Mission

In 2007, the Commonwealth of Virginia State Assembly issued a statement of regret for the institution of slavery. Following suit, a few of Virginia’s colleges and universities expressed their regret for the institution’s use of slave labor, and some began to look more closely at that part of their history. These statements were a good first step, but there is still relatively little scholarly or public knowledge of how slavery and its aftermath shaped many Virginia institutions of higher education and how in turn these institutions influenced the wider community. This conference creates a much-needed space for the discussion of race histories at predominantly white and historically black Virginia colleges and universities. For the first time, we hope to bring together leaders from institutions across the state to engage in conversations about how we as well as our universities remember and represent our past involvement with slavery, Jim Crow laws, and segregation. We hope to engage community members, students, faculty, and administrators in discussion about the continuing impacts of this history.  Understanding how these histories are represented at different institutions will help us to interrogate their legacy and influence on our present. Please join us for this free, inaugural conference in which we’ll explore how remembering and representation of slavery, Jim Crow laws, and discrimination affect the present state of race relations at Virginia colleges and universities and their neighboring communities.

virginia-slave-map-650

1860 census map of Virginia’s slave population.

virginia colleges map

Map of public and private institutions of higher education in Virginia

Link to map key listing names of public and private institutions of higher education

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