Harvard University promises $100 million in an endowment fund for the role it played in American slavery.
In an effort to remove educational, economic and social racial gaps that stem from slavery and racism, Harvard University has created an endowment fund for slavery reparations, Reuters reports.
Harvard’s president Lawrence Bacow announced this in an email to faculty and students on Tuesday. In the email, Bacow included a 100-page report done by Harvard’s 14-member Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery. Tomiko Brown-Nagin, a legal historian and constitutional law expert, chairs the panel and is the acting dean of Harvard’s interdisciplinary Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
The study included details about how enslaved Black people were forced to work on the campus and how the school benefitted from the slave trade and other businesses that used enslaved Black people before and after slavery was made illegal in Massachusetts. The report showed the school was connected to the brutality of slavery 147 years after Harvard was founded. In addition, the report shows how Harvard excluded or rejected Black students.
“The nation’s oldest institution of higher education … helped to perpetuate the era’s racial oppression and exploitation,” the report read. The school enslaved more than 70 Black and Native American people from the school’s founding in 1963 to 1783, NBC Boston reports.
“Enslaved men and women served Harvard presidents and professors and fed and cared for Harvard students,” researchers found said in the report, NBC Boston reports. “Moreover, throughout this period and well into the 19th century, the University and its donors benefited from extensive financial ties to slavery.”