Data Visualizations

The following charts and graphs show findings from our research project focused on university engagement in reparative actions for their respective histories of slavery. We examined universities that were founded pre-Civil War (see our methodology) and were still open by the end of 2020, and their actions (or in-actions) between 2000 and the end of 2020. Our findings reveal that of the 190 institutions in our sample, 77% had not engaged in reparations (44 had engaged in at least one type of reparation by the end of 2020).

Which types of reparations are being engaged with most and least frequently by Pre-Civil War higher education institutions?

Through our analysis of institutions' primary documents related to their reparatory work, we identified that the reparation types most frequently engaged in by institutions in our sample between 2000 and the end of 2020 are “revealing and telling the truth (research and dissemination)” and“memorialization/ commemorative actions.”

Forty-three of the 44 institutions in our sample engaged in “revealing and telling the truth” by researching and disseminating information about their institution's history with slavery, while 39 institutions' reparative actions focused on what is memorialized and commemorated at their institution.

Conversely, the two least engaged reparation types were “payments to communities harmed” (9 institutions), and “efforts to prevent current forms of slavery and repetition of the institution's connections to slavery” (3 participating institutions).

How has the reparations movement evolved over time?

In addition to seeing how many institutions were engaging in each type of reparation, we were interested in seeing how the reparations movement evolved over time. We used the following line graph to show the evolution of the higher education reparations movement and how many pre-civil war institutions had engaged with different types of reparations between 2000 and 2020.

First, the year 2003 marks the beginning of the university reparations movement, and the first reparation (type) engaged in was “revealing and telling the truth” by Brown University. In 2004, the next two reparations engaged were an “apology/ rejection” statement and “memorialization/ commemorative action.”

By 2014, all eight types had been engaged in, but the three types of reparations that were being engaged in the most were: (1) memorialization/ commemorative actions, (2) revealing and telling the truth, and (3) apology/ rejection statements. After 2015, there was a sharp increase in almost all types of reparations, but especially in “revealing and telling the truth,” “memorialization/ commemorative actions,” and “educational justice.”

Graph 3 uses a stacked area graph to give us another perspective on the type of reparations institutions have engaged in over time. While the donut graph gives us a snapshot of the share of reparation types by the end of 2020, Graph 3 allows us to see how the share of each type of reparation engaged in by pre-Civil War institutions evolved over time. As we can observe, between 2006 and 2010, the shares of reparation types seemed relatively similar, but over time the shares have become more unbalanced. While “memorialization/ commemoration” and “revealing and telling the truth” types of reparations were prominent since the beginning of the movement, these two types have substantially increased their share of all types of reparations over time. In the graph, we can also distinguish three different periods: the early years of the higher education reparations movement (2003-2006), the slow growth years (2007-2014), and the rapid growth era (2015-2020).

Which Pre-Civil War Institutions are engaging in the most types of reparations?

The following figure shows specific university engagement and total amount of reparation types. According to our analyses, Wake Forest University was the only university that had engaged in all eight types of reparations by the end of 2020. Behind Wake Forest, Brown University, Furman University, Georgetown University, and Washington and Lee University had engaged in seven types. Overall, fourteen institutions had engaged in 5 or more types, 30 had engaged in 1-4 types, and 146 had not engaged in any form of reparation.

This interactive graph displays each pre-Civil War institution's engagement in a reparation type, by year, to better understand the reparations movement at each campus that engaged in a form of reparation by the end of 2020. For example, Brown University began to engage in one form of reparation in 2003, and by the end of 2006 was engaging in seven total forms of reparation. Up through the end of 2020, Brown had not engaged in an additional reparation type, though they may have engaged in more reparations within the types they had already engaged.


For Text:

Garibay, J. C., Dache, A., Moore-Lewis, D., Sun, J., & Pickenpack, A. (2023). Data Visualizations. ProjectSHARPE.

For Graphs:

Garibay, J. C. (2022). Graph Title. ProjectSHARPE.

This work has been supported (in part) by a Racial Equity grant from the Spencer Foundation. Any opinions expressed are those of the researcher(s) alone and should not be construed as representing the opinions of the funder(s).