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Membership

Welcome to our membership portal! Click the button below to sign up for an account then apply for membership.

New users are prompted to "Create account" and will receive a confirmation email with further instructions. Returning users who have difficulty with their account can reset their password by clicking "Having trouble logging in?" on the Membership Portal landing page.

Membership Criteria

Descendants of Enslaved Communities of Virginia welcomes members who are descendants of people who were enslaved in Virginia and also community members who do not identify as descendants but are interested in and supportive of our work. Please read the membership criteria and descriptions below to see which membership type will fit you and your family the best.

 

Descendant Memberships

 

Who are descendants?

 

To be considered a Descendant of the Enslaved Communities of the University of Virginia, an individual must satisfy at least one (but not all) of the following criteria:

 

  1. Be a documented direct or collateral descendant of a person enslaved at an estate/property owned by the University of Virginia, hired out to the University, or enslaved or hired out by associated staff/faculty between 1809-1865.

  2. Be a documented direct or collateral descendant of a person enslaved by a member of the men that helped Jefferson found the University of Virginia between 1809-1865, including but not limited to: Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Carrington Cabell, James Madison, John Hartwell Cocke, and James Monroe.

  3. Be a documented direct or collateral descendant of a person enslaved on an estate/property between 1809-1865 or that is currently owned or operated by the University of Virginia. This list includes, but is not limited to Birdwood, Morven, Morea, Blandy Experimental Farm and additional associated properties vetted by the Descendant of the Enslaved Communities and UVA.

  4. Be a documented direct or collateral descendant of a free African American person hired to work at UVA from 1809 forward.

  5. Have credible oral history suggesting your family descends from any of the above persons from 1809 forward.

  6. Self-identifies as a descendant of enslaved or free laborers associated with the University of Virginia or other Virginia plantations, but is still researching.

 

Participation as a descendant is contingent upon verification of this connection by the Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA Leadership Committee or designated genealogist(s). Credibility of an oral history is subject to review by the Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA Leadership Committee, who are the final authority on participation. Verifying the criterion listed above may take up to but should not exceed one (1) year. The Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA Leadership Committee reserves the right to deny participation if any of the above criteria is not met, if a prospective participant cannot or does not provide documentation in a timely manner, or if any documentation has been falsified.

Membership Types (ANNUAL)

 

VERIFIED DESCENDANTS:

Verified descendants have satisfactorily met the criteria for membership in the DEC as determined by DEC and can provide supporting documentation of their connection to an enslaved person or family, or free Black laborer in Virginia.

 

DECLARED DESCENDANTS: 

Declared descendants self-identify as a descendant of enslaved or free laborers associated with the University of Virginia or other Virginia plantations, but are still researching and have not otherwise met the criteria above for verified descendants.


Annual Descendant Membership Dues:

$25 per person (head of household) & $10 for each additional family member living within your household.

 

NON-DESCENDANT (Individual or Entity)

We invite any person or institutional entity of goodwill who is committed to supporting the mission and vision of the Descendants of Enslaved Communities of Virginia to become a member. Your support helps us provide continued programming and research opportunities for descendants.

Community Membership Dues:

$100 per person. $250 for institutional members. 

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