Hearings Planned for Wilmington

Organization founder Margaret Collins and her team at LastStoptoFreedom.org are hoping to make Delaware the site of Truth and Reconciliation hearings on the “injustices that people of color, especially Black Americans and Indigenous populations, have faced.”

“Delaware is freedom’s first state. Wilmington is freedom’s first city,” said Collins, a former consultant to the City of Wilmington and the Riverfront Development Corporation. “Delaware has a special obligation, a special role to play as a voice for humanity.”

Via its website LastStoptoFreedom.org, Collins’ team is collecting stories from people who have experienced or witnessed racism. The “unscripted, unedited testimony from people of different races and generations throughout Delaware” will be collected through July 4, 2021. On Aug. 29, 2021, live hearings and a “funeral service to bury racism” will take place in Wilmington at a location to be announced.

Before that, however, an introductory event is set for this Aug. 29 in Wilmington. The public can tune in to a livestream of the proceedings at 10 a.m. For details, visit LastStoptoFreedom.org for details.

Collins says the efforts of her organization are being done in collaboration with the Delaware Juneteenth Association and the August Quarterly Festival. August Quarterly is the oldest African-American religious celebration in the nation (207 years old).

“Dismantling white supremacy, that’s the goal,” said Collins. “But that goal must be accomplished through education.

“Right now, people are wondering where we go from here, so it’s important to increase public awareness of what the next step should be. That step should be Truth and Reconciliation hearings. Make racism—experienced or witnessed—part of the public record.”

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