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Georgetown Students Vote to Pay Annual Slavery Reparations Fee

Georgetown Students Vote to Pay Annual Slavery Reparations Fee

Georgetown University undergraduates have voted by a large margin in favor of a referendum seeking the establishment of a fund to benefit the descendants of enslaved people sold to pay off the school's debts.

We understand that the objectives of the student referendum are to honor the 272 slaves sold by the Jesuits of Maryland in 1838 and to promote 'causes and proposals that directly benefit the descendants who still reside in disadvantaged communities, ' the official added, quoted by ABC News. The referendum and fee were pushed for by a student group known as the GU272 Advocacy Team. Sixty-six percent of the 3,845 participating students voted yes, but the measure still must be approved by the university to go into effect.

"The school wouldn't be here without them", Georgetown junior and GU272 descendant Shepard Thomas said, according to The NYT. "I would just be happy to see the dialogue continue in the same direction".

"As students at an elite institution, we recognize the great privileges we have been given, and wish to at least partially repay our debts to those families whose involuntary sacrifices made these privileges possible", the referendum states.

After the passage of the bill, Georgetown sophomore Eliza Dunni Phillips, a member of the GU272, told CNN: "The vestiges of slavery are still so evident, and so numerous African Americans whose ancestors were enslaved are still so disenfranchised".

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Tuition at Georgetown, a private school in Washington, D.C., costs about $55,000 a year.

Over two-thirds of those who voted favored the new reparations fee. "Regardless of what happens, we will know that Georgetown University students practiced solidarity and made a decision to ensure that such an historic injustice has a permanent lens for awareness, analysis and action".

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