• Congratulations to Harvard for being unafraid to face its legacy of slavery, and even more impressively, to act in deed as well as word with a $100 million commitment to help with the work of “reckoning and repair.” The full report of the committee charged with examining the subject and making recommendations is here. I’m happy they have joined other universities in acknowledging truth and responsibility. From the report:
“Harvard must set a powerful example as it reckons with its own past. We must pursue not only truth, vital though that is, but also reconciliation. Doing so requires a range of actions—visible and continuing—that address the harms of slavery and its legacies, many of which still reverberate today, affecting descendants of slavery in the community and indeed the nation.
These actions must include monetary and nonmonetary efforts. Slavery was a system that, through violence, deprived the enslaved of the value of their own labor, creating a persistent multigenerational racial wealth gap that continues to disadvantage descendants of the enslaved. And the legacies of slavery—exclusion, segregation, marginalization, criminalization, disenfranchisement, and more—compounded its damage. The economic and social costs of categorical exclusion from and discrimination in education—not only but perhaps especially at Harvard—are profound.”