Georgetown University on Thursday announced its plan to give slave descendants preferential admission status to make up for its slave-owning past.
In 1838, the Georgetown sold 272 slaves who were working on plantations in southern Maryland to pay down its debts.
Now, the school says in an effort to right its wrongs, it will give the descendants of those slaves "the same consideration we give members of the Georgetown community" when they apply.
Georgetown President John J. DeGioia said it is an effort to "address the manifestations of the legacy of slavery in our time," he wrote in a statement sent to students and faculty Thursday.
"This moment is an opening, a beginning, an invitation for usand each of us is welcomed to engage, to offer perspectives, to reflect, and to understand anew the responsibilities that we have to one another."