An anonymous person made a six-figure donation as reparations payment to a Black-led nonprofit organization in Louisville after learning their great-grandfather was a slave owner.
According to the Louisville Courier Journal, the recipients of the check, Change Today, Change Tomorrow, disclosed the donation during a press conference on Monday. “It is a blessing for us but also definitely owed,” founder of the nonprofit, Taylor Ryan, told the press.
The deputy director of the nonprofit, Nannie Grace Croney, also said she and her team initially thought they were being “scammed” when they were contacted about the donation. That, however, changed when it dawned on them the donation was actually real.
“So the initial emotion was like, ‘Oh this isn’t real,’ but once it was real, we knew that we had to act on it. We knew that as disruptors and changemakers, we have to challenge other corporations, foundations and individuals to really pay reparations back,” Croney said, adding: “To really redirect those dollars and redistribute wealth to begin to fix the inequalities in this country and right here in our own backyard in Louisville.”
In a news release, the organization disclosed that though the donor opted to remain anonymous, the donor issued the check after coming “into a lot of wealth on their 25th birthday.”
“Being aware of how hoarding wealth is a huge contributing factor of inequality in this country they decided that they should give most of it away,” the nonprofit added. “Curious to find out where this wealth came from, they investigated their family history…” And during that investigation the donor got to know their great-grandfather was the owner of six enslaved people in Kentucky.
The donor also decided to make the donation to the nonprofit because of their inability to locate the descendants of the people their great-grandfather had enslaved as he did not keep records of their identities.
The donor, in the release, also said their great-grandfather “inflicted the trauma and violence of slavery on six people for his own monetary gain and did not even bother to record their names,” the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
Touching on how the donated funds are going to be spent, Ryan disclosed 40% will be used to assist employees of Change Today, Change Tomorrow, and another 40% will be invested in their community outreach endeavors. Ryan added the remaining 20% will go to the organization’s reserve.