New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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Guest Essay: A call to support the New York State Community Commission on Reparations Remedies

JJ Briscoe is the Student Government Assembly’s director of diversity.
New York State Capitol building, as New York State Community Commission on Reparations Remedies is under consideration. (Image via Wikimedia Commons by Unknown Author)

Let’s talk about a bill — a bill that’s not just another piece of legislation but a potential game changer for our city and our conscience. Imagine a story that begins with acknowledging the deep scars of slavery etched into the very fabric of the city and state of New York. That’s where Senate Bill S1163A steps in, seeking to confront the fundamental injustice, cruelty and inhumanity that have lingered far too long.

This bill is a model for the nation, having navigated the twists and turns of the New York State Assembly and Senate. Now, it stands at the crossroads, waiting for the signature of Gov. Kathy Hochul before midnight on Dec. 31. Miss the deadline, and this bill fades away and is considered a pocket veto. If signed, the bill becomes the second in the nation of its kind to be passed.

NYU, we’re an institution that champions diversity, equity and inclusion. It’s in our DNA to stand up for what’s right, to show our leaders that we value those who confront our history and strive to repair the deep-seated harm of supremacy from its very foundation. Now is the moment to raise our voices, to leverage our collective power and advocate for the signing of S1163A — an essential step toward freedom and equality.

So, what can you do? With the help of the Student Government Assembly’s Diversity Committee, I wrote a letter of support for NYS Reparations Commission to declare our commitment to actionable decolonization. I urge you to sign the letter to show your support. You can also directly urge Gov. Hochul to establish a reparations committee through this petition link

The Student Government Assembly’s Diversity Committee is hosting a rally in support of the legislation this Friday, Dec. 1, at 3:30 p.m. in Washington Square Park. Picture this — a united NYU community, coming together to show unwavering support for a cause that transcends politics and touches the core of our humanity.

Gov. Hochul stands at the crossroads of history, with an opportunity to lead our community toward a path of repair. Let us be the student body and the university that moves New York state and New York City toward true freedom and liberation.

Here’s to turning the page, NYU.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact the opinion desk at [email protected].

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