The Ivy Coach Daily

April 26, 2022

Harvard Redresses Ties to Slavery

Harvard University has made a historic announcement (photo credit: Chensiyuan).

Taking a page from Georgetown University’s playbook, Harvard University announced this week that the school would commit $100 million to create a fund aimed to research and redress the school’s historical ties to the slave trade. The announcement of the $100 million fund comes on the heels of the release of a report commissioned by the university entitled “Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery,” which is a refreshingly honest, thoroughly researched account of the university’s historic ties to slavery.

As the report so eloquently begins, “Harvard’s motto, Veritas, inscribed on gates, doorways, and sculptures all over campus, demands of us truth.⁠ This report, prepared by the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery, advances our quest for truth through scholarship about the University’s historic ties to slavery—direct, financial, and intellectual.”

Much as we did back in 2016 when Georgetown administrators shined a spotlight on the Jesuit institution’s historic ties to the slave trade, we commend Harvard’s administrators for reckoning with the university’s unflattering past and for making a commitment to redress its complicity. As Ray Sanchez reports for CNN in a piece entitled “Harvard commits $100M to redress its complicity with slavery,” “The fund is intended to support the implementation of the report’s recommendations, including the expansion of educational opportunities for the descendants of enslaved people in the Southern US and the Caribbean, establishing partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), and identifying and building relationships with the direct descendants of enslaved people who labored at Harvard.” Hear, hear!

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