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October 18, 2006
Contact: Molly de Ramel
(401) 863-2476

Media Advisory
Brown Releases Report of the Committee on Slavery and Justice

Brown University President Ruth J. Simmons has released the report of the University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice. The report, commissioned by Simmons in 2003, outlines the University’s historical relationship to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade and makes recommendations about the ways that the University might fully and accurately acknowledge that past and move forward. The full report and related materials are available on the University’s Web site at

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See also:
   President’s Letter

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Brown University’s Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice has presented its report to President Ruth J. Simmons, and she has directed that it be made available on the University’s Web site.

The report is the culmination of three years of research and debate on the Brown campus. Members of the committee, assisted by other Brown faculty and students, gathered information about Brown’s past, drawing on published sources and various historical archives. The committee also sponsored more than 30 public programs, including two international conferences, that explored the experience of other societies and institutions that have dealt with legacies of historical injustice. The study reports on the involvement of many of Brown’s founders and benefactors in slavery and the slave trade and outlines some of the benefits that accrued to the University as result.. The report also reveals the role that Brown students, faculty, and administrators played in the movement to abolish slavery and the slave trade.

The report makes a number of recommendations by which the University can acknowledge this history and take advantage of its lessons in shaping current university practices and standards.

Brown will sponsor a series of forums on the report. In the first forum – 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2006, in the Salomon Center – members of the committee will respond to questions from the campus community and the general public. President Simmons will respond to the report and its recommendations in the coming weeks.

The full report and related materials are now available on the University’s Web site at

Press inquiries may be made to:

See also: Background and introduction to the report.