Hollins University Working Group on Slavery and its Contemporary Legacies
Listening Sessions on Renaming Campus Spaces
Listening sessions on renaming spaces are scheduled for February-March 2021 (open to Hollins students, faculty, staff and alums). See the schedule and read more about the issue of (re)naming here.
Unveiling the Past: Reckoning with Our History of Enslavement at Hollins
Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6 pm (on Zoom)
In spring 2020, students in the Cultural Property, Rights, and Museum course began working on an exhibit, Unveiling the Past: Reckoning with Our History of Enslavement at Hollins, in conjunction with members of the Hollins University Working Group on Slavery and Its Contemporary Legacies. The exhibit examines objects and images held by the university archives in the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University. Those working on this exhibit wanted to create a public space to reckon with our Hollins past and give a forum to those who were not given a voice, name, space, or attention in the past. It is the goal of this exhibit to show the lasting effects slavery has had, and continues to have, here; and, to recognize that Hollins continues to benefit from a history of enslavement. Join us for this virtual discussion as we discuss our findings.
Mission of the Working Group
The working group is charged by the university’s President with continuing to research and educate the public about Hollins University’s historical connections to enslavement and the contemporary legacies of slavery on campus, within the neighboring historic Hollins community, and throughout the Greater Roanoke Valley. The group’s membership is comprised of interested faculty, alumnae, staff, students, and citizens from the historic Hollins community. The working group is an integral part of the university’s commitment to an open and honest dialogue about race and diversity on our campus and in our region of Southwest Virginia. It represents an honest and transparent examination of who we are as institution and what we hope to represent going forward. The group’s research highlights and memorializes the many contributions made by people of color both before and after emancipation in building a sustainable and thriving university community. As part of this continuing project, the mission of the working group is as follows:
- To engage in archival research and archaeological studies focused on histories and legacies of enslavement on campus and to uncover documents, specific names, and oral histories related to African-American history and memory at Hollins University.
- To publish and archive documents related to enslavement and Jim Crow era history on campus online in an easily accessible public format.
- To recommend the creation of a physical memorial that commemorates the history on our campus in ways that are visible, tangible, and permanent.
- To encourage educational projects for students focused on enslavement and its legacies at Hollins University and within communities of the Greater Roanoke Valley.
- To develop and promote strong community relations with the historic Hollins community and with the African American community in the Greater Roanoke Valley, and to involve them as active long term partners and participants in our work.
- To remain active members and leaders within the Universities Studying Slavery consortium and to serve as a resource for other small colleges and universities beginning similar projects focused on histories of enslavement.
The working group is committed to an open and public dialogue with all members of the Hollins community. We will be joined in our efforts by alumnae and residents of the Greater Roanoke Valley with particular knowledge of local history and issues of race and diversity.
Hollins University is a member of Universities Studying Slavery (USS), a consortium dedicated to collaborative research and mutual support as participating colleges and universities seek to address their institutions’ histories of slavery, racism, and inequality. In April 2018, Hollins hosted the USS Spring meeting.
Join the working group
We welcome students, staff and faculty with an interest in furthering the mission and activities of the group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org: we look forward to hearing from you!
Contact the working group
We welcome your comments, concerns, and suggestions. Email the group at email@example.com, or use our contact form: