ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — The Virginia Theological Seminary has made a major decision to attempt to right some wrongs of their past. According to campus historians, slave labor was used to build a majority of the seminary.
“Part of the story of our past is a story of racism and segregation, and slavery,” said The Very Reverend Ian Markham, Dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary. “We’re going to acknowledge that past and all it’s complexity and we’re going to what we can to put things right.
In an attempt to do just that, the seminary announced they started a $1.7 million slavery reparations fund. Markham says the seminary staff did some work on what they could afford to create a starting point that they hope will grow to have a much larger impact in the future
“The sin of slavery is huge, and there’s a sense in which no amount would ever suffice. However, we’ve apologized for our past we’re determined to create a different future, but we also need to do some action,” said Markham.
The money will also be used to support black clergy and local African-American congregations.