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Tipsheet

Harvard Releases Report Detailing Its Ties to Slavery and Plans to Issue Reparations

AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Ivy league school Harvard University released a report this week detailing its ties to slavey and its role in racial discrimination in the United States. In addition, the school pledged $100 million to create a “Legacy of Slavery Fund” to redress this history.

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“Over nearly 150 years, from the University’s founding in 1636 until the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found slavery unlawful, Harvard presidents and other leaders, as well as its faculty and staff, enslaved more than 70 individuals, some of whom labored on campus. Enslaved men and women served Harvard presidents and professors and fed and cared for Harvard students,” the report said. It listed the names of slaves at the school and listed which ministers, presidents, and donors owned slaves.

Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow said that many of those who read the report will find it “disturbing and even shocking.”

“Harvard benefited from and in some ways perpetuated practices that were profoundly immoral. Consequently, I believe we bear a moral responsibility to do what we can to address the persistent corrosive effects of those historical practices on individuals, on Harvard, and on our society,” the president said in a published statement.

Reuters noted that the $100 million endowment fund will “close the educational, social and economic gaps that are legacies of slavery and racism.”

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"The report's authors recommended offering descendants of people enslaved at Harvard educational and other support so they 'can recover their histories, tell their stories, and pursue empowering knowledge,'" the report added.

Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee of California wrote on Twitter that she supports Harvard’s decision to redress their ties to slavery and said other schools should do the same.

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