A week after Georgetown President John DeGioia announced that descendants of the 272 slaves sold by the school back in 1838 would get an admissions boost to the university, a group of said descendants is now seeking “to establish a $1 billion foundation […] to fund scholarships” for ancestors related to the 272.
Over 350 descendants of the 272 have signed a declaration in favor of the foundation, which was presented to the university on Thursday, The Hoya reports.
Lead organizer for the pro-foundation group “GU272” Karran Harper Royal said that, although disappointed in the lack of involvement descendants played in Georgetown’s 100-plus page report “Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation,” her group “do[es] recognize that this was a first step and we appreciate this first step.”
[Harper Royal] stressed that the foundation sees offering scholarships as a necessary expansion of the university’s plan to offer legacy status to descendants.
“There’s value in that but still schooling has to be paid for,” Harper Royal said. “And we really want to through the foundation provide for the educational aspirations of descendants, regardless of whether they choose Georgetown or any other institution that might better fit their needs.” …
The descendants have so far raised $115,000 – equal to Georgetown’s asking price for the 272 slaves – in seed-funding for the foundation. The foundation expects to work with the university and the Maryland Jesuits to find philanthropic donors for the rest of the fund. …
The exact structure of foundation has not yet been decided.
“I think we want to talk with Georgetown and work together to really think about how the foundation’s going to form, but I think because of the way Georgetown submitted and released the working group report, we have to sort of use those recommendations and try thinking about they fit within a framework that we as descendants would like to move forward with and try to put that in the context of the foundation,” Melissa Kemp, a descendant of one of the slaves, said.
President DeGioia told The Hoya “This is the phase now where we ask people to engage with the findings and recommendations of the Working Group as we work together to develop a long-term framework for memory and reconciliation.”