Dialogue Series: Remembering for Our Future
Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 10:00am
Remembering for Our Future
This four-part dialogue series explores the history of race, racism, and racist ideas at UVA. We are seeking to remember our history with the purpose of understanding how it carries into our present, and upon facing the truth of our history - how we might transform the possibilities for our future.
Dialogue 1 – “Resilience Through Education”
SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 | 10 – 11 AM
Histories of Thomas Jefferson depict a person of many faces, many dimensions, and profound contradictions. The same is true for the university he founded. Not only is the history of UVA more complex than is often portrayed, that history is also very much alive within the Charlottesville community today in the form of the divides that persist between the university and members of Charlottesville's African American community. For the first 50 years of its existence, UVA was a landscape of slavery and violence. Over the next 100 years, UVA embraced at turns Jim Crow rule, eugenics, and continued segregation. Knowing this, we are reminded by community members that any positive strides must not be taken for granted and continued consideration of the university's historical legacy is necessary for our future.
Dialogue 2 – “Implications of Space and Access”
SEPTEMBER 15, 2020 | 10 – 11 AM
This session explores the physical history of UVA and Charlottesville, examining how access to housing and services have been shaped by embedded racist beliefs and attitudes. The story of Vinegar Hill is used as a case study to highlight how urban renewal was used to undermine a thriving Black commercial district. Issues introduced include: C’ville’s evolution from plantations to housing developments between 1865-1940; “Caucasian only” housing covenants; rise of zoning; denial of water, sewer, and other city services to Black neighborhoods; and UVA’s current role in displacing low-income communities as it expands down west Main Street.
Dialogue 3 – “A Brief History of Eugenics”
SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 | 10 – 11 AM
This session is based on an interview with physician-historian P. Preston Reynolds, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine, Geriatrics and Palliative Care and Associate Director of the Center for Health Disparities. Dr. Reynolds outlines the genesis and history of eugenics in the United States and how key early leaders at UVA embraced and promulgated its ideas. She then discusses some of the long-term impacts on healthcare in Charlottesville for the African American community.
Dialogue 4 – “Imagining our Future”
SEPTEMBER 29, 2020 | 10 – 11 AM
In this closing dialogue, we will open an invitation to our community to examine what we have learned over the prior dialogues. We will consider how what we have learned can be used in transforming the daily life of the University and how we can build a culture of racial accountability for a more just and humane future.