Construction of the memorial is the next bold step in this exploration. Upon completion, subsequent work may include development of a museum space focused on education about UVA’s history of slavery. An endowment may also be created to maintain and update exhibits as new research uncovers knowledge and learning opportunities.
The stage is set. Now it’s up to us. Help shine a light on UVA’s complete story.
Why build this monument now?
Planning for a memorial have been in the works since the establishment of the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University in 2013. As we celebrate the University’s bicentennial, the Grounds will finally include a memorial to the enslaved laborers who played a crucial role in making this University a reality. The memorial is the first big step in our plans to embrace the story of the University’s enslaved workers and to tell it across Grounds.
Why this location and design?
The memorial is purposefully located near the Rotunda and the UVA Corner, and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. By weaving the memorial into the daily fabric of University life, the University is creating a new gathering space in a highly visible and public location
The memorial’s design, the product of extensive engagement with Charlottesville and UVA community members on key decisions, is both intentional and symbolic. Visitors will encounter the complex and challenging lives of enslaved men, women, and children through the memorial’s features and motifs that echo bondage but also bear witness to the perseverance of the human spirit.
Learn more about the memorial design process.
Why wait until 2019 to begin construction?
With groundbreaking tentatively scheduled for 2019, design refinements to the memorial will continue as the University builds philanthropic support for the project. Since the memorial’s footprint is substantial, and is to be located in a busy area on Grounds, extensive site preparation must occur prior to a start date.
How much will it cost?
The University currently estimates the memorial’s cost to be $6 million. All funds raised for its construction will come from private philanthropy.
Why should I support this project?
By supporting the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia, you will become involved in a unique, important, and timely project in the life of the University. You will be a participant in UVA’s commitment to embracing the full story its enslaved workers, ensuring that future generations of students and scholars will understand the complete story behind the unique—and sometimes very painful—origins of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For more information about giving opportunities, contact Woody Wingfield at 434.924.0266 or email@example.com.