Last spring, in response to increasing racial polarization nationally and to Pope Francis's call to make reconciliation a top priority for Catholics, Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., Georgetown Prep's president, announced reconciliation as the theme for this school year. He appointed a committee composed of administration, faculty, students and parents to put together a year-long program of education, reflection, and action. The Committee devised a program focused on reconciling the school community with Prep's historical connections to slavery as a means of also entering into dialogue about the current state of race relations at Prep. That program has featured four presentations – two by outside speakers -- to whole school assemblies followed by small group discussions, a student led school-wide conversation on race at Prep, and reflections about reconciliation and race during some of the school-wide weekly Examens. A museum exhibit on Prep and slavery will open in Boland Hall's Southwell Library in April.
On Thursday, March 15, at 7:00 p.m., in the Haas Humanities Building's Figge Theater, Prep will sponsor an evening presentation for alumni and past and present parents to give them a more immediate taste of what has been going on at school during this year of reconciliation. Several students, including Jack Davin '18, President-of-the-Yard, Hakeem Smith '18, President of the Black Student Association, and Will Boggs '18, Co-Editor in Chief of the Little Hoya, will join Dr. Stephen J. Ochs, Lawler Chair of History, in an adaptation of the two presentations they have made to whole school assemblies on the subjects of Prep's connection to the sale in 1838 of the 272 enslaved persons owned by the Society of Jesus in Maryland and to slavery in the everyday life of the school between 1789 and 1840.
A Question/Answer session will follow the presentation, as will refreshments.