Group Calls for Public Input on Slavery Memorial at U.Va.

July 1, 2010 — A student-led initiative is soliciting participation from members of the University of Virginia and local communities about the establishment of a slavery memorial on Grounds.

The University and Community Action for Racial Equity, or UCARE, will hold four public focus groups in the month of July. Interested individuals may sign up for a session online or contact the organization. (See the list of dates and locations at the end of this announcement.)

UCARE formed in 2007 after the Virginia General Assembly and the U.Va. Board of Visitors passed resolutions expressing regret for the institution of slavery and their involvement in it.

UCARE "seeks to promote reconciliation through concrete actions that address present-day conditions in our local community," the website says. Three action groups focus on truth and understanding, repair, and relationships.

In association with the U.Va. Student Council's Diversity Initiatives Committee and U.Va.'s Institute for Environmental Negotiation, UCARE hosted focus-group sessions on Grounds in the spring.

""They received great feedback. We would love to hear ideas and thoughts from the community as well," said Jessie Ray, UCARE project manager and a recent graduate from the Urban and Environmental Planning Masters program.

Topics for discussion at the open forums include the purpose and goals of such a memorial; what the memorial might look like and what kind of imagery would be appropriate; and where the memorial might be located.

With all the feedback and ideas that are being gathered, UCARE members will work on a proposal for the memorial by the end of the fall semester. A new advisory committee comprising faculty and staff will meet in the fall to help shepherd the project. UCARE plans to hold a design competition in the near future.

Each hour-long session will have a facilitator, and refreshments will be provided.

To pre-register and for information, e-mail ucarestaff@gmail.com or call 434-924-0263.

  • Session One : July 6, 5:30-6:30 p.m., Portico Church, 201 Monticello Ave. (Parking is available on the street and in the church lot; please do not park in the ACAC lot.)
  • Session Two: July 7, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church, 717 Rugby Rd. (Park in the church lot.)
  • Session Three: July 15, 8:30-9:30 a.m., The Haven, 112 West Market St., on the corner of 1st Street. (Parking is limited on the street, but available at downtown parking garages.)
  • Session Four: July 17, 3-4 p.m., The Haven, 112 West Market Street, on the corner of 1st Street.