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Shepard Thomas, a recent Georgetown University graduate and a descendant of slaves sold by Jesuits to keep the school open, poses for a portrait on the campus in Washington on Thursday, May 6, 2021.  (AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin)

Student and community activists from New England to the Deep South are demanding institutions take more ambitious steps to atone for past sins — from colonial-era slavery to more recent campus expansion projects that have pushed out entire communities of color.

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Reparations, equitable recovery top of mind for some residents

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Downtown Evanston (WTTW News)

Located along the lakefront just north of Chicago, Evanston is known for its dining scene, arts and culture, and Northwestern University. But it also has a history of racial segregation and redlining, which city leaders hope to address through a historic reparations program that passed in March.

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Evanston has become the first city in the country to offer reparations for Black residents. Last week, aldermen voted to distribute $10 million over the next 10 years, using tax money from the sale of recreational marijuana. We discuss the local and national outlook.

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(benscripps / Pixabay)

“These conversations are a slap in the face to people that have suffered great atrocities over time in this country," said Ald. Jason Ervin, the chairman of the City Council Black Caucus.

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Downtown Evanston (WTTW News)

Using tax money from the sale of recreational marijuana, the Chicago suburb of Evanston has become the first U.S. city to make reparations available to its Black residents for past discrimination and the lingering effects of slavery.

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(benscripps / Pixabay)

Aldermen on Thursday said they would do more than just talk about whether the city should pay reparations to Chicagoans who are the descendants of enslaved African Americans, but acknowledged that it had taken too long to even begin the discussion.

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Daniel Biss (WTTW News via Zoom)

One of Chicago's most populous suburbs is soon to have a leader who’s familiar statewide. Former state legislator and gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss won the election for mayor of Evanston this week with nearly 74% of the vote. 

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot presides over a virtual Chicago City Council meeting on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

The Chicago City Council on Wednesday recognized Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, but stopped short of making June 19 an official city holiday.

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Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward) speaks about the Police Free Schools Ordinance on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. (WTTW News)

Protesters across the city and nation continue to push for police reforms that some elected officials say should include defunding the police. That’s just one of the topics on the City Council’s packed agenda Wednesday.

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(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Chicago will not create a commission to study whether — and how — the city should pay reparations to Chicagoans who are the descendants of enslaved African Americans after Mayor Lori Lightfoot objected to the long-in-the-works effort.

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(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

The Chicago City Council is one step away from creating a commission to study whether — and how — the city should pay reparations to Chicagoans who are the descendants of enslaved African Americans.

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(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

A new resolution on reparations is scheduled to be introduced in City Council this week. Alds. Roderick Sawyer (6th Ward) and Nick Sposato (38th Ward) weigh in on the topic.

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(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Although the idea behind reparations is “as old as slavery,” it’s gaining more traction than ever before, said Alvin Tillery, a political science professor at Northwestern University.

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Victims of disgraced Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge would receive reparations under a new agreement reached by the mayor, City Council, and advocates of Burge torture victims. Find out what the package includes.

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The Atlantic correspondent and author Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses his thoughts on the students at North Lawndale College Prep, his mea culpa for glossing over the accusations against Bill Cosby in the past, and he explains why The Case for Reparations is unrelated to the black conservatives’ argument.

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When Atlantic magazine correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote his article, The Case for Reparations, he sought out to tell the history of the North Lawndale neighborhood, to educate readers, and encourage critical thinking among the masses. What he didn’t expect was for his piece to be used as a teaching tool and the premise for senior projects at North Lawndale College Prep.