2017 Symposium

Thank you to all who attended and participated! We think the symposium was a huge success, especially in bringing together universities, scholars, community members, descendants, historic sites, preservationists, and public historians for a free-ranging conversation about researching the enslaved past, disseminating findings to a broader public, and breaking down disciplinary boundaries as we collectively work to tell a fuller story about our own pasts.

Videos of the four plenary sessions are now available online at the University of Virginia Office of Diversity and Equity’s YouTube Channel.



Wednesday, October 18, 2017                                                                                                           

5:00pm:                       Opening reception (Newcomb Hall)

Speaker: Daina Ramey Berry (Associate Professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies and the Oliver H. Radkey Fellow in American History, University of Texas at Austin), “Ghost Values and the Remains of Slavery”


7:30pm:                       Slave Dwelling Project Experience (The Lawn)


Thursday, October 19, 2017                                                                                                               

8:00-8:30am:               Registration (Newcomb Hall)

8:30-9:00am:               Welcome (Newcomb Hall)

Marcus Martin (Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, Co-Chair of the President’s Commission of Slavery and the University, University of Virginia) Kirt von Daacke (Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of History, Co-Chair of the President’s Commission of Slavery and the University, University of Virginia), Robert (Bobby) W. Battle (Bicentennial Commission Co-Chair), Teresa Sullivan (President, University of Virginia)

9:00-10:20am:             Opening Panel: Slavery and Its Legacies at UVA (Newcomb Hall)

Speakers: Patrice Grimes (Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Education, University of Virginia), Ervin Jordan (Associate Professor and Research Archivist, University of Virginia), Louis Nelson (Professor of Architectural History and Associate Dean in the School of Architecture, Associate Provost for Outreach, University of Virginia), Kirt von Daacke (Assistant Dean and Associate Professor of History, University of Virginia), Wes Gobar (Black Student Alliance President, University of Virginia)

Moderator: Elizabeth Varon (Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History and Associate Director at the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History, University of Virginia)

10:30am-12:00pm:      Breakout Panels – Session 1 (Newcomb Hall)

12:15-2:00pm:  Luncheon & Panel: Institutions Confronting the Legacy of Slavery         (The Lawn)

Speakers: John W. Franklin (Cultural Historian and Senior Manager in the Office of External Affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture), Kat Imhoff (President and Chief Executive Officer, The Montpelier Foundation), Taylor Reveley (President, William & Mary), Gary Sandling (Vice President of Visitor Programs and Visitor Services, Thomas Jefferson Foundation), Teresa Sullivan (President, University of Virginia)

Moderator: Deborah McDowell (Alice Griffin Professor of English and Director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies, University of Virginia)

2:30-4:00pm:               Breakout Panels – Session 2 (Newcomb Hall)

7:30-9:00pm:               African American Cemetery Commemoration

Speakers and Performers: Alvin Edwards (Pastor, Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church), Delores McQuinn (Virginia House of Delegates), Almeta Miller (Richmond, VA), Brenda Marie Osbey (Poet, New Orleans, LA), Lynn Rainville (Research Professor in the Humanities, Sweet Briar College), Union Run Baptist Church Choir


Friday, October 20, 2017                                                                                                                    

 8:00-8:30am:               Registration (Newcomb Hall)

8:40-10:15am:             Panel Discussion: Connecting with Community and Descendants (Newcomb Hall)

Moderator: Shannon LaNier (descendant, Thomas Jefferson, author, TV personality)

Panelists: Scot French (University of Central Florida), Lenora McQueen, Elizabeth Chew (Montpelier), Leontyne Peck

10:30am-12:00pm:      Breakout Panels – Session 3 (Newcomb Hall)


12:15-2:00pm:             Luncheon and Panel: Universities and Reparations (The Lawn)

Speakers: Ana Lucia Araujo (Professor of History, Howard University), Sandy Darity (Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics, and director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, Duke University), John Rosenthall (Director, Tougaloo College Research and Development Foundation)

Moderator: Craig Wilder (Professor of American History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

2:30-4:00pm:               Breakout Panels – Session 4 (Newcomb Hall)


Saturday, October 21, 2017                                                                                                                

 8:30am-9:00pm:          (Optional) Field Trip to Montpelier, Monticello, and Highland


                                    8:30am –         Load Bus

9:00 am –        Depart from UVA

11:30 am –      Depart for Highland

12:30 pm –      Tour Highland

2:00 pm –        Depart for Montpelier

3:00 pm –        Tour Montpelier

6:00 pm –        Dinner at Montpelier

7:00 pm –        Depart for UVA



Symposium Schedule (PDF)