University of Chicago students demand school give $1 billion in reparations to South Side

A University of Chicago student organization is demanding that the administration pay over $1 billion in reparations to the city's South Side.

In an op-ed on Feb. 9 in The Chicago Maroon, UChicago Against Displacement argued that the University of Chicago should pay over $1 billion in reparations to the city's South Side over 20 years, arguing that it will "protect South Siders from displacement."

"We at UChicago Against Displacement (UCAD), too, believe that the South Side is owed reparations. The University exists as a legacy of chattel slavery. Moreover, it has been an active participant in segregation, redlining, and supporting developments that work to isolate the University from its neighbors and put Southsiders at risk of displacement from their homes," the group states.


The group proposes that the University of Chicago provide a "$20 million annual fund for rental assistance and local schools" and "$1 billion over 20 years ($50 million annually) in grant funding for long-term true affordable housing".

Hyde Park campus, University of Chicago map sign. (Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Additionally, the group is demanding that the university "reaffirm" their agreement not to expand into Woodlawn and Washington Park, expand employer-assisted housing for low-income employees as well as working-class employees, pursue "accountability" around university owned land in Black communities, and engage with local schools in supporting STEM programs.

The group states that the University of Chicago has "enormously influential power in the South Side," stating that the university led the effort in bringing the Obama Presidential Center to the South Side.

A University of Chicago spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the university's "most fundamental and critical relationships is with Chicago’s South Side" and said that it has several commitments to Chicago, which include offering free college readiness programs to hundreds of students in the Chicago Public Schools, employing more than 13,000 Chicago residents, supporting more than 300 South Side businesses, and more.

A pedestrian walks through the Main Quadrangles (Quad) on the Hyde Park Campus of the University of Chicago. (Scott Olson/Getty Images / Getty Images)

"The University has engaged with community concerns over many years and is taking many of the steps that community residents and elected officials have suggested. In 2019, the University’s Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) formed a Community Development Working Group with more than 50 local stakeholders from business, workforce development, and housing organizations to discuss the University’s role as an economic anchor, and explore deeper partnership to spur more equitable development and economic inclusion on the South Side," the spokesperson said.


The spokesperson also said that the university launched a youth internship program in the summer of 2021, which is a "six-week summer employment opportunity for local Chicago Public Schools students."

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