EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) -- Reparations activists from across the country are in Evanston for the 2nd Annual National Symposium for State and Local Reparations Leaders.
"We are delighted to see the momentum, the progress, the milestones," said First Repair founder and executive director, Robin Rue Simmons.
All eyes have been on Evanston since 2019 when the city council established the reparations committee and committed $10 million of funding to the program for eligible Black residents.
Earlier this year, Evanston announced the first group of recipients for its restorative housing reparations program.
Rue Simmons led the push for reparations in the city while serving on the city council.
"We are recognizing this as a first step, an important tangible first step," she said.
Institute of the Black World 21st Century president, Dr. Ron Daniels, has been fighting for reparations for Black Americans for decades.
"I am surprised, in the sense that I would not have believed I would have lived to see the day in which reparations is literally surging in the way it is surging. This is not a fringe issue anymore," he said.
Reparations are now being considered at different levels of government across the country, including San Francisco.
"The one thing we really got to focus on is the word around reparations, repair like what does it look like to repair the harm," San Francisco Human Rights Commission Executive Director Sheryl Evans Davis said.
There is not only a debate about how reparations should take shape, but also about who should be eligible.
"That can't be what stops us from getting reparations, the fact that we don't have 100% consensus because other reparations programs also didn't have 100% consensus and they still happened," Howard University Law Professor Justin Hansford said.
Making it happen is what the meeting of the minds at the symposium is all about.