Georgetown Works with Slave Descendants Group Amid Demands for Cash Reparations

Ben Decatur, The College Fix, February 15, 2018

Georgetown University leaders have done much in recent times to make amends for the institution’s involvement in slavery, but after a cadre of slave descendants recently said those efforts are not enough — they still want cash — campus leaders have pledged to continue to work “toward reconciliation.”

“Following many conversations and dialogue with members of the Descendant community, the University and the Jesuits earlier this month reached out to members of the Descendant community to propose a framework for long-term dialogue, partnership and collaboration,” a campus representative told The College Fix in an email.

“Georgetown and the Jesuits are committed to working with Descendants in a process that recognizes the terrible legacy of slavery and promotes racial justice,” the statement added. “Georgetown has been working to address its historical relationship to slavery and will continue to do so.”

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The “Descendant community” consists of families of more than 200 slaves whose sale nearly two centuries ago benefited Georgetown University.

So far in response to the group’s complaints, campus leaders have renamed two buildings, created a policy providing preferential admissions treatment to descendant applicants, and drawn up plans to establish an institute for the study of slavery, The Hoya reported.

But last month, members of the GU272 Isaac Hawkins Legacy group demanded that the school confront its “epic atrocity,” rebuking the university’s “symbolic gestures.” Its members called the university’s efforts thus far “insufficient.”

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According to The Hoya, an associate professor of public policy at the University of Connecticut helped the group calculate the amount of requested restitution by using “the impact that unpaid and forced labor would have had on the descendants’ ancestors ability to work and their subsequent incomes, as well as the inheritance that descendants could have received.”

Nearly two years ago, the overall Descendant community had also demanded a $1 billion scholarship fund from the university.

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