Text of revised Resolution of Reconciliation

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 11, 2019

Editor’s note: The following is a new version of the Resolution of Reconciliation previously presented to the Salisbury City Council in August by Mayor Al Heggins. This version is a product of work by the group Actions in Faith & Justice. The group says it presented the resolution to the city for consideration on Dec. 27.

Whereas, the City of Salisbury, North Carolina, renounces

• the July 13, 1906, tragic and brutal murders of Isaac Lyerly, Augusta Barringer Lyerly, John H. Lyerly and Alice Lyerly in Rowan County; and

• the August 6, 1906 extrajudicial lynching and violent mutilation of Jack Dillingham, Nease Gillespie and John Gillespie perpetrated in Salisbury, North Carolina, by a lawless mob from which they were not duly protected; and

• all acts of violence and racial terrorism perpetrated against African-Americans, from which they were not rightfully protected during the Jim Crow era; and

• all present-day acts and systemic manifestations of injustice and wrongful disparity.

Whereas, the City of Salisbury, North Carolina, recognizes:

• the suppression of political power, educational and economic advancement, and social agency reflected in past events and present-day circumstances; and that

• these challenges and obstacles have accrued over time and are presently experienced in a compounded and ongoing manner; and that

• social, political, economic and cultural inequities continue to exist in specific, measurable occurrences within the City of Salisbury, as they do throughout the nation; and that

• the City of Salisbury’s elected officials and citizens have a vital role and responsibility in creating policies and enacting practices that support equity; and that

• it is the duty of Salisbury’s elected officials and citizens to identify, acknowledge and eliminate policies and practices that create or uphold racial disparity.

Whereas, the City of Salisbury, North Carolina, thus resolves:

• to establish an Equity Commission, charged with the task of identifying, researching, and reporting policies and practices that obstruct equity or evidence disparity; and

• to oversee processes and procedures that eliminate identified inequities and disparities, within the boundaries of local, state and federal laws; and

• to create policies and practices that mitigate the effects of past and present-day inequity and disparity; and

• to recognize henceforth the date of August 6, for the purpose of reaffirming the City of Salisbury’s commitment to eliminating wrongful disparities and inequities, and to celebrating its achievements in doing so.

Now therefore be it resolved, we, the City Council of Salisbury, North Carolina, do hereby initiate the process of reconciliation of racial injustice and commit to identifying and eliminating all manner of inequities and disparities. Thus, we do hereby:

• renounce atrocities of the past, as well as present-day policies and practices that result in or support inequitable circumstances affecting African-Americans; and

• recognize the challenges and obstacles faced by all those who are economically, politically and/or culturally marginalized, resulting from present-day injustices as well as those of the past; and

• commit to enacting and monitoring policies and practices, so as to guarantee equity and justice in all arenas of civic life, as is the legal right of all citizens of Salisbury, North Carolina, regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or economic status; and

• affirm that the legacy of August 6, 1906, leading to the unlawful deaths of Jack Dillingham, Nease Gillespie and John Gillespie due to socially sanctioned racial terrorism, is hereby intended to become a catalyst for justice, and for our ongoing responsibility for enacting equitable policies; and

• declare that this pledge is in service to the citizens of Salisbury being defined by our newly established and ongoing actions, rather than solely by our past, and

• commit to publicly reporting and acknowledging the City of Salisbury’s efforts to eliminate inequity and wrongful disparity, annually, on or about August 6, going forward from this day.