NYC racial justice commission holds first listening session Thursday

Local News

A new racial justice commission created by the city beings its work Thursday.

The city’s formal battle against institutional racism launches with the first public input session put on by the city’s new racial justice commission, set at Staten Island’s Stapleton Houses.

The commission was announced in March by Mayor Bill de Blasio with the mission of tacking racism embedded in city policies and practices, many of which were baked into the system long ago, but still cause racial and economic inequities.

The 11-member racial justice commission may propose changes to the city charter that would go before New Yorkers for a vote, De Blasio said; the commission’s members will produce a report by the end of the year.

The commission’s work will include “addressing structural racism, institutional racism identifying it, acknowledging it formally apologizing for it,” the mayor said.

New York City’s commission will be modeled after international groups like South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was founded after the end of apartheid. 

When asked earlier this year if the commission will consider reparations, the mayor said “everything should be on the table.”

With contributions from PIX11’s Ayana Harry and the Associated Press.

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