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:

Go deeper

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and his wife, Pamela, both tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced on Friday.

The state of play: The Northams were tested after one of their staff "who works closely within the couple's living quarters" tested positive. The governor is asymptomatic, while his wife is "experiencing mild symptoms." They plan to isolate at home for 10 days.

Ina Fried, author of Login
42 mins ago - Technology

Amazon wants to flood America with Alexa cameras and microphones

Photo: Amazon

In a Thursday event unveiling a slew of new home devices ahead of the holidays, Amazon made clearer than ever its determination to flood America with cameras, microphones and the voice of Alexa, its AI assistant.

The big picture: Updating popular products and expanding its range to car alarms and in-home drones, Amazon extended its lead in smart home devices and moved into new areas including cloud gaming and car security. The new offerings will also fuel criticism that the tech giant is helping equip a society built around surveillance.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Oil's turbulent long-term future

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The oil sector is facing risks from all sides.

Why it matters: Risk in the industry is nothing new. But these are especially turbulent and uncertain times. The industry's market clout has waned, the future of demand is kind of a mystery, and future U.S. policy is too, just to name three.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!