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City University drops ‘slaver’ Sir John Cass’ name from business school

'Any continued use of Sir John Cass’ name would be seen as condoning someone whose wealth in part derived from the exploitation of slavery'

07 July, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

City, University of London Business School, formerly known as Cass Business School

A PRESTIGIOUS business school has cut its ties with an 18th century merchant slave trader by removing his name from its title following a student led campaign.

The City, University of London’s Business School will no longer be known as the Cass Business School after consultations about the historic links of Sir John Cass to the slave trade.

The Bunhill Row school’s ruling body came to the unanimous decision after taking into account views expressed by a “wide range of stakeholders” in its consultation.

Julia Palca, chairwoman of City’s council, said: “We acknowledge the great pain and hurt caused to members of our City and Business School community and to many Black people by the association of the School’s name with the slave trade.

“Any continued use of Sir John Cass’ name would be seen as condoning someone whose wealth in part derived from the exploitation of slavery. This is incompatible with our values of diversity and inclusivity. We have therefore taken the decision to remove the name.”

As the Tribune previously reported, students started a petition to have Cass’s name dropped following the toppling of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter protest.

The protests have swept across the world since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA, after a police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes as Mr Floyd called out that he could not breathe.

The Sir John Cass Foundation charitable fund has contributed to several schools in London and the Bunhill business school adopted Cass’s name after a donation was made in 2002.

Professor Sir Paul Curran, president at City, University of London, added: “The announcement of our decision to change the name of City’s Business School by no means marks the end of the issue.”

On June 10, City initiated a review of all historic sources of funding to determine if there are any other links with slavery; and to make recommendations.

The review is chaired by Ms Hunada Nouss, a member of City’s council.

The review is expected to report in August.

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