In August of 2015, Georgetown University launched a new effort to reflect on, engage with, and learn from its historic ties to slavery. The Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation was appointed and charged by Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia in September to study and make recommendations to help guide the University’s ongoing work related to slavery and its legacies.
Since that time, the Working Group has created a new public digital archive of historical documents, conducted archival research on the slaves, connected with their descendants, and hosted community dialogues and events, including a week-long symposium of events, performances, lectures, tours, and reflections in honor of D.C. Emancipation Day.
In November, the Working Group made its first formal recommendation to the University, recommending the interim renaming of Mulledy Hall and McSherry Hall as Freedom Hall and Remembrance Hall. This recommendation was accepted by the University. The Working Group continued to solicit input from the community as it developed its report and recommendations. Its report and recommendations were completed in the summer and can be viewed here.
President DeGioia, along with the members of the Working Group, shared the report with the Georgetown community on September 1.