Harvard Announces a Grant Program to Address Systemic Inequities for Descendants of Slavery

The Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery Initiative will offer annual funding up to $350,000 for long-term projects and $25,000 for smaller projects that address systemic inequities for descendants of slavery. The program will give grants for projects co-led by Harvard affiliates, including alumni and university-affiliated hospital staff, and nonprofits. Projects would be preferably based in Cambridge and Boston. Funding for the inaugural class will begin in July 2024.

“The grant program is structured so that this work benefits from meaningful partnerships and expertise from outside the university community,” explains Sara Bleich, vice provost for special projects. “Harvard can’t do this work alone, and we are eager through this funding opportunity to have partners who can help us identify where this work can have the greatest impact.”

“We want to fund projects that lead to innovative solutions that address gaps in education, the racial wealth gap, health disparities, and criminal justice reform. These issues disproportionately impact descendant communities,” said Roeshana Moore-Evans, the executive director of the Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery initiative.

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  1. Our ancestors accrued hundreds of acres of land in Columbus, MS. It has been diminished over the years for multiple reasons, including insider-informed tax sales and other land grab opportunities. Three descendant families have protected approximately 70 of the original acres. Our vision is to honor the legacy of Charlie and Emma Bryant by developing a destination entertainment complex with an indoor/outdoor waterpark (very few in South), a boutique hotel, amphitheater, and, most importantly, a discovery museum equipped with technological tools and research assistants to learn of family and cultural history. Raising capital funds is our biggest challenge. We have an architects’ conceptual design and multiple technical advisors ready to proceed. This grant would be enable a major economic benefit to the community and an true legacy to our ancestors.

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