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Community Advocacy Organization

Apology for sin of slavery, its aftermath set for June 19

Organized by Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan with support of faith groups

Courtesy of Jan Jenkins

White congregants of Greater Lansing faith communities and other White allies will provide a public apology to descendants of enslaved African Americans. The apology is for the sin of slavery and its aftermath as well as the complicity in the belief of White supremacy that have led to today’s racism and great wealth divide. The public is encouraged to attend and join in the apology or receive the apology.

Noon-1 p.m., Juneteenth, Monday, June 19, 2023. Steps of the Michigan State Capitol, 100 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI 48933. Willye Bryan – Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan Founder. Prince Solice – Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan President. Representatives of sponsoring churches, which have predominately White congregations (organizations listed below advisory)

· State Sen. Sarah Anthony. · Rev. Stanley Jenkins – Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Lansing · Queen Darlene Rhodes – Writer, Poet and Activist. · Kelli Wilson – Vocalist. · Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan Advisory Council (listing below advisory). Willye Bryan, Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan founder: “Recognizing and apologizing for harm done by one’s forefathers and the collective complicity of White supremacy is integral in achieving reparations.

“An apology frees and liberates both groups. It frees White people from guilt. When you get rid of guilt, then you're ready to work to improve society. For African Americans, it's the acknowledgement that the wrong that was done was real, and now we can all benefit from moving ahead.”

White members of the Greater Lansing faith community will be led in the apology by Rev. Stanley Jenkins. The text of the apology was approved and issued by Presbyterian Church USA at its national General Assembly June 2022. It is titled “An Apology to African Americans for the Sin of Slavery and Its Aftermath, A Litany of Repentance.” Example of verbiage is: “We have walked away pretending not to see, yet we saw; pretending not to know, yet we knew.”

This Juneteenth public apology follows an apology by congregants of 15 predominantly White churches in Lansing January 2023. A video is here: The response was so remarkable, that Bryan wanted to make the experience available to a wider population within Greater Lansing. The perfect day would be Juneteenth, the U.S. federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Its name is derived by combining June and nineteenth. It was on June 19, 1865, nearly two years after Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, when the country’s last enslaved persons — located in Texas — were proclaimed free.

Rev. Stanley Jenkins, First Presbyterian Church of Lansing: “I was struck by the responses from my colleagues in the audience, especially among the Black members, how moving it was. To realize my Black brothers and sisters and fellow clergy people have been waiting to hear this, brings it home in a different way. It’s a liberating thing to name the demon.” Prince Solice, Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan president: “It was powerful that many predominantly White Lansing-area churches reached the consensus that a public apology was appropriate, necessary and overdue.”

ABOUT JUSTICE LEAGUE OF GREATER LANSING MICHIGAN This 501(c)(3) organization was founded May 2021 to repair the breach caused by the historical damage of slavery and its aftermath. Its solution is a faith-based model of reparations.

In the spirit of repentance for the sin of racism, the Justice League seeks to build relationships and facilitate reparations between houses of worship and collaborative partners to increase wealth equity for the descendants of enslaved African Americans living in Greater Lansing.

Its financial reparations plan begins with the goal of raising $1M in 2023 to support home ownership, education and entrepreneurship.

More information is at

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