Press Releases

SUNO to Stream Webcast of Georgetown Ceremony on Historical Ties to Slavery

Monday, April 17, 2017

Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) will host a Webcast of Georgetown University’s “Liturgy of Remembrance, Contrition, and Hope” 9-11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 18 in the Information Technology Center on the Lake Campus.

Georgetown, in partnership with the Archdiocese of Washington and the Society of Jesus in the United States, is hosting the religious ceremony and building dedication in honor of the 272 enslaved men, women and children sold by Maryland Jesuits in 1838 to keep Georgetown afloat.

The liturgy will include Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington; Rev. Robert Hussey, S.J., Provincial of the Maryland Province Jesuits; and Rev. Timothy Kesicki, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference, the organization that represents the Society of Jesus in the U.S. and Canada.

Following the religious ceremony, Georgetown will dedicate two campus buildings for Isaac Hawkins and Anne Marie Becraft. These halls were formerly named for two Jesuits involved in the 1838 sale to Louisiana plantation owners.

Isaac Hawkins Hall, formerly known as Mulledy Hall and provisionally named as Freedom Hall in 2015, will be named for the first enslaved person listed in documents related to the 1838 sale.

Anne Marie Becraft Hall, formerly known as McSherry Hall and provisionally named in 2015 as Remembrance Hall, will be renamed for a free woman of color who established a school in the town of Georgetown for black girls. The school was one of the first such educational endeavors in the District of Columbia. She later joined the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the oldest active Roman Catholic sisterhood in the Americas established by women of African descent.

Also scheduled for April 18 is a reflection hour and lunch reception and other events to honor the descendants and reflect on Georgetown’s historical ties to the institution of slavery.

“We are honored to host this live Webcast on our campus,” said SUNO Chancellor Lisa Mims-Devezin. “We believe it is important to provide a space for individuals to watch the Liturgy and Building Rededication together as a community. These events are important steps in Georgetown’s reconciliation process.”
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The University's Health Information Management Systems program is the only of its kind in the New Orleans area.