Georgetown University has begun a sustained and long-term process to engage the historical role of our University in the institution of slavery and its legacies in our nation.
Through new research, digital archives, events and dialogues, and outreach, the University is bringing the research about this history to life and making it accessible.
In the fall of 2015, the University convened the Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation to help explore this history, to engage the community in dialogue, and to outline a set of recommendations to guide future efforts. The report of the Working Group is one step in a longer-term effort that will be informed by dialogue and engagement with members of our community and descendants.
On September 1, 2016, President DeGioia sent a message and delivered remarks to the Georgetown community framing the Working Group’s recommendations and next steps for the University.
On April 18, 2017, Georgetown University held a special Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition, and Hope in partnership with the Society of Jesus, and the Archdiocese of Washington and dedicated two buildings on Georgetown’s campus: Isaac Hawkins Hall and Anne Marie Becraft Hall. More than 100 descendants were in attendance for these gatherings.
During this same period, Georgetown launched a related set of efforts to strengthen Georgetown’s commitment to racial justice with the creation of the Department of African American Studies, the hiring of new faculty, and a Working Group charged with setting the foundation for an Institute for the Study of Racial Justice.
In 2018, there are many efforts underway to advance Georgetown’s commitment to racial justice and deepen Georgetown’s understanding of and response to its history.