Ruth J. Simmons Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice

University's Response to the Report of the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice and Subsequent Actions


The University's official response to the Report of the Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice included a number of actions that the University would undertake. In addition to establishing a center and appointing a full-time director, the response included the following actions, among others:

  • Commission a revision of the University's official history that presents a more complete picture.
    The University has engaged a historian to write this history will publish it as part of the 250th anniversary celebration in 2014.
  • Disseminate the report in a variety of media.
    The report has been shared widely and is available online.
  • Materials used in preparation of the report will be held in the University's permanent archives and presented to the public in exhibitions from time to time.
    A museum exhibition about the voyages of the slave ship The Sally has been shown at Brown and has traveled to schools and libraries. In addition, the University has established a Fellowship for the Study of the Public History of Slavery and awarded the first fellowship to an graduate student in the fall of 2008.
  • The University will work with representatives of the City of Providence and the State of Rhode Island to ensure that the history of slavery and the slave trade in Rhode Island may gain its appropriate and permanent place in the public historical record.
    In February 2012, the Corporation selected Martin Puryear to create a slavery memorial, which will be placed on the Front Campus, between Hope College and Carrie Tower.
  • The University will raise a permanent endowment in the amount of $10 million to establish a Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence.
    Brown is committed to raising $10 million for the Fund for the Education of the Children of Providence and has appointed a Corporation committee to oversee the fund and establish criteria for the awards. Approximately $1.5 million has been raised and nearly $300,000 has been awarded to elementary, middle, and high schools in Providence.
  • The University will provide free tuition to as many as 10 admitted graduate students per year who agree to serve in Providence-areas schools or surrounding area schools for a minimum of three years after graduation.
    The University created the Urban Education Fellows Program and enrolled the first fellows in the summer of 2008. The first nine fellows graduated in May of 2009, six more in May of 2010, one in 2011, and one will graduate in 2012.