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UMass Boston

UMass Boston is a large public university located in South Boston. UMass Boston benefited financially from the expropriation of lands from this continent's indigenous nations and presently provides institutional support to Israeli ethnic cleansing and colonization of Palestine.

Land expropriation from indigenous nations

The University of Massachusetts system, of which UMass Boston is a part, amassed considerable wealth through a series of colonial land grabs that expropriated lands from this continent's indigenous nations. The wealth the UMass system obtained through these land grabs played a critical role sustaining the system financially in its earlier days. As researchers Robert Lee and Christian Ahtone report in High Country News:

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, which distributed public domain lands to raise funds for fledgling colleges across the nation. Now thriving, the institutions seldom ask who paid for their good fortune ... Behind that myth lies a massive wealth transfer masquerading as a donation. The Morrill Act worked by turning land expropriated from tribal nations into seed money for higher education. In all, the act redistributed nearly 11 million acres — an area larger than Massachusetts and Connecticut combined ... Our data shows how the Morrill Act turned Indigenous land into college endowments. It reveals two open secrets: First, according to the Morrill Act, all money made from land sales must be used in perpetuity, meaning those funds still remain on university ledgers to this day. And secondly, at least 12 states are still in possession of unsold Morrill acres as well as associated mineral rights, which continue to produce revenue for their designated institutions.

Commenting about their data on the state of Massachusetts, Robert Lee and Christian Ahtone note:

The state [of MA] split interest as 1/3 for MIT and 2/3 for University of Massachusetts. Both universities predated the Morrill Act but "the land-grant endowment put new life into both." UMass sold a block of 36,000 acres for $29,778.4 in 1864 to purchase a school site. The rest was sold over time until 1868. More specifically, 140,000 acres went between 1864 and 1866 for an avg. price of 81 cents. 220,000 acres were sold in 1867, some at 54 cents an acre, some at 58 cents per acre. All this, yielded another $205,509, which brought the total realized to $236,307.40.

Support for the colonization of Palestine

UMass Boston's School of Policy and Global Studies offers a master’s degree program in "conflict resolution," through which UMass Boston students travel to Israel to learn about "conflict resolution" between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians. True to its name, the program misrepresents events on the ground in Palestine as a "conflict" between two equally aggrieved parties, whitewashing over the reality of Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homeland met by Palestinian struggle to remain on the land to which they are indigenous and reclaim its resources.

In 2012, the UMass Boston student government unanimously passed a bill calling upon the university’s investment fund to divest its holdings from Boeing and other companies profiting from Israeli violence against Palestinians. In the ten years since, UMass Boston has ignored the will of the UMass student body, refusing to divest its holdings from Boeing or other companies profiting from Israeli violence against Palestinians. In 2022, UMass Boston Dining Services permanently deshelved Sabra Hummus from multiple campus buildings, following a campaign for a campus-wide boycott of Sabra led by UMass Boston Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125-3393

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