About the Reconciliation Fund Anchor

About the Reconciliation Fund

The Reconciliation Fund awards $400,000 annually to community-based projects that aim to have an impact on communities of Descendants whose ancestors were once enslaved on the Maryland Jesuit plantations.

The Reconciliation Fund is inspired by a 2019 undergraduate student referendum that called on the university to provide resources to Descendant communities as a response to Georgetown’s involvement in the enslavement of people of African descent. This project is now part of Georgetown’s ongoing work to reckon with its historical role in slavery and the financial benefits that Georgetown received through the forced labor and sale of enslaved people.

Grants are awarded twice per year, through an application process that is held in the fall and in the spring/summer. The process to plan for the Reconciliation Fund, while initially delayed by the pandemic, began in spring and summer 2022, with the formation of a Student Awards Committee and Descendant Advisory Committee. The grants for the first application cycle were announced in April 2023.

Applications submitted for the Reconciliation Fund are reviewed by the members of the Student Awards Committee and Descendant Advisory Committee, who make recommendations to the University. A University Review Board, composed of university administrators, is responsible for the final decisions and distribution of funds.

Over 500 Georgetown alumni have provided financial support for the Reconciliation Fund to support this year’s $400,000 commitment. The University has committed $400,000 per year and will continue to engage members of the community who seek to provide support to the fund.

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About the Application Process Anchor

About the Application Process

There will be two application cycles per year: one application will launch in the fall and one application will launch in the spring/summer.

Read about the five grantees from the Fall 2022 application process

The Fall 2023 application will be announced in October. Sign up to receive updates about the Reconciliation Fund.

Applications are open to both organizations and individuals leading community projects. Applications will be prioritized based on how they demonstrate an impact on Descendant communities connected to Jesuit slaveholding in the U.S., particularly the families who were once enslaved on plantations in Maryland and sold in 1838 to plantation owners in Louisiana. Projects must be community-based: their impact cannot be limited to an individual or to a restricted group and must demonstrate a broader impact on the community.

Community-based projects can take a variety of forms and cover a wide range of areas including health and legal clinics, environmental justice projects, after school and pre-college programs, projects focused on local history and memorialization and more.

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About the Committees Anchor

About the Committees

The Reconciliation Fund is supported by three committees: a Student Awards Committee; a Descendant Advisory Committee; and a University Review Board.

The Student Awards Committee began meeting in March 2022 to develop the fund’s application process. Students were identified by working with the GU272 Advocacy Team leadership, a group of students that formed to advocate for the 2019 Student Referendum, and with student government organizations at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

A Descendant Advisory Committee was formed in summer 2022 and has been meeting and providing feedback on the Fund’s development and progress. A diverse group of Descendants was identified by Georgetown and asked to serve as advisors.

The Student Awards Committee is responsible for reviewing applications to the fund and, working with the Descendant Advisory Committee, makes recommendations about selected projects.

During the 2023-2024 academic year, both committees will work to welcome new members to ensure broad and diverse perspectives can continue to be represented in these leadership groups.

A University Review Board, composed of university administrators, receives recommendations about award recipients and is responsible for reviewing recommendations and distributing grants to the selected projects.

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