Media Advisory: Panel to Discuss Slavery Past at the University of Virginia
The University’s 2015 community celebration in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will present a panel discussion tonight at 6 at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center on “Slavery at the University of Virginia.”
Following the screening of Eduardo Montes-Bradley’s documentary, “Unearthed & Understood: Slavery and the University of Virginia,” members of the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University will give an overview of the panel’s mission, vision and update on current research.
The panel will include Dr. Marcus Martin, vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity; Kirt von Daacke, associate professor of history and assistant dean of academic advising; Kelley Deetz, research associate for the commission; Petrina Jackson, who heads instruction and outreach for the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library; and Maurie McInnis, professor of art history and vice provost for academic affairs.
Enslaved laborers played vital roles in the University’s early decades, but little is recorded about them. They laid handmade bricks and helped build the University. They chopped wood and washed laundry, cared for white children and cooked meals for faculty and students.
In recent years, U.Va. has begun to address its historical relationship with slavery. President Teresa A. Sullivan appointed the commission last year. Its charge includes exploring U.Va.’s historical relationship with slavery and highlighting opportunities for recognition and commemoration.
U.Va.’s Office for Diversity and Equity collaborated with a local committee to plan activities to mark the King celebration through Jan. 30 that include panel discussions, plays, films and speakers, with the help of dozens of U.Va. student groups, departments and offices; nonprofit organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; and area schools. For a complete schedule, click here.