BUNCOMBE CO., N.C. (WSPA) – The Buncombe Co. Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Tuesday that apologizes to its black community for centuries of discrimination. It instructs county staff to prioritize racial equity when they are carrying out the county’s strategic plan.
The resolution does not mandate direct payments to individuals, but it puts funding back into communities with large minority populations.
The resolution states that it intends to increase minority home ownership and access to other affordable housing, increase minority business ownership and career opportunities, create strategies to grow equity and generational wealth, close the gaps in health care, education, employment and pay, and improve neighborhood safety and fairness within the criminal justice system.
It also stated that Buncombe County will join Asheville’s Community Reparation Commission, which will determine spending.
Before voting, commissioners gave comments about what they believe the implementation should look like in Buncombe County.
“We need to do more so black families can build inter-generational wealth in the way white families do,” Buncombe County Chairman Brownie Newman said. “For example, there is now a wider gap in home ownership rates between whites and blacks than in 1968.”
Asheville City Council passed a similar resolution July 14th by giving priority to areas where black residents face inequality through city funding and programming.
It states that the city will making investments in areas where black residents face inequality, that it will help close the gap in affordable housing, and create more career opportunities and the criminal justice system for black residents.