Former Asheville City Council Member Keith Young, known for spearheading a reparations initiative, has been awarded a $130,000 fellowship by the Soros Foundation.
Philanthropist George Soros apparently would like to see Young promote reparation initiatives in other cities across the nation. The fellowship’s goal is to assist other cities in starting government-based reparations programs for black residents.
“Elected in 2015, the first black council member in six years, Young, 43, was the author of a 2020 reparations resolution that passed unanimously and kicked off the initiative to compensate local black residents for slavery and more modern injustices. It was the first such government-approved effort in the South and second in the country,” according to Citizen-Times.
“Young later co-founded the Reparations Stakeholder Authority of Asheville, a private organization that could raise money and use it for reparations in ways local government could not, such as giving residents direct cash payments,” the outlet reported.
“Hundreds of years of Black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today,” said Councilman Keith Young, one of two African American members of the body and the measure’s chief proponent. – NC city council approved reparations 7-0
— ʷᵒʳᴰSMIFF™️ (@awkwrd_nnja87) July 15, 2020
Asheville’s population demographics according to census data have undergone changes in recent years, with the black population declining from 20% in 2000 to 11.2% in 2020.
“The reparations initiative seeks to address the historical and modern-day injustices faced by black residents and work towards a more equitable future,” according to Off Plan Property Exchange.
“Keith Young’s steadfast commitment to racial justice and community engagement continues to drive change, inspiring a broader conversation on historical reparations in the United States,” the Soros Foundation said in a statement that was posted to its website.
The billionaire’s Open Society-U.S. Soros Equality Fellowship program is intended to “support individuals whom we believe will become long-term innovative leaders impacting racial justice.”
Young was thrilled over the fellowship and stated that he was “personally grateful, but the job’s not finished.”
More racism to cure racism
— Luke Cochran (@appalachiaWNC36) November 9, 2023
“It doesn’t feel like much of anything until this work actually bears fruit and creates real amends, real progress, and real results,” he added according to the Citizen-Times.
The reparations activist intends to use the resources given to him to shore up Asheville’s Reparations Stakeholder Authority and to lead similar efforts in “multiple cities across the country.”
When Young left the Asheville City Council, he was tapped by four Tulsa City Council members to help address the historic 1921 massacre of black residents in Oklahoma. Following that move, Tulsa unanimously voted to apologize to black individuals and make “tangible amends.”
Soros has his tentacles into everything. Remember at election time the city and county officials who are using your tax dollars for this as infrastructure crumbles
— William Blount (@BlountWill39508) November 9, 2023
“More than three years since the city and Buncombe County signed on to reparations, a Community Reparations Commission, a 25-member body seated in April 2022, is working toward a series of recommendations meant to repair damage caused by public and private systemic racism,” the Citizen-Times wrote.
“But critics have said the commission, of which Young is a member, did not do enough to engage the community, something the stakeholder authority was designed to do. Meanwhile, the second manager of the city and Buncombe County’s initiative stepped down in October,” the outlet added.