The legacy of slavery continues today in the form of racism and racial injustice. With deep remorse, the Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province acknowledge our contribution to these enduring wounds.
We are motivated by a desire to uncover the truth of people’s stories, to honor their memories and heal relationships. We hope this project will be a positive contribution to the national conversations on race, prejudice and social justice, but it must begin with our own conversations with descendants of the people held in slavery by our predecessors. We hope it will eventually include other members of our communities.
Enslaved people were disregarded and unheard. We will listen to their descendants. We want to learn from them how slavery shaped their families and continues to touch their lives today. We desire to bear witness to their pain and their courage and their endurance. We want to help them tell their stories.
The descendants of the men and women held in slavery by Jesuits deserve to know the stories of their ancestors. We conduct this research with a spirit of humility and reverence for their memories, and with the hope of bringing the full truth of this history to light. We pledge to make that information available as quickly as we can in ways accessible to descendants.