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Descendant leaders, Jesuits and Georgetown University representative at the ancestors' graves, Immaculate Heart of Mary Cemetery in Louisiana. Photo: Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States

Jesuit priests pledged Monday to raise $100 million for the descendants of people enslaved by the Catholic order as part of a new racial reconciliation initiative in the U.S., the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: It's one of the biggest moves by an institution to atone for slavery, and "the largest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to make amends for the buying, selling and enslavement of Black people," church officials and historians told the NYT.

Driving the news: Protests over systemic racism in the past year have pushed lawmakers and companies to make or consider making reparations for slavery.

Details: In a "first-of-its-kind partnership" among descendants of both the enslaved and enslavers, the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation was created by the GU272 Descendants Association and the Jesuits "in the pursuit of racial healing and justice," per a statement from the Catholic order.

  • The foundation is "rooted in the events of 1838, when 272 enslaved men, women and children were sold by the Jesuit owners of Georgetown University to plantation owners in Louisiana," according to the statement.
  • A New Orleans bank later acquired by JPMorgan Chase used these enslaved people as collateral. JPMorgan will be a co-trustee and provide services including planning and advice.

What to expect: The group aims to support educational aspirations of descendants for future generations and actively enage, promote and support programs and activities that "highlight truth, accelerate racial healing and reconciliation, and advance racial justice and equality in America," per the statement.

  • "The Foundation aims to develop a full understanding of, and reconciliation with, the numerous institutions of higher education and other entities that profited from slavery," the statement added.

Of note: The pledge is much less than the $1 billion called for by descendant leaders to the Catholic order.

  • But the Rev. Timothy P. Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, and Joseph Stewart, the foundation's acting president, told the Times this remains the long-term goal.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper: Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Death toll mounts as fighting between Israel and Hamas intensifies

Palestinian Muslims exchange wishes for Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, near a razed building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on May 13. Photo: Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least 109 Palestinians and seven people in Israel have been killed since recent fighting between Israel's military and Hamas began Monday.

The big picture: Israel began massing troops on its border with Gaza on Thursday, launching attacks from the air and ground as Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israel.

By the numbers: Where the earmarks are wanted

Expand chart
Data: House Committee on Appropriations; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is being targeted for the largest collective earmark request in the country, according to a detailed breakdown of overall requests released by the House Appropriations Committee.

Why it matters: House appropriators are trying to balance bipartisan momentum for infrastructure investment with "pork-barrel" spending's checkered political history. The data dump is an effort to provide transparency for what are now termed "community project funding" requests.

Democrats open to user fees for infrastructure deal

President Biden sits Thursday with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) as they discuss his $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal. Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some Senate Democrats are open to paying for a compromise infrastructure package by imposing user fees, including increasing the gas tax and raising money from electric car drivers through a vehicle-miles-traveled charge.

Why it matters: By inching toward the Republican position on pay-fors, some Democrats are bucking President Biden's push to offset his proposed $2.3 trillion plan by focusing only on raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy.