Hayward initiates the Town of Russell Restorative Justice Project and seeks former residents and descendants.


The Town of Hayward is launching the Town of Russell Restorative Justice Project, an initiative to address the adverse effects of the redevelopment and incorporation of the Town of Russell into Hayward, town officials announced Wednesday.

Hayward is looking for contact information for people who were negatively affected by the forced relocation of residents in the early 1960s, when the area was annexed and redeveloped to build an industrial park.

Russell City, located 10 miles south of Oakland and present-day Hayward, existed from 1853 to 1964 as an unincorporated area of ​​Alameda County. The city was an entry point for immigrants to the Bay Area and included large African American, Mexican, and Puerto Rican populations. During the 1960s, when Russell City was annexed by Hayward, many buildings were destroyed by arson.

The Russell City Restorative Justice Project will contact residents and their descendants to invite them to participate in the project, which will explore and identify ways to repair the historic harm inflicted on residents of Russell City during the area’s incorporation into Hayward.

Last year, Hayward City Council voted unanimously to issue a formal apology for Hayward’s historic role in perpetuating racial discrimination.

The project is being undertaken at the request of the City’s Community Services Commission and under the direction of Hayward City Council. It will be carried out in phases, including the first phase of contacting former residents and descendants, conducting factual and academic research, and forming a governance structure for the project team and participants.

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