The Reparations Fund Committee
“You shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
You will be called repairer of the breach, restorer of the streets to live in.”
Thank you for your interest in our diocese’s important ministry of making reparations for slavery. Our diocese’s Reparations Fund was established in 2022 by our Diocesan Convention, and given its mission statement and guiding principles in 2023.
The Reparations Fund of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts exists to help repair the breach of systemic racism in the life of our diocese, region and nation, by resourcing Black communities to flourish in myriad ways. Focused on systemic solutions to present-day racial disparities whose origins lie in the sin of American slavery, the Reparations Fund’s mission is to counteract and redress ongoing social, economic, educational, judicial, medical, political and other harm caused to African Americans and Afro Caribbeans.
The goal and purpose of the Reparations Fund Committee is to steward and oversee the assets of the Reparations Fund, ensuring they are used to further the missional purposes of the Reparations Fund, as defined by the Diocesan Convention’s 2023 resolution.
Applications were received through Jan. 31, 2024, for individuals seeking appointment by Bishop Alan M. Gates to the Reparations Fund Committee (“the Fund Committee”). The Fund Committee will consist of 11 full members, including both clergy and lay people, to be appointed by the bishop diocesan. As directed by our Diocesan Convention, a majority of the members will identify as African American or Afro Caribbean. Our bishops will be ex officio, non-voting members. The appointed members will include individuals from all three regions of our diocese. Clergy seeking appointment must be either canonically resident in our diocese or hold a current license to officiate in our diocese. Lay persons seeking appointment must be members in good standing of a congregation in our diocese and must also be physically resident within the diocese.
Bishop Gates seeks to appoint the Fund Committee to begin ministry on April 1, 2024. To establish a rotational membership model, initial Fund Committee members will be appointed for either one, two or three-year terms in roughly equal numbers. After these initial terms of appointment expire, all future appointments will be to fill three-year terms. No member may serve more than six consecutive years on the Fund Committee.
Please note: Fund Committee members may not also serve concurrently on either the Racial Justice Commission, the Reparations Subcommittee of the Racial Justice Commission or the Budget Committee of the Diocesan Council, though members on these bodies seeking to apply may do so and then resign from their other appointments if necessary.
In particular, applicants with one or more of the following skills were sought through the application process:
- Understanding of systemic causes of racial disparities in social systems resulting from slavery, including: housing, education, criminal justice, health care and others.
- Demonstrated ability to build relationships within African American and Afro Caribbean communities and organizations that serve their needs in eastern Massachusetts.
- Financial acumen sufficient to oversee invested funds, create and implement an investment spending policy, make asset allocation decisions, consider short-term and long-term fund goals.
- Skills in communication and public messaging, ability to balance multiple objectives and the capacity to be a voice of reason.
- The ability to work within legal, financial and conflict of interest policy constraints.
While no one committee member need have all of these qualities, as a body, the Fund Committee will benefit from all these skills. Fund Committee members will be expected to meet on a regular basis, work in relationship with other diocesan individuals and bodies and engage in significant work between meetings.
Following the application deadline of Jan. 31, 2024, a small, racially diverse screening committee will assist the bishop in identifying suitable candidates. He anticipates appointing the Fund Committee in late winter, with work to begin in April 2024.
Questions may be directed to Laura Simons, Executive Assistant to Bishop Gates, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-482-4826, ext. 407.