AP NEWS

Activists say university must do more to address slavery

April 14, 2019

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Civil rights leaders say the University of Georgia needs to do more to recognize the school’s history with slavery.

Representatives of several activist groups recently delivered a letter outlining their concerns to University of Georgia President Jere Morehead’s office, the Athens Banner-Herald reported .

The university drew protests for its handling of slave burials unearthed at a campus construction site in 2015. Administrators decided to rebury the remains from more than 100 burials in a nearby cemetery.

Officials later commissioned a memorial at Baldwin Hall, where the remains were unearthed. Administrators say the memorial will be a place of remembrance for those who were originally buried at the site in the 1800s.

Engraving on a granite marker of the memorial states: “The University of Georgia recognizes the contributions of these and other enslaved individuals and honors their legacy.”

The activists want the university to take responsibility for its “role in white supremacy,” among other things.

They also want the university to “fully fund the faculty-proposed Center on Slavery as a first step toward researching and telling the whole story of UGA’s role in slavery and Black oppression, a legacy which persists to this day,” the letter states.

The activists also want:

— Scholarships that cover full tuition and all fees for descendants of enslaved people who worked on the University of Georgia campus and for every African American student who graduates from a public high school in Athens.

— At least $15 an hour for all University of Georgia workers, whether they are full-time, part-time or temporary.

“The current inadequate wages fuel poverty in Athens’ Black communities, and UGA must do more to address the massive racial wealth gap,” the letter states.

The groups plan to follow up with a public meeting they’re calling the “Reparations NOW Town Hall” on April 24. The time and place for the meeting have not yet been set, said Linda Lloyd of the Equal Justice Coalition.

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Information from: Athens Banner-Herald, http://www.onlineathens.com