Georgetown Students Vote To Approve First Ever Slavery Reparations Fund, Could Pay Back To Descendants Of The Slaves

Georgetown Students Vote To Approve First Ever Slavery Reparations Fund, Could Pay Back To Descendants Of The Slaves

They estimate the fund would generate more than $400,000 a year and would "be allocated for charitable purposes directly benefiting the descendants GU272".

There was a time in 1838, when Georgetown University had to sell slaves in order to sustain it financially. 272 slaves were sold by Maryland Society of Jesuits -- who oversaw the school --  making revenue amounting about $500,000 today. According to CNN, the university was Jesuits' of the most ambitious projects. 

CBS News reports that now Georgetown University is voting for a proposed fee that would fund the reparations for the descendants of those 272 slaves there were sold. The overwhelming approving vote, seen on Thursday, would lead to the making of the first ever reparations policy by a major institution ever in America.



 

A group known as the GU272 Advocacy Team has pushed through student government a bill that would create a new $27.20 fee every semester for all Georgetown undergraduates. The fee would go toward a reconciliation fund, which would be overseen by a board of students and descendants of the 272 slaves sold in 1838. 



 

 

Georgetown University could become the first college in the nation to mandate a fee to benefit descendants of slaves sold by the university nearly 200 years ago -- a debate that takes place against the backdrop of a broader political conversation unfolding on the 2020 presidential campaign trail about reparations.

They estimate the fund would generate more than $400,000 a year and would "be allocated for charitable purposes directly benefiting the descendants of the GU272 and other persons once enslaved by the Maryland Jesuits," according to the bill. 



 

Students voted on the bill in a referendum Thursday night. In a nearly 2-to-1 margin, students approved the measure. But it still needs to go before the board of trustees because it involves proposed changes to tuition. 

Students for GU272, a student group supporting the vote, calls it "an unprecedented opportunity for us to come together and take action and responsibility as a Georgetown community." Other elite universities — including Harvard and Yale — have confronted their historic ties to slavery, but never before has there been a student-led fund for reparations. The vote was online and ended at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday.



 

"The university values the engagement of our students and appreciates that they are making their voices heard and contributing to an important national conversation," Georgetown spokesman Matt Hill told CBS News. "The university will carefully review the results of the referendum, and regardless of the outcome, will remain committed to engaging with students, Descendants, and the broader Georgetown community and addressing its historical relationship to slavery." 



 

Todd Olson, vice president for student affairs at Georgetown, said in a statement that the school has been working to address its historical relationship to slavery since 2015. 

CNN also reports that the GU272 Advocacy Team says the board of students and descendants would make this determination in the same way that the Georgetown University Admissions Office does, or the various descendant associations do. In addition, the Georgetown Memory Project, which has done extensive genealogy research, would assist any applicant wishing to prove descendant status. 

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