Georgetown University launches $400,000 annual fund for projects supporting Descendants of the enslaved

The Reconciliation Fund, inspired by a 2019 undergraduate student referendum, has begun accepting applications for community-based projects that aim to benefit the Descendants of the men, women, and children enslaved on Jesuit plantations in Maryland. Many of the Descendants live in and around Maringouin, Louisiana, where their ancestors were sold and forcibly moved to in 1838. The projects could include health and legal clinics, environmental justice projects, after-school and pre-college programs, and local history and memorialization projects.

Related: Georgetown continues support as Jesuits, descendants of enslaved form foundation >

In partnership with the university, a student committee and an advisory committee of Descendants have developed the application process for the Reconciliation Fund. Both groups will also review grant proposals for community-based projects and make recommendations to university leaders, who will select the final projects. To date, more than 500 alumni have provided financial support for the $400,000 annual fund.

“The Reconciliation Fund is a collective effort—an example of our community’s deep commitment to the possibilities that can emerge when we work in partnership to advance reconciliation,” said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. “This project is one way the university is reckoning with the legacies of slavery that have shaped our past and to respond by advancing justice and equity in our present.”

Read more about the Reconciliation Fund in this Georgetown News story.

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