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University of Georgia to Research its Ties to Slavery

The University of Georgia is calling for proposals that would research the role of slavery in the early development of the school.

On Wednesday, the university announced that its Office of the Vice President for Research is calling for proposals that will explore the early links of slavery with the institution from its founding in 1785 through the end of the Civil War in 1865.

Earlier this year, a report on the Baldwin Hall site had referenced the role of slaves during the early development of the University of Georgia and the surrounding city of Athens.

“The report demonstrated the need for additional research to fill a void, and it is our hope that faculty and students from several disciplines will participate in this significant research initiative,” said David Lee, vice president for research.

“This effort will complement and build upon the institutional histories provided by previous scholars and will continue to enhance our collective understanding of this institution.”

The research initiative is supported by up to $100,000 in private discretionary funds from the Office of the President and should be completed by June 30, 2021.

Last year, Furman University had acknowledged its historical ties to slavery and racism. Later it removed “James C.” from James C. Furman Hall, and announced that it will build a statue to honor Joseph Vaughn, the school’s first black student.

Similarly, Georgetown University students had proposed creating a fund to benefit the descendants of 272 slaves who were sold in 1838 to pay off the university’s debts. The university is still sitting on recommendations made by its Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation in 2016.

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