The federal government allotted millions of dollars to Providence, Rhode Island, to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, but new reports show more than $23 million of the funding was used for racial equity, according to Fox News.
The Providence Municipal Reparations Commission, created using $10 million of funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP), is a three-phase process that advances “truth-telling, reconciliations and reparations” for African heritage and Indigenous residents, according to the commission’s report. Alongside the commission’s funding, an additional $13 million was directly spent on racial equity instead of COVID-19 relief, Fox News reported.
The commission highlighted a list of recommendations relating to racial equity and closing wealth gaps in Providence, Rhode Island. The commission’s report recommends apologizing for slavery, creating a bail bond fund and expanding the Providence Guaranteed Income Program which gives low-income residents a “no strings attached” $500 per month.
“Two years ago, we began meeting with Black leaders to advance a social justice agenda in Providence, centering voices of community members who deserve to be engaged in policy decision-making. I thank the Municipal Reparations Commission for their community-driven approach to making these recommendations and outlining a path forward for the city and external institutions,” Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said in August, according to Fox News.
Elorza, who approved the creation of the commission, has already implemented a few recommendations including extending the Providence Guaranteed Income Program by six months and issuing a formal apology for slavery, Fox News reported.
Taxpayers funds from Biden’s ARP helped create a “reparations” commission that is pushing for a bail bond fund and K-12 curriculum reform in Providence, Rhode Island. https://t.co/W7A1vZLSzx
— News Pug (@news_pug) October 10, 2022
Within the report, the commission has requested that “institutional and systemic bias and racism” be addressed in K-12 schools, an endeavor that will cost $50,000. Alongside education reform, the commission has called for $250,000 to be used to invest in and develop “African heritage and Indigenous-owned media firms.”
The Providence City Council Finance Committee approved the Providence Municipal Reparations Commission’s $10 million budget in September, according to Fox News. The final decision for the budget will go before the full council for approval.
Elorza did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.