Brown University on Saturday promised to raise $10 million for local public schools and give free tuition to graduate students who pledge to work there in response to a report that found slave labor played a role in the university’s beginnings.
The university will also explore creating an academic center on slavery and justice, strengthen its Africana Studies Department, begin planning for a slavery memorial and revise its official history to provide a more accurate account of the school’s early years.
“One of the clearest messages in the Slavery and Justice Report is that institutions of higher education must take a greater interest in the health of their local communities, especially kindergarten through 12th-grade education,” Brown President Ruth J. Simmons said in a statement.
The report was issued last fall by a committee that was instructed in 2003 to study the university’s early relationship with slavery and recommend how the school should take responsibility.
It identified about 30 former members of the college’s governing corporation who at one time owned or captained slave ships. It also found that slave labor was used in the construction of Brown’s oldest building, and money used to create the university and ensure its early growth was derived directly or indirectly from slave trade.