John J. DeGioia, president of Georgetown University, delivers remarks at the university on Sept. 19, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
By Katie Reilly
September 1, 2016

Georgetown University will give an admissions advantage to the descendants of 272 slaves sold by the school in 1838—part of an effort to acknowledge and address the school’s ties to slavery.

The university announced the step on Thursday, along with plans to rename two campus buildings in honor of African-Americans, dedicate a memorial to slaves and establish the Institute for the Study of Slavery and its Legacies.

The changes follow campus protests last year, in which students called on the university to address modern issues of racism as well as historical ties to slavery. The issue has been the subject of protests at colleges across the country, but Georgetown’s response rings different because of its plans to provide descendants with preferential admissions status. The school’s plan does not include a scholarship offering for the descendants.

Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia will address the new plans on Wednesday afternoon and offer a formal apology for the university’s role in profiting from slavery. Watch live at 4 p.m.

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