Saint Louis University (In partnership with Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province) joins USS!

The Universities Studying Slavery (USS) consortium continues to grow and expand its reach geographically. We are thrilled to announce that Saint Louis University in Saint Louis, Missouri, has signed on and joined our movement. Universities Studying Slavery for the first time now includes a school in the trans-Mississippi West–we hope this inaugurates a new era when other western schools begin to investigate their own difficult pasts.

In 2016, faculty, librarians and archivists from Saint Louis University (SLU) and the Jesuits USA Central and Southern (UCS) Province began conducting research into the history of Jesuit slaveholding. The UCS and SLU then committed financial resources and personnel for a focused study into the history of Jesuit slaveholding in the province. They are collaborating with institutions in Alabama, Louisiana, and Missouri to learn the full truth of their history related to slavery with an emphasis on attending to the lives of the adults and children who were enslaved.

The Saint Louis University-Jesuits USA Central and Southern Province joint initiative—The Slavery, History, Memory and Reconciliation Project—draws on the resources of the Jesuit Archives and the Saint Louis University Archives, as well as sacramental records at local parishes, to conduct a study of the number and names of the enslaved people, and an analysis of the experience of the enslaved, their treatment and conditions.

Their work is motivated by a desire to uncover the truth of people’s stories, to honor their memories, and heal relationships. They are moving forward with this research in the hope of bringing this full history to light. Read more about their project here. Again, please welcome Saint Louis University to the Universities Studying Slavery Community.