City + Citizen News

City Council unanimously passes resolution acknowledging, apologizing for systemic racism

Tuesday, September 29

Resolution cites burden of inequitable policies and their role in causing current racial disparities in Spartanburg

 

In a historic move, Spartanburg City Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution apologizing for "racial injustices and long-lasting inequities" that resulted from decades of local "social, environmental, economic, and criminal justice policies, practices, and investments" that created a legacy of "deep disparities, harm, and mistrust" among communities of color in Spartanburg.

 

Emphasizing both their unity on the resolution and the importance of its message, each City Council member read a portion of the resolution (titled Healing, Reconciling, and Unity: A Pathway to a More Equitable Spartanburg) before standing in unison to vote in favor of it. The audience in attendance for the meeting at the Dr. T.K. Gregg Community Center then erupted in applause and gave City Council a standing ovation.

 

The resolution cites the City's "deep resolve to promote racial equity, inclusion and diversity in all aspects of city government," citing examples such as Spartanburg's status as the first South Carolina local government to join the Governmental Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE), its creation of a business accelerator specifically for African-American entrepreneurs, its significant and sustained investment in empowerment-based neighborhood revitalization, and the initiation of a comprehensive planning process with an innovative equity component, among others. The resolution also commits the City to "support community efforts to amplify concerns about racist policies and practices and engage actively and authentically with communities of color wherever they live," and to continue ongoing racial equity training efforts of city leadership, staff, and City Council.

 

Follow this link to download a copy of the resolution and for more from Monday's meeting, see the full video below.