Georgetown University Tries to Make Amends for its Role in Slavery

In 1838, the prestigious university benefited from the sale of 272 slaves.


Georgetown University, which in 1838 profited from the sale of 272 slaves, will begin to award the descendants of those slaves admission advantages typically reserved for families of the Catholic school’s alumni, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

University president John DeGioia announced the school will also build a public memorial honoring those slaves on its Washington, DC, campus and issue a formal apology for its ties to slavery. In a statement, he said the prestigious Jesuit school intended to work directly with the descendants both on campus and in the communities they are from.

“The most appropriate ways for us to redress the participation of our predecessors in the institution of slavery is to address the manifestations of the legacy of slavery in our time,” DeGioia said in the statement.

The unprecedented efforts follow a report conducted by a committee composed of Georgetown staff and alumni, who were tasked to make recommendations on how the school could best amend for its direct role in slavery. Last year, students organized campus-wide protests demanding the school confront its history. MIT Professor Craig Wilder told the Times that the plan “goes farther than just about any institution” to reconcile past ties to slavery.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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