Black-owned nonprofit, Change Today, Change Tomorrow, a group that helps Black and marginalized communities in Kentucky, received a six-figure donation from a white donor whose great-grandfather reportedly owned enslaved people.
According to NPR, the donation is a reparations payment, said the donor, who has chosen to remain anonymous.
“The donor had come into a lot of wealth on their 25th birthday,” said Nannie Grace Croney, deputy director of Change Today, Change Tomorrow.
After having received the money, the inheritor was curious about the origins of the family’s money.
“They investigated their family history to find out their great-grandfather had enslaved six individuals in Bourbon [County], Kentucky,” she continued as the nonprofit announced the donation this week.
Although the donor’s identity was unknown, the organization stated that the donor did explain why the donation was important.
“He inflicted the trauma and violence of slavery on six people for his own monetary gain and did not even bother to record their names. Although no amount of money could ever right that wrong, their descendants deserve repayment for what was taken.”
Taylor Ryan, the founder and executive director of Change Today, Change Tomorrow, said, “It is a blessing for us but also definitely owed.”
The money is substantial for Change Today, Change Tomorrow, which has grown remarkably since Ryan first started the organization to secure school supplies for teachers.
Its programs range from providing hot meals and snacks for students to public health outreach for new parents and menstruation products for those who need them and making food deliveries that they provide from a Black-owned farm.
“We predominantly serve the west end of Louisville, which is a predominantly Black, low-income area,” Andreana Bridges, an administrative associate at the nonprofit, told the publication.
The donor hopes to inspire other white folks who have the opportunity to donate their reparations money to do the same.
“As white people, we all unfairly benefit from racism,” the donor expressed.
“We have to be willing to part with what was stolen and do so without expectations of praise or control over how the money will be spent.”
The leaders of Change Today, Change Tomorrow said, “We are very grateful on one hand.”
“But on the other hand, we understand that the work that we do requires this type of investment in order to be sustainable.”
In regards to the reparations payment, she added, “We don’t have the luxury to kind of just sit on it, so it’s literally money that’s going to go right back into the community.”