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Someone giving a practice sermon at the Princeton Theological Seminary. Photo: Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Princeton Theological Seminary will pay $27.6 millions in reparations as an act of "repentance" after acknowledging the school historically benefited from America's slave economy, the university announced in its campus magazine.

Why it matters: The decision adds to a trend of America's oldest educational institutions admitting ties to slavery and approving reparation payments for the descendants of enslaved Africans.

Background: The Seminary clarified that it neither owned slaves, nor used slave labor to construct its campus, per a historical audit. However, it invested in Southern banks and its donors benefited from slavery. Founding faculty members also used slave labor and supporting sending free black men and women to Liberia.

Along with the Princeton Seminary, Georgetown University and the Virginia Theological Seminary have moved to pay reparations as well.

Why now: Princeton Seminary's approval of a multi-year action plan comes after a report was published in Oct. 2018 that served as a "confession," according to John White, the Seminary's dean of students and vice president of student relations.

What's next: The plan will roll out immediately. Efforts include:

  • 30 new scholarships and the addition of five doctoral fellowships for students who descended from enslaved African people.
  • Hiring a director for the Center for Black Church Studies.
  • Renaming the library for Theodore Sedgwick Wright, the first African American to attend Princeton Seminary.

"To sustain this programming in perpetuity, $27.6 million will be reserved in the endowment," according to a Seminary news release.

Go deeper:

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Updated 58 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.