Georgetown enslaved her ancestors. Now she's an incoming student.
While Georgetown may offer preferential admission to descendants like Thomas, the financial barriers mean that not all will be able to go, said Kilolo Kijakazi, an institute fellow at the D.C.-based Urban Institute.
She, along with economists from Duke University, The New School in New York City, and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, published a report last year on structural racism in D.C. The report was critical of Georgetown, saying the university will continue to profit from descendants who pay tuition and board.
"If she doesn't get financial assistance, she won't be able to go," Kijakazi said by phone Wednesday (July 12). "Or even if she is able to go, she would be paying out of pocket to an institution that survived and profited from the sale of her ancestors."
Efforts toward reconciliation
The profits Georgetown made off enslaved labor and the sale of humans were used to fund the school at a time when Jesuits couldn't charge students tuition. Kijakazi's report states the 2016 to 2017 undergraduate cost at Georgetown was more than $66,000 per year, and more than $264,000 for four years.
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