After Slave Revelations, She Has a New Mission

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tags: slavery, Georgetown University



Every other Tuesday, Onita Estes-Hicks, 80, spends three hours in a New York City seminary contemplating her past and, just as important, her future.

It’s not silent contemplation, but time engaged with 15 fellow travelers who are part of the Encore Transition Program, a semester-long curriculum at the Union Theological Seminary in Morningside Heights, right in Dr. Estes-Hicks’s neighborhood. Encore began last year to help retired and older adults make a change for the better, in their lives and in the world around them.

For Dr. Estes-Hicks, a former professor and chairwoman of the English department at the State University of New York at Old Westbury, that change has been a long time coming. In 2004, just after retiring, she found out she was the descendant of 13 of 272 slaves sold by Jesuits who once ran Georgetown. Now Encore is helping her make sense of it all.




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