The gates of Harvard University are shown. File photo by Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/UPI/Shutterstock/

April 26 (UPI) — Harvard University announced on Tuesday it would commit $100 million to combat the corrosive effects of slavery detailed in a report that found the institution’s leaders, faculty and staff enslaved over 70 people, enabling the university to create wealth from the slave economy.

The report, titled “Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery”, showed that although the prestigious Ivy League research university was founded in 1636 in the New England region, its northern location -eastern United States did not exempt him from having a role in human servitude. .

“During the 17th and 18th centuries, the sale and trafficking of human beings – into slavery – and industries rooted in the labor of enslaved women, men and children were ubiquitous around the world, were part of New England’s economy, and mightily shaped Harvard University,” the report states. “Harvard’s leaders, faculty, staff, and benefactors enslaved people, some of whom worked at the university ; accumulated wealth through the slave trade and slave labor; and defended the institution of slavery.”

According to the report, more than 150 years after its founding in Massachusetts, Harvard leaders, faculty and staff enslaved more than 70 people, some of whom worked on campus and served students.

The report also acknowledged other racial injustices promoted by university officials, including Charles William Eliot, Harvard’s longest-serving president from 1869 to 1909, who supported eugenic sterilization and gender-based racial segregation. ideas of white supremacy.

Current Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, who convened a faculty committee that produced the report, said in a statement that the university will set aside $100 million for the implementation of the report’s recommendations to redress the injustices set out in the report.

“I believe we have a moral responsibility to do what we can to address the lingering and corrosive effects of these historic practices on individuals, on Harvard and on our society,” Bacow said in a statement.

Among the recommendations, the report proposed that the university expand learning opportunities in partnership with other schools and nonprofit organizations to address the persistent educational inequalities affecting descendants of slaves in the United States.

In particular, he recommended expanding partnership with historically black colleges and universities, including summer or semester exchanges for faculty members and students.

“Despite their benefits to the country, HBCUs were underfunded…and that in itself is a reflection of slavery and its legacies,” said Tomiko Brown-Nagin, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, who chaired the committee that produced the report, told the Washington Post.

The report also recommended honoring enslaved people through commemoration, research and dissemination of knowledge, and identifying, engaging and supporting direct descendants.

The first known slave to serve students at Harvard was named “The Moor” and may have arrived aboard the Desire, believed to be one of the first ships to bring colored slaves to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

“The Moor” served Harvard’s first students, after being enslaved by Harvard’s first schoolteacher, Nathaniel Eaton.

Other people, known as Titus, Venus, Juba, and Bilhah, were enslaved under Harvard presidents Benjamin Wadsworth (1725-1737) and Edward Holyoke (1737-1769), and other people have were enslaved by Harvard stewards, who were responsible for student services.

Among the stewards, the report highlighted Andrew Bordman, who enslaved at least eight people. In his notebook, Bordman noted the names of four children born to Rose, a slave who died at age 22. The children’s names were Flora, Jeffrey, Cesar and Jane.

Slavery officially ended in Massachusetts in the late 18th century, but Harvard continued to benefit from the slave economy after slavery ended.

“During the first half of the 19th century, more than a third of the money given or pledged to Harvard by individuals came from just five men who made their fortunes from slavery and slave-produced goods” , says the report.