Cook Center Founding Director William Darity, Jr. mentioned in article on Robert Wood Johnson Foundations Philanthropic efforts in Reparations

Professional headshot of William Darity

Cook Center Founding Director William “Sandy” Darity, Jr., has been featured in The Chronicle of Philanthropy article The Push for Payback: Robert Wood Johnson and 80 Other Foundations Make a Case for Reparations by Alex Daniels. 

Excerpt from the article: 

Perhaps the most striking grant Johnson has made was to a scholar at Duke University who argues that philanthropy is making a mistake when it supports efforts to help Blacks that don’t put financial reparations at the center.

Johnson provided $750,000 last year to William “Sandy” Darity, the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy at Duke, to support his research team’s study of reparations efforts in states and cities. Previous support for Darity’s work on reparations came from the William T. Grant Foundation, which provided $300,000 in 2021.

In Darity’s view, state and local policies that aim to help Black people by canceling student debt or getting rid of environmental hazards in neighborhoods that are predominantly Black could make a difference.

But, he says, they shouldn’t be considered a substitute for reparations, which would be an official atonement for the wrongs done to enslaved Black Americans. Only the federal government, he says, is both culpable for allowing slavery and in a position to disburse the at least $14 trillion Darity estimates is the total bill for making amends.

State and city “initiatives are alternatives to biting the bullet and making the monetary payments,” he says. “Many of the organizations supported by philanthropy are taking a detour from the fundamental task of getting Congress to do the right thing.”

Darity noted that the federal government has quickly made trillions of dollars in expenditures, such as Covid relief payments.

Read the full article here.