Georgetown University contributed $1 million in funding to a Catholic order that pledged to raise money for racial reparations.
On Tuesday, The New York Times announced that a Catholic order pledged to raise $100 million for the descendants of slaves once owned by Georgetown University via a new foundation. In an email obtained by The Daily Wire, Georgetown’s president announced that the school contributed $1 million to “support the planning and assistance necessary to create the framework and structure for the Foundation.”
The school said it is looking “forward to supporting and partnering with the Foundation moving forward.”
The Daily Wire’s Tim Pearce reported:
The Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order commonly known as the Jesuits, in partnership with the GU272 Descendants Association, has launched the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation to raise money in part for reparations for the descendants of slaves of the order once bought and sold.
The GU272 Descendants Association is a non-profit that supports the “goals, objectives, and aspirations” of the 272 enslaved people who were owned and sold to keep Georgetown College — now Georgetown University — open in 1838.
In an email to students, university president John J. DeGioia said that the million-dollar donation was just the beginning of the school’s work to atone for its role in the slave trade.
“We now have the conditions in place for us to accelerate Georgetown’s work on a related effort which will further our community’s engagement with Descendants,” DeGioia said.
In October 2019, Georgetown’s student body passed a referendum committing the school to contribute $400,000 a year to support “community-based projects” that benefit the “Descendant community.” According to Georgetown’s student newspaper, students voted overwhelmingly to pass a semesterly fee of $27.20 per student that goes directly to GU272.
Georgetown is the first university in the nation to establish a collegiate reconciliation fund.
The university has undergone changes to scrub the school of its slave-owning past. In 2015, the school decided to rename buildings that bore the names of two men that played significant roles in the school’s slave trade. A hall named after Thomas Mulledy was renamed “Freedom Hall” and a hall named after William McSherry was renamed “Remembrance Hall.”
In 2017, two other buildings were rededicated. One to “Isaac,” the first enslaved person listed in the school’s 1838 sale document, and another to Anne Marie Becraft, a black woman who established a school in Georgetown for black girls.
Student organizations at Georgetown have taken it upon themselves to rectify the school’s past injustices as well. Following the death of George Floyd and the subsequent Black Lives Matter movement resurgence, Georgetown University’s campus speaker fund announced that 50 percent of its annual budget would go exclusively to “amplify Black voices.”
The university’s Lecture Fund, a student group that allocates money to host guest speakers for students, announced that it will give a “meager” $42,500 of its $85,000 budget to help rid Georgetown’s campus of white supremacy.
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