Descendants of the St. Louis University Enslaved (DSLUE)

DSLUE was formed by three Missouri family groups, descendants of people enslaved by the Jesuits and made to build and sustain Saint Louis University from 1823-1865. In 2021, these families came together to honor their ancestors, to preserve heritage and legacy and to seek reparative justice for the generational devastation that enslavement had on their bloodline. In other words, their mission is to commemorate, preserve, educate, and seek repair through the creation of a 501(c)(3) heritage preservation and cultural education association.

DSLUE is currently working on several initiatives that will aid them in their goals. In the coming weeks they will launch their website,, which will host historical data and analysis on St. Louis’ history of enslavement with support of scholars, Dr. Kelly Schmidt and Ayan Bashir, leading historians in the field of Jesuit enslavement. The website will act as a central location where people can learn about this history, ongoing research, genealogy, advocacy and current DSLUE initiatives, programs and events. There is currently a campaign designed to suppress the truth of the history of this nation, and DSLUEs efforts are to ensure that America’s true history is brought to the masses for generations to come. One of the ways DSLUE is working to bring awareness about their journey is the creation of a short documentary film called “Who Are The DSLUE,” and efforts to get funding for a full length documentary film are underway. The organization is also working on hosting its first annual DSLUE Family Heritage Week, kicking off June 11, 2022, offering opportunities for ancestral commemoration and memorization. 

DSLUE is working to bring together not only descendants of those who were enslaved during the Jesuit slaveholding diaspora, but other descendant communities, like those of Brown Grove and Tulsa, to support one another in their efforts for healing and for justice. 

AARN is proud to work alongside the Descendants of the St. Louis University Enslaved (DSLUE) on their efforts to secure reparations!