Many institutions are acknowledging, researching and taking action to address the legacy of past entwinement with slavery, segregation and racial discrimination. A more complete report of our research is located here. Some of those that have been most active in this work include the following:
Transforming Community Project: This multi-year project combined research, teaching and community engagement in seeking to lay bare the many dimensions of Emory’s history. In 2011, Emory held a conference, Slavery and the University, that was the “first-ever conference examining the history and legacy of slavery’s role in higher education.” Nationally recognized and widely attended, including by many UCARE participants, it was an important step forward for attending colleges and universities. For more information visit here.
Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice: This group was commissioned by Brown’s president in 2003 to “investigate and to prepare a report about the University’s historical relationship to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.” The group also sponsored programs that brought these reflections to the public and academic eye of Brown’s students, faculty, and surrounding community. The group published a comprehensive report on “Slavery and Justice” that focuses on Brown’s own role in the history of slavery and the slave trade. A slavery memorial is in the works and Brown has made commitments to the surrounding community to invest in its well-being.
University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill
Slavery and the Making of the University: Part of a physical exhibit formerly hung in the manuscripts department, this digital exhibit introduces materials that recognize and document the contributions of slaves, college servants and free persons of color primarily during the University’s
University of Georgia
Unsung Foot Soldiers: The project highlights people in the Civil Rights Movement that have not been recognized for their work. Interviews and oral histories were collected and combined into several documentary films. These films celebrate the Georgia trailblazers in the Civil Rights
Movement and seek to carry the history and lessons forward. For more information visit here.
College of William & Mary
Lemon Project: In 2009, after student and faculty resolutions calling for a full investigation of the College’s past, the Board of Visitors acknowledged that the College had “owned and exploited slave labor from its founding to the Civil War; and that it had failed to take a stand against segregation during the Jim Crow Era.” The Board offered its support for the establishment of “The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation.” The Project was named for Mr. Lemon, a man who was once enslaved by the College of William & Mary. The Lemon Project is a “multifaceted and dynamic attempt to rectify wrongs perpetrated against African Americans by the College through action or inaction.” It focuses on scholarship regarding the 300-year relationship between African Americans and the College, and building bridges among the College and the
Williamsburg and Greater Tidewater area.
Earl Gregg Swem Library Exhibits: This library has housed several different exhibits related to the college’s past with slavery and desegregation. The World of Henry Billups: Jim Crow at William and Mary is the most recent of these installations, examining Jim Crow from Billups’ view and
the evolution of segregation during his lifetime as a worker from 1888-1955. A dual endeavor to celebrate both the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement culminated in the group of exhibits that were all part of From Fights to Rights: the
Long Road to a More Perfect Union. One of those exhibits, Prejudice So Prevalent in the Present Generation: Slavery at the College of William & Mary explored the university’s heavy involvement with slavery.
In fall 2007, four Harvard undergraduate students came together in a seminar room to solve a local, but nonetheless significant, historical
mystery: the connections between Harvard University and slavery. Four seminars later, a quest that began with fears of finding nothing ended with a new question: how was it that the university had failed for so long to engage with this elephantine aspect of its history? The report Harvard
and Slavery: Seeking a Forgotten History documents this process. While the students could not reach consensus on what acts of memorialization, remembrance, or restitution would be appropriate responses for Harvard, they all agreed that a broader community needs to be drawn into
this discussion, as has been done with UCARE. For more information visit here.