Georgetown Makes Students Do Walk Of Shame To Atone For Slavery

Amber Randall | Civil Rights Reporter

Georgetown University is set to create a new program that would force new students to visit sites around campus that were affiliated with slavery, in an effort to atone for slaves sold by the school 178 years ago.

The “Historical Walking Tour of Black Georgetown” will have new students walk through the campus and the neighboring area to see sites that had to do with the “institution of slavery,” according to a list of recommendations released Thursday.

The college also plans to enact more measures aimed at apologizing for their past involvement with slavery.

The college wants local public schools to collaborate with Georgetown University to teach students about the university’s involvement with slavery; this would include an updated lesson plan with a focus on slavery in the local area, along with the university’s slave-holding ties, the recommendations report reveals.

Georgetown also plans to “invest” in diversity, paying special attention to improving the “racial climate” on the campus through “racial and ethnic climate” surveys and sensitivity training.

The report recommends that the college also study the school’s dependency on slave labor almost 200 years ago.

Georgetown announced Thursday that it would begin making reparations for ties to slavery before releasing a 104-page report with recommendations on how to do so. (RELATED: Georgetown To Atone For Slavery Via Affirmative Action)

A major recommendation of the report involves giving affirmative action to the descendants of slaves who had been sold by the university in 1838 to pay for some of the college’s debts. The report also recommended that the university examine how to become more affordable for those in need, especially for those descended from the Maryland Jesuit slaves.

“I believe 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 President John J. DeGioia said in an email.

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