U.Va. Media Advisory: Why Explore, Commemorate Legacy of Slavery Today?

October 15, 2014

The University of Virginia’s Commission on Slavery and the University will hold a ceremony at the African-American burial site on Grounds that was discovered in fall 2012, as part of a national symposium scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The ceremony will be held Thursday from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the north side of the University Cemetery, located at the northeast corner of the intersection of McCormick and Alderman roads.

Commission co-chairs Dr. Marcus Martin, U.Va.’s vice president and chief officer for diversity and equity, and U.Va. associate history professor Kirt von Daacke are available for comment on the ceremony, the commission’s work and the symposium. Martin can be reached at mlm8n@virginia.edu or 434-243-2079. Von Daacke can be reached at kv2h@virginia.edu or 434-924-3353 or 924-8873.

U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan appointed the Commission on Slavery and the University last year. The commission’s charge includes exploring U.Va.’s historical relationship with slavery and highlighting opportunities for recognition and commemoration.

This week’s symposium,Universities Confronting the Legacy of Slavery,will showcase some of the projects the commission has undertaken and present several panels on how universities on the East Coast have dealt with the legacy of slavery.

Other events on the conference schedule:

• Oct. 16, 4-5:15 p.m. Welcome and presentation of a short documentary on the commission made by filmmaker Eduardo Montes-Bradley. Second floor, Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, 233 4th St NW, Charlottesville.

• Oct. 17, 8:45-10:15 a.m. Craig S. Wilder, history professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of “Ebony and Ivy: Race, Slavery and the Troubled History of America’s Universities,” published last year, will be one of the panelists discussing “Universities Confronting the Legacy of Slavery: What Was Learned.”

• Oct. 17, 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Walking tour of slave-related places in the Academical Village.

• Oct. 17, 12:30-2 p.m. Alfred L. Brophy, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, will give the keynote address, “Proslavery Political Theory and Jurisprudence Before the Civil War at the University.” Brophy has written extensively on legal thought, race and property law in colonial, antebellum and early 20th-century America. To be held on the Lawn.

Other panel representatives come from Brown University, Emory University, the College of William & Mary and the University of Alabama, as well as U.Va.

The symposium is free and open to the public, with preregistration, with more than 200 people already signed up.

Members of the media are invited to cover any of the symposium events and sessions.

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