Is Georgetown’s $400,000-a-Year Plan to Aid Slave Descendants Enough?

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tags: slavery, Georgetown, reparations

Joining a wave of American institutions moving to offer a measure of restitution for their ties to slavery, Georgetown University announced on Tuesday that it would raise about $400,000 a year to benefit the descendants of the 272 enslaved people who were sold to help keep the college afloat nearly two centuries ago, officials said.

The university plans to use the money to support community projects such as health clinics and schools. The announcement came six months after Georgetown students voted in a nonbinding referendum to impose student fees that would have raised about $400,000 a year to support the descendants.

Georgetown officials said students would play “a substantial role” in the new initiative but would not be required to pay additional fees. The university plans to seek voluntary contributions from alumni, faculty, students and philanthropists.

“We embrace the spirit of this student proposal,” wrote John J. DeGioia, Georgetown’s president, in a letter to the university community, adding that officials would “ensure that the initiative has resources commensurate with, or exceeding the amount that would have been raised annually through the student fee.”

Georgetown officials described the decision as one step in a dialogue with the descendants, who are seeking $1 billion for a foundation that would finance educational, health, housing and other needs. Dr. DeGioia said the university would continue to participate in those talks along with the Jesuits, who established and ran Georgetown and organized a slave sale in 1838 to help save the college from foundering.

Read entire article at NY Times

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