Descendants of Georgetown University’s slaves are not satisfied with the Catholic school’s vague plan to give them admissions preference and an apology.
The Washington Post reports that they’re calling on Georgetown and Maryland Jesuits to create a $1 billion charitable foundation with seed money that they’ve raised.
Georgetown’s president, John J. DeGioia, recently announced that the university would compensate the descendants of its former slaves–including those descended from the 272 slaves it sold to prevent financial ruin: an apology, naming two buildings and a memorial in their honor, as well as offering slave descendants the same admissions preference that the children and grandchildren of alumni receive, though the school would offer no scholarships to them.
This compensation was based in part on the recommendations of a university committee, which the nearly 600 descendants underscored that they were not invited to participate.
The children of the catholic university’s former slaves said they raised $115,000—the current equivalent of the infamous slave sale price—to start the foundation. The Post said Sandra Green Thomas, one of the slave descendants, commented in a statement on the committee’s offer:
“We appreciate the gestures of a proposed memorial to our enslaved ancestors on Georgetown’s campus and President John DeGioia’s visits with some descendants, but recommendations developed without the meaningful participation of descendants can only be seen as preliminary.”
Joseph Stewart, an organizer for the families, told The Post that the group would like Georgetown to become a national leader in truth and reconciliation.
“The foundation is our vision of an opportunity for us to have a partnership with Georgetown University that can take the history that we all now know about and turn it into a greater common good for Georgetown, the Jesuits, the Catholic Church, and humans overall,” Stewart stated.
Stewart added that reparations is not the goal. The descendants say the idea for a foundation is not about them but achieving a broader common good.
SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter