Harvard University wants to compensate its role in slavery with 100 million dollars
The American university recognizes in The report that he profited from slavery and faced racial discrimination in the past.
This happened in the 17th and 18th centuries, before slavery was outlawed in Massachusetts in 1783. Harvard was founded in 1636 in Cambridge, not far from Boston.
At least 79 slaves
At the time, Harvard profited from the slave trade in many ways. But even after that, the university still received donations from (deceased) slave traders.
The exact number of slaves owned by university staff is unknown, but the number of 79 reported in the report is much higher than previously believed. Four former presidents of the educational institution also enslaved people.
Current Harvard President Lawrence Bacow said people reading the report would likely find it “disturbing and even shocking.”
“This university not only profited from slavery, but kind of perpetuated it,” he says. He points out that this is “deeply immoral” and believes that the university “now bears the moral responsibility” to deal with the consequences of this.
However, Bacow does not apologize in response to the report. According to The Washington Post also refused to apologize to the university.
From money to social disadvantage
The educational institution is announcing the recovery fund, with money that will be used to “help address educational and social disadvantage caused by the legacy of the slave trade and racism”.
Other American Universities
Harvard is not the only American educational institution in the United States taking steps to right historical injustices. For example, Georgetown University in Washington also created a $100 million relief fund.
Partly after consulting with Georgetown students, it was decided that the money should benefit the descendants of slaves sold by the elite university in the 19th century.
Growing attention for the history of Dutch slavery
Also in the Netherlands, more attention has been paid in recent years to the role of companies and institutions in the slavery past.
Earlier this month, ABN Amro apologized for the slavery past of the bank’s predecessors. A financial compensation was not grantedbut the bank wants to do more to fight against social inequalities.
Amsterdam donated last year as the first Dutch city Apologies for the role of the municipality in the slavery past.
A report published in 2020 showed that Rotterdam’was ear to ear in slavery† He said “his legacies are between those same ears, now is the time to start listening to himself with those ears”.
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