White Michigan Church Gives Reparations To Black Orgs

White Michigan Church Gives Reparations To Black Orgs

First Presbyterian Church in Lansing, Michigan, among other white churches in the area, has donated thousands toward the reparations effort led by the Justice League of Greater Lansing.

A church in Lansing, Michigan, is committed to aiding the Black community through raising funds for reparations. White members of the First Presbyterian Church have donated thousands to support racial justice efforts.

First Presbyterian Church gave a lofty $40,000 check to the Justice League of Greater Lansing, founded in 2021, while also sending the social justice organization $18,000 in 2023. According to the Lansing Street Journal, the group seeks to provide reparations, with funds obtained by other white churches in the area to distribute to Black community members.

First Presbyterian Church’s promise has yet to be wholly fulfilled, pledging $100K overall to the reparations cause. The quest to do so comes after white congregations voted in 2022 to begin fundraising to support reparations for Black people in an effort “to repair the breach caused by centuries of slavery, inequality of wealth accumulation, and the failure to live into God’s plan of equality for all of humanity.”

“The vision of the Justice League is to gain reparations for the 270,000 African Americans living within the capital area region,” said Prince Solace, president of the league and director of community outreach for the church, of the initiative in 2022.

Currently, Solace aims for the funding to go directly to the 100,000 Black people in Greater Lansing but notes it “won’t happen overnight.”

First Presbyterian Church will continue allocating the remaining money pledged from its endowment across the next decade. The funding is expected to go toward helping Black people in the Michigan area and their ambitions, including in entrepreneurship, education, and homeownership.

The church’s involvement is crucial, according to League founder and First Presbyterian member Willye Bryan, stating it has been historically “complicit in slavery.”

Pastor Stanley Jenkins expressed that the task of rectifying past wrongs is daunting but hopes this initiative inspires other communities to take part in giving back to support Black people.

“We’re an ordinary church, ordinary people, not wealthy or powerful, and it is astonishing that we can do this,” shared Jenkins. “And we want everyone to know this is possible.”