FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY, PALM SPRINGS CLERGY AND BUSINESS OWNERS JOIN THE FIGHT FOR REPARATIVE JUSTICE FOR SECTION 14 SURVIVORS AND DESCENDANTS
Rally and Music Festival Kick Off the “Know Before You Go Palm Springs” Campaign, Highlighting City’s History and the Destruction of Section 14
PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Oct. 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — In a spirited celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day and a passionate call for reparative justice, nearly 500 individuals of diverse backgrounds, reflecting the racial makeup of Section 14 —which comprised of Black, Latino, and Native American communities — congregated at Frances Stevens Park on Saturday, October 7, 2023 in Palm Springs, Calif. The outdoor music festival celebrated the cultural significance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day and its relationship to the “Know Before You Go Palm Springs” campaign — an effort to raise awareness about the destruction of Section 14 in the 1960s.
Advocates for the survivors and descendants of Section 14 want to ensure that tourists understand the full history of the region, the cultural and civic contributions of the people who lived in Section 14, and the devastation their community ultimately experienced at the hands of city leaders. The campaign’s goal is to promote a fuller history of Palm Springs and engage a new audience in the cause of reparative justice.
More than 14 million tourists and visitors flock to Palm Springs annually, infusing the city with an $8.6 billion economic impact.
Among those advocating for change is Mark Greg, a prominent business owner deeply rooted in the city’s economy. Greg voiced his support for addressing the historical injustices of Section 14, saying, “As a business owner in Palm Springs, I am calling on the city to rectify the wrongs of Section 14. This is not only a matter of justice, but also an economic imperative.”
Attendees were treated to a vibrant lineup of entertainment, including performances by the renowned Tommy the Clown dancers, the Mariachi Tesmastian band, and the Grammy-nominated R&B/funk ensemble DW3. The celebration of diversity and unity within the community cast a powerful spotlight on the city’s duty to right historic wrongs.
The “Know Before You Go Palm Springs” campaign received a strong show of solidarity from local clergy. Rev. Dan Kline, who spoke at the event, said, “The city of Palm Springs has a moral imperative to make the survivors and descendants whole even if doing so is hard, it’s not impossible. The city has found ways to fund other priorities.”
“We remain cautiously optimistic that we can settle this issue without protracted litigation,” said Areva Martin, Esq., civil rights attorney and lead counsel for the victims and families. “We are exploring all options, including seeking further investigations by the California Attorney General, calling on the U.S. Department of Justice, engaging the assistance of the state legislature, and proceeding with a lawsuit in federal court. The support from local clergy and business owners is a significant step towards achieving justice for the survivors and descendants of Section 14.”
Pearl Devers, a survivor of Section 14, expressed her gratitude, saying, “I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from the broader Palm Springs community. Looking out over the hundreds of people from all races, ethnicities, and ages confirmed that we are not alone in our fight for justice. While we remain hopeful about working with the city, we are disheartened by the stalled discussions. We will persist in our pursuit of justice for our loved ones, regardless of the time it takes.”
For more information about the “Know Before You Go Palm Springs” campaign, visit KnowBeforeYouGoPalmSprings.com.
SOURCE Section 14