Harvard commits $100M to redress its complicity with slavery

Harvard University commits $100 million to redress its complicity with slavery. Pictured is the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

By Ray Sanchez, CNN

(CNN) -- Harvard University is dedicating $100 million for the creation of a fund to study and redress its "extensive entanglements with slavery," university President Lawrence Bacow said Tuesday.

The university's attempt to reckon with its past is detailed in a report titled "Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery," which documents how the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries "comprised a vital part of the New England economy, and powerfully shaped Harvard University."

"The report makes plain that slavery in America was by no means confined to the South," Bacow said in a message to members of the Harvard community.

"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," the university president wrote.

The report includes recommendations to redress that legacy "through teaching, research, and service" and the commitment of $100 million for the creation of a legacy of slavery fund.

"Some of these funds will be available for current use, while the balance will be held in an endowment to support this work over time," Bacow said.

The announcement comes as other universities across the nation attempt to reckon with their complicity with slavery.

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