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June 22, 2022
Democracy

Making the links between corporate power and reparations

For centuries, corporations have exploited Black people and their labor, created and widened the wage gap, inflicted environmental abuses in their communities, and more. Unchecked corporate influence also helped create racist policies, institutions, and environments that have terrorized Black people since the beginning of the United States.

And for decades, the Black community has been calling for reparations to address the past and present harms of slavery and white supremacy.

This Juneteenth, the Black Collective joined this decades-long movement, bringing the lens of corporate abuse to the issue of reparations.

We created a visual timeline to illustrate how just one corporation—Wells Fargo, a former candidate for the Corporate Hall of Shame—built wealth on the back of the Black community. It depicts just one example of how this misappropriated wealth has been reinvested in harmful and discriminatory practices which have only deepened inequities and worsened the racial wealth gap.

The Roadmap to Reparations shows two paths. The left illustrates Wells Fargo’s deceptive and dangerous practices—from profiting off of labor of enslaved people, to the abuses of the Jim Crow era, to its current practices of discriminatory mortgage lending, private prison investments, and more. Meanwhile, the right path traces the decades of work by communities and activists in the U.S. who are moving the reparations movement in the country forward.

Challenging corporate power is an essential part of the broader journey of justice, reparations, and equity for all. And your commitment to the journey of dismantling anti-Black racism will help build a just and liberatory world for all.