More than a decade ago, William & Mary began the tough work of reconciling the institution and community with its history regarding the exploitation of African-American and Native peoples through the eras of slavery, Jim Crow and segregation. This work has taken many forms: the Lemon Project examines W&M's history, while the Memorial to the Enslaved will recognize the history of forced labor at the university; the Task Force on Race & Race Relations worked to improve the current environment, while the American Indian Resource Center provides support to Native communities and scholars.
The Board of Visitors has supported these efforts, including issuing a formal apology in 2018 for the university's past ownership of enslaved people, their exploitation and perpetuation of racial discrimination. In June 2020, a working group was established to develop principles on the naming and renaming of university buildings, spaces and structures.
William & Mary is deeply committed to this path of reconciliation through its administration and governance, historical research and scholarship, development of policy and procedure; and diversity and inclusion efforts.