March 21, 2021
Miles Henry, 11, waits with his father, Shawn Henry, at the Church Street Barber Shop in the Fifth Ward,...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Miles Henry, 11, waits with his father, Shawn Henry, at the Church Street Barber Shop in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS90
March 21, 2021
Samuel Johnson III gives Miles Henry, 11, a haircut at the Church Street Barber Shop in the Fifth Ward,...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Samuel Johnson III gives Miles Henry, 11, a haircut at the Church Street Barber Shop in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8Q
March 21, 2021
Samuel Johnson III gives George Woolridge, a local high school track coach, a haircut at Church Street...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Samuel Johnson III gives George Woolridge, a local high school track coach, a haircut at Church Street Barber Shop in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. When Woolridge was 5 years old he got his first haircut from Johnson’s father, Samuel Johnson Jr. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8S
March 21, 2021
Peter Kouassi, a junior at Northwestern University, checks out his haircut at Ebony Barber Shop in the...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Peter Kouassi, a junior at Northwestern University, checks out his haircut at Ebony Barber Shop in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. Ebony Barber Shop has been serving the community since 1961. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAQ
March 21, 2021
A Black Lives Matter sign is seen near the corner of Emerson Street and Dodge Avenue in Evanston, Illinois,...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
A Black Lives Matter sign is seen near the corner of Emerson Street and Dodge Avenue in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAY
March 21, 2021
A mural is displayed on Litehouse Whole Food Grill on Dodge Avenue in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
A mural is displayed on Litehouse Whole Food Grill on Dodge Avenue in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAX
March 21, 2021
A mural is pictured in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois,...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
A mural is pictured in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAU
March 21, 2021
A woman walks past a local market on the corner of Church Street and Dodge Avenue in the Fifth Ward,...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
A woman walks past a local market on the corner of Church Street and Dodge Avenue in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAV
March 21, 2021
Evanston Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, who spearheaded the city’s reparations initiative, poses near her...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Evanston Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, who spearheaded the city’s reparations initiative, poses near her home in the Fifth Ward in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAT
March 21, 2021
Evanston Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, who spearheaded the city’s reparations initiative, sits at Jennifer's...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Evanston Alderman Robin Rue Simmons, who spearheaded the city’s reparations initiative, sits at Jennifer's Edibles Restaurant in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8V
March 21, 2021
Jennifer Eason (C) owner and cook of Jennifer's Edibles Restaurant, serves food to Northwestern University...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Jennifer Eason (C) owner and cook of Jennifer's Edibles Restaurant, serves food to Northwestern University students Charles Zhou (L) and Conor Kotwasinski at her restaurant in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8R
March 21, 2021
Food magazines and an African American almanac lay on a bench at Jennifer's Edibles Restaurant, in the...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Food magazines and an African American almanac lay on a bench at Jennifer's Edibles Restaurant, in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAW
March 21, 2021
Vanessa Johnson-McCoy, Evanston resident and real estate agent who sees the impact generations of segregation...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Vanessa Johnson-McCoy, Evanston resident and real estate agent who sees the impact generations of segregation has had on her city, poses in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8X
March 21, 2021
Delois Robinson reads a book at her home in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. Robinson’s great-grandmother...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Delois Robinson reads a book at her home in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. Robinson’s great-grandmother ran a restaurant and cab company out of her home in the Fifth Ward because she was not able to get a separate business building due to the colour of her skin. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8W
March 21, 2021
Delois Robinson washes dishes at her home in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. Robinson’s great-grandmother...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Delois Robinson washes dishes at her home in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. Robinson’s great-grandmother ran a restaurant and cab company out of her home in the Fifth Ward because she was not able to get a separate business building due to the colour of her skin. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAO
March 21, 2021
Wendy Weaver faces products on the shelves of C & W Market and Ice Cream Parlor, the store she co-owns...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Wendy Weaver faces products on the shelves of C & W Market and Ice Cream Parlor, the store she co-owns with her husband, in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8T
March 21, 2021
Wendy Weaver fixes products on the shelves of C & W Market and Ice Cream Parlor, the store she co-owns...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Wendy Weaver fixes products on the shelves of C & W Market and Ice Cream Parlor, the store she co-owns with her husband, in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAS
March 21, 2021
Clarence Weaver (L) visits with his brother-in-law Chubby Payne at C & W Market and Ice Cream Parlor,...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Clarence Weaver (L) visits with his brother-in-law Chubby Payne at C & W Market and Ice Cream Parlor, the store Weaver co-owns with his wife, in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAM
March 21, 2021
Community historian Morris “Dino” Robinson, who helped shape the Evanston’s reparations initiative, poses...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Community historian Morris “Dino” Robinson, who helped shape the Evanston’s reparations initiative, poses for a portrait at the Shorefront Legacy Center in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 19, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAJ
March 21, 2021
Photographs of former Evanston police chiefs hang next to photos of former President Barack Obama at...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Photographs of former Evanston police chiefs hang next to photos of former President Barack Obama at Ebony Barber Shop in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. Ebony Barber Shop has been serving the community since 1961. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANSAH
March 21, 2021
Community historian Morris “Dino” Robinson, who helped shape the Evanston’s reparations initiative,...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Community historian Morris “Dino” Robinson, who helped shape the Evanston’s reparations initiative, takes out an old city housing pamphlet at the Shorefront Legacy Center in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8U
March 21, 2021
Community historian Morris “Dino” Robinson, who helped shape the Evanston’s reparations initiative, takes...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Community historian Morris “Dino” Robinson, who helped shape the Evanston’s reparations initiative, takes out an old photograph of students from Foster School at the Shorefront Legacy Center in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8Z
March 21, 2021
Artwork is displayed in the window of Youth & Opportunity United on Church Street in the Fifth Ward,...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
Artwork is displayed in the window of Youth & Opportunity United on Church Street in the Fifth Ward, known as the historic Black community, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8O
March 21, 2021
A 1924 survey written by a Northwestern University student lays on a table at Shorefront Legacy Center...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
A 1924 survey written by a Northwestern University student lays on a table at Shorefront Legacy Center in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8K
March 21, 2021
General view of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, now surrounded by condominiums, which used to be...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
General view of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, now surrounded by condominiums, which used to be encompassed by a Black community until redlining and other housing practices forced the parishioners to move to a different part of the city, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
USA-RACE/REPARATIONS
RTXANS8M
March 21, 2021
A detail view of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, now surrounded by condominiums, which used to...
Evanston, UNITED STATES
U.S. city poised to become the first to pay reparations to Black residents
A detail view of Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church, now surrounded by condominiums, which used to be encompassed by a Black community until redlining and other housing practices forced the parishioners to move to a different part of the city, in Evanston, Illinois, U.S., March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eileen T. Meslar
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