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September 22nd, 2021

Portsmouth, VA: Today, Nadarius Clark, Democratic nominee for Delegate in Virginia’s 79th District, unveiled a policy proposal to establish a reparations commission in Virginia, the first of its kind in any southern state. 

The proposal, which Nadarius plans to introduce in the General Assembly on his first day in office, would bring together experts and elected officials to study the economic, social, medical, and mental health costs incurred by the descendants of state sanctioned slavery. The commission would then generate a proposal for state legislators on how and in what manner equitable compensation can best be made to affected Virginians. This builds off a similar proposal introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 40, which would create a reparations commission to study the harmful impacts of slavery with an aim toward remedying historic injustices. H.R. 40 has widespread support among Democrats in the House and Senate. 

Approximately 4,000,000 Africans and their descendants were enslaved in the United States and its former colonies from 1619 to 1865. Nadarius, who, if elected, would be the first African American to represent the 79th District, said in a statement regarding this new policy initiative: “The best reason to do anything is because it's right. As America reckons with its past and the original sin of slavery, Virginia is ready to lead on this. We must realize that the devastating damage of the past still reverberates today. We have the obligation to help make it right.”

Nadarius’ plan is the next logical step on the road to acknowledging the inter-generational trauma of slavery and to build a better Commonwealth for all Virginians. “The House of Delegates has already made incredible progress on extremely popular initiatives like HB 1537, which gave localities the power to remove confederate monuments, and HB 1980, which gave compensation to the descendants of slaves who built some of Virginia’s oldest schools and universities. The people support us going further. The time is now.”


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