ACLU of Louisiana and F4GI Launch Guaranteed Monthly Income Program for Victims of Racist Policing

Affiliate: ACLU of Louisiana
December 4, 2023 8:00 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Louisiana
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NEW ORLEANS—The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana announced today the first payments of a Guaranteed Monthly Income (GMI) program that will provide financial support to individuals and families whose lives have been significantly impacted by racist policing, mass incarceration, and the criminalization of poverty. This initiative is the first-ever guaranteed income program to deliver recurring cash relief to families that have experienced police violence and harassment.

The program is the outcome of the ACLU of Louisiana’s Truth and Reconciliation Project, which creates a template for the redistribution of funds from the descendants of enslavers to those impacted by the oppressive vestiges of slavery. In the pilot GMI program, twelve individuals will receive cash transfers of $1,000 a month for one year. In addition to monthly income, recipients will have the option to participate in holistic programming that they co-designed, including free counseling, career services support, and financial literacy workshops.

“The excitement around the program’s launch is truly infectious,” said Melody Parker, Truth and Reconciliation project manager. “Witnessing the transformative power it holds and the resilience it ignites within participants to continue dreaming is not just inspiring, but a testament to the importance of initiatives like this one that address historical harm through the radical redistribution of resources.”

All participants in the GMI program have participated in the ACLU of Louisiana’s Justice Lab, which seeks justice for victims of racist policing through litigation and publishing community member narratives. Included are former clients and storytellers who have survived racist policing in Jefferson and Caddo Parishes (Paul, Davis).

The program is funded in part by a $1 million commitment from Deacon Leroy Close and Gracie Close, two siblings who descend from the Springs and White families in Fort Mill, SC and have chosen to participate in a reparative justice program that empowers them to transfer their wealth to Black people.

“Through this program of Minimum Guaranteed Income for some victims of racist policing, we hope to promote justice and to give others like us some ideas on how they might help as well,” said Deacon Leroy Close, Truth and Reconciliation Project funder.

The effort is supported via implementation partnership with the Fund for Guaranteed Income (F4GI), an organization dedicated to re-imagining the social safety net by expanding access to those left out of welfare and economic systems. F4GI has implemented several successful guaranteed income programs across the country, including the Compton Pledge, Long Beach City Pledge, and the Chicago Future Fund.

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