Traces of slavery

Utrecht University wants to acknowledge its slavery past

In 2021, a study into the slavery past of the city of Utrecht was published. The study shows that Utrecht University (UU) also has ties to slavery.

Taking responsibility

The suffering the enslaved have been through cannot be described and the lack of recognition for this still causes pain. In the meantime, all kinds of people and institutions, including UU as well, directly and indirectly profited from colonial slavery. We have to establish that we do not know everything about our own role by a long shot, and that is saying a lot. This part of our history is underexposed. UU wants to recognise this and take responsibility, wants to account for the past, in line with an asvise written by a committee of experts in February 2022.

Research into slavery past

Internally, UU wants to facilitate new research into the slavery past, and connect research that has already been started (such as by the University Library and the University Museum into their own collections) and make them visible. UU wants to encourage debate within the institution, create awareness and provide education. Besides that, UU wants to contribute from its social role. By doing broader research into racism and the colonial past, like by investigating in a multidisciplinary way how reconciliation processes take shape.