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Harvard addresses ‘corrosive effects’ of its racist past with ...


Harvard addresses ‘corrosive effects’ of its racist past with $100m pledge

Report details how varsity enslaved 70 black and indigenous people and chronicles staff’s abusive and racist practices

Ella Ceron

Harvard University is earmarking $100m to study and make amends for its history of and ties to slavery, as well as the perpetuation of racist eugenics by some of its past faculty. The institution’s president, Lawrence S Bacow, announced the fund in a letter on Tuesday.

A report by an internal committee details the legacy of slavery at Harvard through the Ivy League university’s nearly 400-year history, noting that past leaders and faculty enslaved more than 70 black and indigenous people between the school’s founding in 1636 and 1783, when slavery was outlawed in Massachusetts. The report also chronicles the way in which some past presidents and faculty engaged in abusive and racist practices under the guise of scholarship.

“Harvard benefited from and in some ways perpetuated practices that were profoundly immoral,” Bacow wrote. “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.”..

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