Building on a recent call for white churches to support reparations, Rev. Kevin Peterson Wednesday called for Boston area white church leaders to form an informal advocacy coalition and draft an atonement statement that collectively acknowledges and apologizes for the churches’ roles in propagating the institution of slavery.

The suggestion came as part of a meeting of about three dozen, mostly white clergy and nonprofit leaders at Old South Church.

“Part of my vision has been about a statement of atonement from this part of our community and this part of our city’s culture,” said Peterson, founder of the New Democracy Coalition and organizer of the Boston People’s Reparation Commission.

Peterson said he would also like to publicly release how white churches are funding reparative work.

“We believe that that amount is up to $50 million,” he said in an interview, pointing to preliminary discussions with church leaders. “We want to articulate to the public what those churches are up to.”

Peterson said the connection between white churches and reparations is logical given the institutions’ historic nature and likely ties to the transatlantic slave trade.

The meeting comes as the city of Boston explores the issue through its Reparations Task Force, established last February. Peterson's work is separate from that of the city's official task force.

Several Boston churches have made public efforts to acknowledge their role in helping to preserve, or outright engage in the bondage and selling of Black people.

Peterson and his Black-led reparations advocacy group, the Boston People’s Reparation Commission, recently called on white churches to publicly advocate and provide financial support for reparations for Black Bostonians.

Peterson told GBH News that call led to a flood of angry emails from reparations opponents. The New Democracy Coalition website, Peterson said, was also hacked along with his email and that of a close colleague.

The Boston People’s Reparations Commission has demanded the City of Boston pay $15 billion in reparations to Black people. The group is scheduled to hold a public meeting at the Bruce C. Bolling Building in Roxbury on Saturday, May 18.