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Panel Examines Slavery, Next Steps Through Lens of Catholic Social Thought

October 14, 2016 – Georgetown’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life convened a panel Oct. 12 to examine the history of Georgetown’s ties to the institution of slavery and to offer thoughts on how Catholic social thought and Jesuit values can help provide healing at Georgetown and beyond. 

“We cannot necessarily recoup what went wrong, but we can do justice today,” said James Benton, who is working as the university’s Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation fellow.  He’s working to help the university in its next steps on implementing the recommendations presented by the university’s Working Group on Slavery Memory and Reconciliation.

“When we carry out the best of what the Jesuits represent, we are calling the whole country to be better, truer,” he said.

Benton joined the panel that included working group members Rev. Matthew Carnes, S.J., associate professor of government and foreign service, and Marcia Chatelain, associate professor of history.

Diana L. Hayes, emerita professor of systematic theology at Georgetown and author of numerous books on black Catholics in the United States also joined the panel moderated by John Carr, founder and director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life.