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University of Glasgow to pay $32M in reparations

The University of Glasgow is trying to acknowledge and atone for its past.

Last year, a report by the university found the school benefited significantly from the profits of slavery in the 18th and 19th century. The donations the university received back then would equal between $27 million and $320 million today.

But now the university is hoping to make up for that. 

At a ceremony on Friday, the school signed an agreement with the Caribbean’s University of the West Indies.

The University of Glasgow says it will raise and spend  ¬£20 million ($32 million Cdn) to make amends over the next 20 years by building the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research.

Graham Campbell, a Glasgow city councillor and activist for African-Caribbean issues in Scotland, was an advisor for the report. Here is part of his conversation with As It Happens guest host Helen Mann about the historical agreement. 

You were at Friday’s ceremony at the University of Glasgow, where a Jamaican flag was raised on campus. What does it mean for you to see that in that moment?

It meant a hell of a lot to us.

It’s the first time, as I’m aware, that we’ve had the flag flying from Glasgow University. So it was a very major privilege for us to see it happen.

It was a very emotional day for us as the University of West Indies and the University of Glasgow made this really historic memorandum.

A beautiful plaque was unveiled and the universities made a very strong gesture of reparative justice.