Two years ago, Albany resident Maya LaForte wanted to attend beauty school and start a career, however, she needed money to make that happen. So LaForte reached out to Voix Noire.
"That's when I told them I [wanted to attend] make-up school and get certified so I can work wherever wanted to," LaForte said.
She received $2,500. LaForte got accepted and completed the program in eight months and now owns her own business — a traveling beauty service.
"I provide makeup applications for weddings, parties, bridal showers," LaForte said.
She says that was all possible thanks to Voix Noire. The group organizes money through reparation to help people get back on their feet.
"Black marginalized genders have been harmed the most by child slavery and Jim Crow," said Amy Jones, the local organizer of Voix Noire.
It was founded by Creighton Leigh to help people in Flint, Michigan. Over the years, more than $150,000 have been raised and donated.
"So we set up PayPal pools, GoFundMes, and things of that nature to assist people in things they need for their daily life in an emergency fashion," Jones said.
"Unfortunately our systems have evolved to such where there is racism in every segment of our society," said Jessica Wilcox, a local donor supporting the effort.
Earlier this year, a bill was introduced in Congress to create a commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans. Jones believes that is something groups like Voix Noire are already doing.
"What we're hoping is what we're doing catches fire," Jones said.