Black History Month Activities
During the weekend of February 24 through 26, we held a series of community meetings designed to engage local allies in the Palm Springs community, identify survivors and descendants of Section 14, and galvanize local clergy members to support the reparations effort and educate the community on reparations. More than 300 people participated in the weekend’s events.
Friday Afternoon, February 24
Our lead attorney Areva Martin invited several groups to participate in discussions regarding the status of the action and the assistance needed to move forward. Executives from California grantmakers, including Weingart Cal Wellness, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Rosenberg Foundation, participated in the meetings.
Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors from the historic Second Baptist Church in Evanston, Il, held a small group discussion with local clergy, including Pastor Jane Voight of United Methodist Church of Palm Springs, Rev. Dr. Kevin Johnson of Bloom in the Desert, and Pastor Schezarone Carter of Ajalon Baptist Church. Evanston will be the first city in the nation to pay reparations to Black residents. Nabors made the case, encouraging full support of reparations from the Palm Springs clergy, based on a model used in Evanston and other cities throughout the country.
Friday Evening, February 24
We held a storytelling and oral history forum. During this event, survivors and descendants told their personal stories of living in Section 14 or sharing stories with family members regarding their time living on the reservation. Also, Attorney Martin provided an updated status on the collective action during this event. Dr. Cheryl Grills from the CA Reparations Task Force provided information regarding the task force’s work and planned June report.
The mayor of Palm Springs, the Honorable Grace Gardner, provided welcome remarks, as did Pastor Jane Voight.
Saturday, February 25
Section 14 board members and Attorney Martin met with Pastor Jane Voight and a small group of her parishioners. This meeting was followed by a reception at Wang’s in the Desert.
Sunday Morning, February 26
Section 14 board members, survivors, descendants, Attorney Martin, and others participated in the Black History Month parade and fair.
Sunday Afternoon, February 26
We hosted the first interfaith Black History Month service and tribute to African-Americans who contributed to the building up of Palm Springs. Dr. Julianne Malveaux, an American journalist, economist, author, and commentator, served as the emcee. Clergy from different denominations read scriptures. Attorney Martin reminded the participants that Dr. Martin Luther King was an avid supporter of reparations and called on us not to be afraid of doing something new and uncomfortable.
Dr. Rev. Michael Nabors was the guest speaker and Pastor Eddie Anderson of McCarty Memorial Christian Church provided the benediction and call to action. He encouraged everyone to educate their friends and colleagues on the issue of reparations and to engage the Palm Springs City Council by writing emails and letters urging them to support reparations.
Upcoming Events and Action Items
We are hosting another community meeting in April. There will be an in-person meeting in Palm Springs and a Zoom meeting for those who cannot attend in person. The date and location will be posted here on this site as soon as it is announced.
If you know of anyone who is a survivor or descendent of Section 14 and they want to join the collective action, please have them contact our administrator using this email: firstname.lastname@example.org