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Friday, September 2, 2016

Georgetown University Sold 272 Slaves In 1838

In a shocking move, Georgetown University recently announced that the school will begin to offer priority admission to applicants who are descendants of the 272 slaves Georgetown sold in 1838 to pay off the school's debts. Like many Ivy League schools at the times, slaves were purchased for labor at Georgetown which benefitted the university. However, none of them, including Brown and Harvard, have offered preferential admission as a way to atone their past.

Although the gesture may seem out of left field, Georgetown University formed the Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation -- whose purpose was to collect feedback and subsequently construct plans to acknowledge Georgetown's participation in the slave trade. The purpose of the group was also to engage with descendants and "move forward toward truth and justice," according to a statement issued by the school.

University president John DeGioia also said, "The most appropriate ways for us to redress the participation of our predecessors in the institution of slavery is to address the manifestations of the legacy of slavery in our time." Georgetown University is also working to issue an official apology for their participation in the slave trade, along with creating memorials for those who were sold by the school.

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