About Us

The Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA will serve as the collective voice of all descendants of enslaved and free Black communities who labored at the University of Virginia through research, education, and preservation.

"Our ancestors are an ever widening circle of hope."

Toni Morrison

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Our Mission

To research and reclaim the narrative, to honor the legacies of enslaved and free Black communities and their descendants, and to achieve restorative justice for communities rooted at the University of Virginia and surrounding regions.

Our Vision

We will accomplish our goals by building coalitions and a strong framework for reparations. Our aspirations are, without limitation, the following:

  • To locate and reunite descendants of enslaved and free Black communities at UVA; and friends, allies, supporters, and family members of these descendants.

  • To advocate for descendants through scholarships, tours, memorialization, and other programs and activities.

  • To foster partnerships that benefit the Descendant Communities at UVA and around the world.

  • To engage in planning and sponsoring educational, social, and economic activities and opportunities that will provide for future generations.

Locate and reunite descendants of enslaved and free Black communities at UVA.

Advocate for the descendant community at UVA and around the World

Build a sense of community through partnerships

Educate people about our ancestors and preserve our history for future generations

Meet Our Leadership Team

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DeTeasa Brown Gathers

co-chair

Bertha French

co-chair

Star Reams

Nina Polley

Helice Henderson

James French

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Carolyn Dillard

Cauline Yates

Niya Bates