Cambridge University to create scholarship to examine links to slavery | University of Cambridge

A college at the University of Cambridge is to appoint an academic to examine its legacy of slavery.

Trinity College Cambridge has announced that its new legacy of slavery scholars and teachers will investigate the college’s links to the transatlantic slave trade.

This could be through fees and bequests from students and alumni, or investments by the college.

The Fellow, who will be appointed in October, will also review all contributions from Trinity members who have opposed slavery.

Isuri Ratnayake, Trinity’s Graduate Society Ethnicity and Inclusion Officer, said: “Examining and acknowledging the college’s legacy of slavery is key to cultivating a culture of responsibility and accountability. inclusiveness.

“Only by facing our past can we pave the way for a more equitable future, where all members of our community can thrive free from oppression and discrimination.

“I hope that other institutions as well as Trinity will continue to recognize their historic links to slavery and take concrete steps towards redress and reconciliation.”

Dr Michael Banner, dean of the college, said the role was a “welcome initiative” and “essential for us to understand the extent to which the college was involved in or benefited from slavery, either directly or indirectly”.

He added: “This research will allow for debate and discussion from a wide range of perspectives, both within the academic community and with the general public.”

The creation of the scholarship follows the university’s legacy inquiry into slavery, which took place in 2019-20.

The investigation found that the university derived “significant benefits” from the transatlantic slave trade, although it found no evidence that the university owned slaves or slave plantations.

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“The research found no evidence that the university owned slave plantations or slaves directly. However, it identified significant benefits to the university and its colleges from investing in companies that participated in the trade, individual benefactors and fees from the families of plantation owners,” the university said in its announcement to the publication.

Recommendations were made for the establishment of a research center in Cambridge and for funding new partnerships in Africa and the Caribbean, including Cambridge Caribbean Fellowships.

Trinity College has pledged to donate £1million over five years to these scholarships, enabling up to three students from the Caribbean to study a Masters degree at Cambridge each year.

Two PhD scholarships will also be available during the five-year initiative, which begins in October.

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