In an historic move that gets Buncombe County closer to its goal of putting more action behind formal apologies to the Black Community, the Board of Commissioners appointed five members to the Community Reparations Commission during its meeting on March 15. The Community Reparations Commission is a joint effort with the City of Asheville, and it aims to explore ways to expand opportunities for Black homeownership, business growth, and other meaningful ways of investing in Black communities.
Commissioners appointed the following people to serve:
- Dee Williams
- Raynetta Waters
- Christopher Gordon
- Shantelle Simpson
- Kelsey Simmons
The following will serve as alternates:
- Dwayne Richardson
- Stephanie Lee
Commissioner Al Whitesides stated in 2020 when the resolution was approved: “I hope we have the guts to finish what we are starting. It’s not always going to be comfortable… We want our kids and grandkids to be successful, and most of all give Black people a level playing field. That’s all we’re asking for.”
Buncombe County and the City of Asheville will be posting updates concerning upcoming meetings and decisions as the process continues. You can also keep track of the Community Reparations Commission’s timelines, meetings, and have opportunities to provide feedback at the reparations website.
On March 8, Asheville City Council appointed its members to the Community Reparations Commission. You can read more about that here.