Slavery and the University: A Movement
In 2003, Ruth Simmons, the president of Brown University, “appointed a Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice to investigate and issue a public report on the University’s historical relationship to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.” Brown’s decision to take on this monumental task was historic and it opened the way for colleges and universities, North and South, to do the same.
In February 2011, representatives from dozens of colleges and universities met at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, to attend a conference entitled “Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies.” Papers on W&M are available on line:
- by Jennifer Oast (episode 30 on this iTunes site)
- by Bob Engs and Terry Meyers (episode 31)
- by Ywone Edwards-Ingram (episode 32)
Over the past decade, colleges and universities have marked their history with slavery through memorials, courses and student projects, archival exhibits, and apologies for their past support of the institution. Mark Auslander of Brandeis University has established a wiki to help document efforts at colleges and universities around the world.
William and Mary’s Lemon Project is not an isolated endeavor.
- Brown University - http://www.brown.edu/Research/Slavery_Justice/
- University of Maryland - http://www.history.umd.edu/slavery/
- University of North Carolina - http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/exhibits/slavery/intro.html
- Yale University - http://www.yaleslavery.org/
- Emory University - http://transform.emory.edu/ and http://www.marial.emory.edu/exhibitions/dream/index.html
Truth and Reconciliation
The Alliance for Truth and Racial Reconciliation has an extensive list of projects, primarily in the South and Southeast. Southern Truth and Reconciliation partners with communities to adapt the truth and reconciliation process to local needs, on the premise that truth-telling and acknowledgement by all stakeholders must precede healing, reconciliation, and justice for the entire community. Locally, Hope in the Cities has fostered trustbuilding programs in Richmond to help redress the injuries of slavery.