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Georgetown University and the Jesuits have made a $27 million pledge to the descendants of enslaved people sold to fund the school.

By Iman Milner, Black Enterprise —

Georgetown University and the Jesuits have pledged $27 million in money and land donations to the descendants of 19th-century enslaved people who were sold to fund the highly prestigious institution.

According to CNN, the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation confirmed the gifts of $10 million from Georgetown and an additional $17 million from the Jesuits in the form of financial retribution and plantation land.

“These contributions from Georgetown University and the Jesuits are a clear indication of the role Jesuits and other institutions of higher education can play in supporting our mission to heal the wounds of racism in the United States, as well as a call to action for all of the Catholic Church to take meaningful steps to address the harm done through centuries of slaveholding,” Monique Trusclair Maddox, CEO of the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation and chair of its board of directors, said.

The donations hope to be a crucial step in rectifying the injustice enacted upon 272 enslaved men, women, and children sold from Jesuit plantations to settle Georgetown’s debts in 1838.

The long-term plan of Georgetown is to pledge over $1 billion through the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation. According to CNN, the Jesuits made a $100 million commitment to the efforts in 2021. The foundation will use the funds to invest in the lifelong education of descendants, endow programs invested in anti-racism advocacy, and provide support to elderly descendants throughout their lives.

“It is an honor for our University to have the opportunity to contribute to their efforts. The difficult truths of our past guide us in the urgent work of seeking and supporting reconciliation in our present and future,” Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said.

In recent years, the university and the Jesuits have issued public apologies for the atrocities enacted upon the enslaved by the institution’s founding body.

Source: Black Enterprise

Featured image: Tanzania, Zanzibar Archipelago, Unguja island (Zanzibar), town of Zanzibar, Stone Town district, unesco world heritage, old slaves market (Getty Images)


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